Apple removes anti-virus software recommendation

— 9:31 AM on December 3, 2008

Mac users may not have to bother with anti-virus software after all, according to Apple's latest recommendation. Yesterday, several news sites reported on an Apple knowledge base entry that advised Mac users to run AV software. Some said the entry reflected a change in policy, while others said it wasn't as new as everyone thought.

Apple has now deleted the knowledge base article and spoken to news sites to disavow the previous recommendation. Here's what an Apple spokesman told CNet News:

"We have removed the KnowledgeBase article because it was old and inaccurate," Apple spokesperson Bill Evans said.

"The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box," he said. "However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, running antivirus software may offer additional protection."

Admittedly, Mac OS X is likely the target of fewer viruses because of its smaller market share—and just like Windows Vista, it includes a built-in firewall and forces the default user to authorize system-level changes (albeit by entering a password). As with any modern, fully patched operating system, user caution may be the best deterrent against malware. Apple still recommends running AV software for "additional protection," though.

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