Spyware plagues Windows users while Mac users surf Net with impunity

“Spyware, an amorphous class of software that mostly gets onto computers without their users’ knowledge, has become epidemic in the past year as people spend more time online and spyware developers get more aggressive. The resource-hungry programs often render machines unusable,” The Associated Press reports. “‘It makes spam look like a walk in the park,’ said Bob Bowman, chief executive of Major League Baseball’s Internet unit, which in June started banning new advertisers from using such techniques. San Francisco marketing consultant David Eckstein turned on his computer one day and launched his Web browser, just as he had every day. This time, however, CNN.com did not automatically open. Instead, the page was a search engine he’d never heard of. Eckstein tried changing the browser settings back to CNN but the search engine would return whenever he rebooted. Finally, he just gave up, yet another victim of spyware. ‘It makes you want to throw your computer out the window,’ Eckstein said.”

MacDailyNews Question: Why doesn’t it make you want to throw Windows off the computer? Add a Mac OS X machine to your computing arsenal and see how Mac users surf the Net with impunity; it’s easy – more info here.

“Matt Davin, technical services manager at a repair shop in Walla Walla, Wash., estimates that half his jobs are directly tied to spyware,” AP reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Wow! It would seem to be very lucrative for certain businesses to keep as many people on Windows as possible.

AP reports, “Congress is working on a ban, and industry groups have launched efforts to educate consumers and fight back with technology. Experts believe a solution will ultimately involve a combination of law enforcement, education and engineering. ‘We’re at a crossroads,’ said Ari Schwartz, associate director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a privacy-advocacy group. Fail to properly address spyware, Schwartz warned, and ‘users will not want to use the Internet for commerce, for government services, for interaction with other people. We’ll lose the great potential of the Internet.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We use Mac OS X machines. We have no spyware problems. It’s just a fact. No need for Congressional acts here, thanks. For information about smoothly adding a powerful, amazing, and fun Mac OS X machine to your computing arsenal, please click here.

Listen, we’re not kidding and we have sympathy as we enter the holiday season, because we’ll be confronted with some relatives who insisted on buying Windows machines a few years ago. “You have to fix this computer for me, I caught a virus or something,” they will plead as usual. And we’ll have to clean off tons of dreck from their Windows PCs. Again. And in less than a week, it’ll all be back again, too, with some new junk to boot. There is a better way. It is called Macintosh. It’s time.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Is Mac OS X really inherently more secure than Windows? – August 26, 2003
BusinessWeek’s Haddad gets it wrong; thinks low market share spares Macs from viruses – August 28, 2003
Shattering the Mac OS X ‘security through obscurity’ myth – August 28, 2003
Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg on making the switch from Windows to Mac – September 18, 2003
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Columnist tries the ‘security through obscurity’ myth to defend Windows vs. Macs on virus front – October 1, 2003
Gates: Windows ‘by far the most secure’ system; tries to use ‘Mac OS X secure through obscurity’ myth – January 27, 2004
Mac OS X has no viruses; what’s wrong with Windows? – February 11, 2004
SmartMoney: Long-suffering Windows users can only dare to dream of Mac’s ease-of-use – February 12, 2004
Spyware, adware plague Windows users online; Mac OS X users surf freely – April 19, 2004
Gartner: Worms jack up the total cost of Microsoft Windows – May 07, 2004
Windows ‘Scob’ virus designed to steal financial data, passwords; Macintosh unaffected – June 26, 2004
Tired of patching patches to patch Windows patches? Writer suggests getting a Mac – August 03, 2004
Mossberg: Dump your Windows machine and get an Apple Macintosh to free yourself of spyware – August 25, 2004
Millions of Windows PC’s hijacked by hackers, turned into zombies; Macintosh unaffected – September 08, 2004
Security is top priority in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 12, 2004
Windows XP worm speaks to users as it deletes their files; Macintosh unaffected – September 13, 2004
University of Chicago recommends all students patch Windows at least once a day – September 14, 2004
USA Today columinst angry about Windows viruses, adware, spyware – September 15, 2004
Windows besieged by hackers; number of Windows viruses soars by more than 400% – September 20, 2004
USA Today: people are switching from Windows to Mac because of security issues – September 21, 2004
Mossberg: Apple iMac G5 ‘powerful, affordable, virus-free with better, more modern OS than Windows XP’ – September 23, 2004
Information Security Investigator says switch from Windows to Mac OS X for security – September 24, 2004
Cyber-security adviser uses Apple Macintosh to avoid Windows’ security woes – September 27, 2004
Even Bill Gates can’t avoid Windows malware; Mac users surf the Web freely – October 03, 2004
Windows desktop monopoly threatened by secure, safe Apple Mac OS X – October 04, 2004
Windows users’ security woes spark interest in Apple’s secure Mac OS X – October 06, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Windows users line up to pay for spyware removal; Mac users surf Web with impunity – October 18, 2004
Ballmer blames Windows users for not upgrading systems as Microsoft’s biggest security problem – October 22, 2004


  1. Fight back! Buy a Mac!

    Why get congress involved. Havn’t they done enough damage.

    Since you are at a crossroads, why not try a new path! Get off that Microsoft road�Think Different�Switch…Mac is the future. Windows is the� well windows is windows.

  2. It’s time for some tough love, MDN. Stop being co-dependent and enabling your family’s dysfunctional behavior by cleaning up their messes.

    I cut my family off last year – I told them that I switched to the Mac to get away from all that spyware-virus-insecure Windows crap and I just don’t have the energy or enthusiasm to help them with Wintel problems anymore.

    Fast forward a year (past their grumbling and futile attempts to lure or bribe me back) and now my parents are now using a new iMac G5 and my siblings each have laptops (12″ iBook and 17″ PowerBook G4, respectively.)

  3. That’s it, encourage everyone to switch. Sooner or later Mac usage will reach a critical mass and someone, somewhere, will make spyware for the Mac OS.

    I want everyone to blame MDN when that happens.

  4. I did the same thing Twang. I told them that since I didn’t use Windows anymore, I was too rusty when it comes to using it and therefore I don’t know how to fix all of it’s problems anymore. I’ve had one family member switch over to the Mac already and another is seriously considering it. I think of it as tough love too.

  5. Yep. That’s the way. Just say you don’t know anything abbout windows. I use windows at work, but I just tell people we have tech support people to sort out windows problems. I’m a programmer, not a caretaker (janitor).

  6. I regularly forward these articles to my friends and family list. So far, two iMac G5s sold to former PC users. They really are clueless. Also, whenever I go to a party I take pictures and then spend 5 minutes uploading the photos to my .Mac site and email them a link. They are amazed by this!

  7. Fight back! Buy a Mac!

    Why get congress involved. Havn’t they done enough damage.

    Since you are at a crossroads, why not try a new path! Get off that Microsoft road�Think Different�Switch…Mac is the future. Windows is the� well windows is windows.

  8. mac dood.. to some it’s news that apple is still around…

    thank goodness for the ipod..

    the halo effect is really starting to touch people.. i know.. i’ve had people talk to me about getting macs for the first time, after their ‘value-rich windows system’ was destroyed by virii…

    i’ve overheard people in the labs talking about their next comp. being a mac..

    I’m very diplomatic about it.. but.. hehe.. i like Peter’s response..

    ignorance will bite back with “no one attacks the mac because it has no users..”

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