A Wakeup Call

If the events of the past couple of weeks don’t wake you up and make you want to take care of your computer, I don’t know what will.

I have a number of friends who own Macintosh computers and, periodically, I’ll ask “What antivirus program are you using?”  I’m fascinated with the wide variety of answers that I get from my Windows owning friends.  The others, though, will give a blank stare “I don’t use antivirus — I have a Mac.  Macs don’t get viruses.”

Uh huh.

Check out this link:  Macintosh Virus List

When the topic turns to viruses on Linux, the answer is the same.

Check out this link:  Linux Malware

On top of this, if you’re passing files along to your Windows’ friends, you can just as easily pass along a Windows virus.  It may not have a bad effect on your machine but it sure might in its final destination.

This is not to say that the numbers are anywhere near competitive to those on the Windows platform, but the possibility is still there.

I think that it’s wise to keep in mind that software is written by human beings and we’re not perfect.  How can you think that software would be?  Just think — if it was, we’d be running version 1.0 of everything.  One and done!

The Macintosh and iOS issues this past week weren’t viruses but they are in fact subject to the same rules about humans writing software.  You can’t assume that it’s going to be perfect.  I will admit that I did a lot of reading this past week about the GotoFail issue including the code analysis that goes along with it.  I grabbed the iOS and Mac OS patches as soon as they were available.  I’m up to date until the next time.  I suspect that the next upgrade won’t be long in coming.  I’m reading that there are problems with AirPlay and I’m positive that my battery life has suffered on both devices since this latest upgrade.

There are even people who refuse to apply the upgrade because of this.

Regardless, I hope that something good comes this.  I hope that it is indeed a wakeup call for people to make sure that they’re current with upgrades and malware protection in place.  Oh, and why not defrag your disks or check your disk permissions.  Maybe clear your browser caches and delete software that you no longer needs.  There are lots of good things you can do for your computer.  Both of you will feel and work better because of it.

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5 Replies to “A Wakeup Call”

  1. I’m going to use this post like a checklist. First upgrading, then I’ll look at the other stuff. I might have to ask you about clearing caches and checking disk permissions.

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  2. Thanks for the reminders, Doug. This is one of the major concerns I have about institution-owned and institution-“protected” devices which require technician intervention for updates/patches. For example, I can’t update Flash player on my laptop. Given its track record for vulnerabilities, that’s not a good thing.

    “One and done” – I like that. Did you coin that, or is that a CS mantra I’ve never come across?

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  3. You raise a good point, Brandon, and it will only get worse as school districts invest in portable technology. Not only will tech-savvy people like you be taking equipment outside the board’s firewall, but students or their family end up using it at home. They may not be so careful in the sites and purposes for the use of the technology.

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