Sounds silly, but a bit on Mac virus protection…

Automating ClamAV | The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

I'll be the first to tell you that my Mac is completely bare of virus protection.  And while I sit in my smug knowledge that nothing is cracking my iron-clad OS X security, I still worry.

About my parents, that is.

Mom and Dad re the proud owners of a 17" G5 iMac.  Sweet rig, really, especially compared to my (comparatively) pokey 12" PowerBook.  They're not power users of any sort.  Dad does the bills and the taxes, Mom checks e-mail and does shopping and vacation planning.   But still I worry.  I worry because I occasionally get calls from home that start with "Nick, do you have a minute…" and end with "…and so now the Dock is upside-down in the middle of the screen."

More often than not, it's Mom who "discovered" the issue and called Tech Support (me).  And nearly every time, the root cause of the error is PEBKAC.

This is not to disparage my Mom in any way – she's a wonderful woman, a great grandmother to my daughter.  But she's not the computing type.  At all.  Back in the days of our Apple II, she stayed as far away from that machine as possible.  When we had our IIgs and I was busily composing my first personal budget in Ye Olde AppleWorks GS, she resisted all attempted to introduce her to Word Processing.  It was as if she thought that with one wrong keypress, she'd blow up the house.

In the modern age we now inhabit, she's a bit more computer savvy.  A bit.   She uses MS Office on the Mac.  I've gotten her off of her ISP's webmail and onto Mail.app.  And she's a FireFox convert (nothing wrong with Safari, but the shopping site incompatibilities made a swicth easier than having her use two browsers).  But she still does kooky stuff.  She can't find her e-mail ("Mom, what folder are you in?" "Folder?" "Thought so.")  She drags stuff off of the Dock at a regular clip.  She can't get the hang of iChat.  But she keeps plugging away.  She's going to figure this stuff out.

So, while I know that the odds of Mom and Dad getting a virus on their Mac is up there with the Clippers as the next NBA dynasty, I'll be dropping virus software on their compy.  Because while the odds are low, I still don't want the house getting blown up.

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