Apple changes marketing language claiming OS X ‘doesn’t get PC viruses’

“Apple has removed a statement from its messages on its website that Mac operating system X (OS X) isn’t susceptible to viruses,” Hamish Barwick reports for Computerworld Australia.

“Apple removed the previous statement ‘It doesn’t get PC viruses’ and replaced it with ‘It’s built to be safe,’ and ‘Safeguard your data. By doing nothing’ with ‘Safety. Built in,'” Barwick reports. “According to Sophos U.S. senior technology consultant Graham Cluley, this is a sign that Apple is starting to take security seriously. ‘I view the changes in the messages pushed out by their marketing department as some important baby-steps,’ he wrote in a blog entry. ‘Let’s hope more Apple Mac owners are also learning to take important security steps — such as installing antivirus protection.'”

Barwick reports, “In addition to changing its marketing messages, Apple has released a security guide for the iPhone operating system iOS and announced in February that OS X 10.8, or Mountain Lion, would include a new feature called Gatekeeper that would restrict which applications users can install on their devices.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Whether the blurb says it or not, Macs running OS X still don’t get PC viruses.

Mac OS X security

33 Comments

  1. Seeing as how it’s actually true that OS X doesn’t get PC viruses, changing that message was a stupid thing to do.

    Replacing it with language like “its built to be safe” is especially stupid, because that’s the kind of language used by PC vendors and Microsoft – both of which make things that are profoundly unsafe. It doesn’t inspire confidence is what I’m saying.

    Mistake.

      1. In fact, it is the only thing that is close to being a Personal Computer. The HP slogan “The PC is personal again” was so wrong, so incredibly wrong……

        My Mac is my PC….my Wintel is a POS

      1. Apple changed the language because the original text was ambiguous, false, or misleading. Neither is good for Apple’s image. It is; however, embarrassing that Apple felt obligated to change the wording at all. This is Apple’s public admission it f’ed it up from the start. Doesn’t Apple have any adult supervision?

  2. A change of marketing message “is a sign that Apple is starting to take security seriously.” If that were true, MS would be the leading security guru of the universe. Alas, his statement is tripe.

  3. No OS is safe from attack. Never has been, never will. Until now, Macs have relied on the unix underpinnings to deliver a modicum of safe network travel. Now, the stakes are higher, and Apple is moving sensibly into a higher security mode. Sandboxing will still prevent me from buying anything in the future from the App Store.

      1. i will play in Apple’s Sandbox anytime. Who wants to play in Microsoft Mud. BTW, I have never had a virus, Trojan or whatever you want to call it on any of my machines.

    1. Looks like someone really doesn’t understand sandboxing.

      Another problem is all the misinformation and lies going around the Android and Microsoft circle.

      Whatever.

    2. Small minded people are only capable of thinking in polar opposites, while more intelligent people understand that all things are some shade of gray. To those who demand absolute, 100% perfection but piss and moan when they don’t get it, I say you are small minded.

      Is Mac OS X absolutely, 100% perfect in each and every way? No, it’s not. But it’s pretty good and I’ll gladly accept it over the alternatives (which are about as far from perfect as you can get).

  4. The new language is actually even more boastful than before to illustrate the extra safety awarded by sandboxing and gatekeeper.
    They previously claimed immunity from Windows viruses, now they claim immunity from ALL malware.

    I can understand the snake oil salesmen putting the opposite spin on it, but it’s disappointing to see everyone swallow it whole.

  5. They changed the message, because Apple’s marketing message is no longer about Mac versus PC, like it was during the “Get a Mac” campaign (with the Mac and PC characters).

    These days, Windows users are steadily switching to Mac simply because they realize the overall Mac user experience is just BETTER. The customers are doing the comparison, not the marketing. Individual considerations such as “security” (of one platform versus another) are less important in the buying decision. Therefore, there is no longer a reason to make marketing statements that compare Mac to PC, in any way.

    “It doesn’t get PC viruses” is a statement of comparison. “It’s built to be safe” is a statement of fact.

  6. Over 10 years now with a minimum of 6 Macs running on the net continuously with NO – ZERO – ZILCH AV software installed, and I’ve NEVER had a problem of any kind. I’ve never had to pay for an update subscription, download updates, install updates, or use up CPU and HD capacity for the useless crap sold for Macs by Symantec and others.

