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You're probably already aware of the existence of malicious programs called viruses, and the importance of keeping your computer protected from them. Viruses, or malware, as they are often referred to, are often created with the intent of stealing information from your computer, or sometimes just to mess with your computer by erasing important files. Fortunately as a Mac user, you don't have nearly as much to be concerned about as your Windows-using counterparts. It's difficult to infect a Mac with a virus, and since Mac's have a much smaller user base than Windows, the cretins who create viruses generally keep their focus on the larger group.
Now that's said, there have been some demonstrations at how to infect Macs with viruses. But these really involve tricking the Mac user into downloading and installing software containing a virus. So while you don't have to worry as much about malicious software being installed through a web site, like Windows users do, you still have to remain vigilant and not install software from an untrusted or unknown source. Also, as general rule, don't open attachments or click links in e-mails from people you don't know either. And just because it's difficult to infect a Mac with a virus, it doesn't mean you can't be carrier. If someone sends you an e-mail with a Windows virus and you forward it to a Windows user, you've played your part in infecting that person's computer.
Now that said, antivirus software for the Mac does exist. But from most reports, the majority of Mac users don't use antivirus software. That choice is yours, of course, but as long as you don't click unknown links or install software from an unknown source, including pirated versions of popular software, you should be able to stay virus free. Your Mac even warns you for the first time you try to run newly installed software, and asks you to be sure that you trust the source of that software. So keep those tips in mind, and you shouldn't have any trouble with viruses or malware on your Mac.
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