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Mac® Security Bible by Joe Kissell

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Introduction

For years, one of the most compelling selling points of Macs has been their apparent freedom from many of the security problems that have long plagued Windows users. Countless people have switched to Macs because they want to stop worrying about viruses, spyware, and other threats so common to PC users. According to conventional wisdom (and even some Apple marketing), Macs are inherently much safer than Windows PCs — and, sure enough, millions of people use Macs every day without incident, having never given a moment's thought to security.

And yet, curiously, some guy seems to have come up with enough to say about Mac security to fill a rather thick and heavy book. How can that be? Are Macs really as insecure as other computers — and are Mac users a bunch of blissfully ignorant folks on the fast track to digital oblivion? Or are the supposed security risks to Mac users nothing more than fear-mongering on the part of an overzealous publisher?

Although Macs have many effective security features and are, in my humble opinion, vastly superior to PCs for a long list of reasons, the truth of the matter is that a computer running Mac OS X isn't inherently more secure than a computer running Windows (at least if it's a recent version of Windows). Fabulous user interface and industrial design notwithstanding, Macs are still computers, and they're still vulnerable to the kinds of risks that can affect any other computer.

The main reason Mac users have largely escaped the threats ...

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