    Whine all you like, Windows fan boys. Split hairs all you like. I couldn’t care less. The game was over years ago.

    1. Same here…ditched my other computers and went Mac in 1994. I’ve never looked back, I’ve never had my computer infected with anything, and best part I’ve remained productive while spending a LOT less money in the long haul than any of my Windoze friends who have had to upgrade their kit far more frequently than I had to.
      So I agree…game was over years ago. And more people are finding that out.

    2. Same here, no problems. I must admit, Windows 7 with MS SE is safe too, if you know what you are doing.

      Then again, if you knew what you are doing you would not be on Windows 7……

  7. Apple doesn’t want to stroke out another 2.1 billion dollar fine to an Australian court because some (L)user gave permission where they shouldn’t have and some government bureaucracy would interpret Apple’s “It doesn’t get viruses” as some guarantee or misleading advertisement and then you have the whole 4G LTE crap all over again!

    1. The fine was for advertising 4G on the iPad when it wasn’t compatible with Australian networks and therefore was only capable of 3G speeds. Also, the fine was $2.2 million not billion.

      Apple could continue advertising Macs don’t get PC viruses forever and no fine would be imposed by any country.

      I don’t think this change of wording is Apple changing their stance on security. They simply want users will be safe using a Mac.

  8. “this is a sign that Apple is starting to take security seriously”

    Starting?!?!?!?

    This combined with the next statement . . . “Let’s hope more Apple Mac owners are also learning to take important security steps — such as installing antivirus protection.”

    . . . shows how long Barwick has been looking through Windows to view the world.

  9. Technically, there never was anything wrong with Apple’s statements. Macs don’t get ‘viruses’ of ANY kind. (Malware Trojan horses are another matter!)

    According to Sophos U.S. senior technology consultant Graham Cluley, this is a sign that Apple is starting to take security seriously.

    This statement by Sophos is ridiculous and ignorant. (Lots of ignorance on the net today!)

    Apple has been exponentially improving their attention to security since 2005, the year the nasty Symantec made up the ‘Security-Through-Obscurity’ myth applied to Apple. Darn, it’s 5 years later, with Apple doubling its market share, and no “flood” of malware ever happened. Windows still has over 1000x more malware on a per user basis, making a mockery of “Security-Through-Obscurity”.

    If you want a good laugh, look up these terms through a search engine: “DNSChanger” “July 9”. Potentially MILLIONS of Windows boxes will be knocked OFF THE INTERNET because of this piece of malware and the incredible lack of attention to security within the Windows market, right on up to the US federal government. Potential catastrophe.

    However, the POORLY planned transition of providing Java updates via Oracle has been the single worst security stupid move Apple EVER made. Apple were NOT realistic about it and did NOTHING to improve the situation until they were kicked in their metaphorical balls by a giant iron BOOT. 600,000 Macs were nailed by web drive-by infections specifically because Apple FAILed. This is an unprecedented DISASTER within the history of Macs. So Apple user smugness is NOT in order.

    Thankfully, Apple is again making a nice leap forward in Mac security with Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. This fact was made public MONTHS ago! Odd how Barwick just caught up:

    From 2012-02-16:
    Apple’s Gatekeeper in Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

    Also improved: ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization). Meanwhile, despite all the MASSIVE HYPE, Microsoft’s ASLR in Windows Vista and 7ista turned out to be easily hackable, making it worthless.

    Read more about 10.8 Mountain Lion improved security HERE:
    http://www.apple.com/osx/what-is/security.html

    1. You have undermined your point if you need to resort to screaming (i.e. putting words in all caps). There are many inaccuracies in your post, but I won’t bother debunking a screamer.

      1. 1) There were no inaccuracies in my post.
        2) What screaming? I use all caps for emphasis. I use HTML tags for emphasis. Typing a bunch of characters that just go on and on as if a person was speaking in a monotonous monotone gets really boring don’t you think so and if not perhaps you are merely a bot which might be the case since you are an anonymous coward who refuses to actually log in here for fear that someone might figure out who you are.

        I won’t bother debunking…

        Good.

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