In the old days of the Mac, back in the 1980s and 1990s, the suggestion that they were immune to computer viruses would have been laughed at. It wasn’t nearly as bad as on the Windows platform, but you definitely needed to run antivirus software.
I learned that lesson the hard way in the late 1980s when, as the owner of a brand new Macintosh IIcx, I was in search of software. It wasn’t so easy in those days, as most computer stores had PC applications, MS-DOS aplenty, but if there was anything for the Mac at all, it occupied a single dusty shelf usually located in the rear of the store.
Well, one day I visited Egghead Software, a long-departed chain with an outlet in Edison, NJ, and I bought Pyro!, a screensaver from a well-recognized utility publisher of the time, Fifth Generation Systems. After installation, one of my apps, QuarkXPress, reported a corruption problem. Well, I downloaded some antivirus software, shareware, and gave my Mac a scan.
Sure enough, that screensaver was infected with a virus; I forget which. It was only a few days since I set up the Mac, and thus I hadn’t really done much real work on it. So I wiped the drive, reinstalled everything — except for that screen saver — and all was well. The antivirus software was known as Virus Detective, long since abandoned by its author.
Now I’m not at all sure where in the production or sales chain that utility app got infected. I returned it to the dealer, who gave it a moment’s attention and offered to exchange it or give me my money back. I took the latter route, and decided to take my business elsewhere. No reason to take chances.
Around 1990 or so, working at a prepress studio, we were processing client floppies to send output to a high-end phototypesetting machine which produced high resolution film or positives. The shop set up antivirus software on all our Macs, and we often ran into a so-called desktop virus known as WDEF. I joined the rest of the staff in gently explaining to our customers how to protect themselves from these things.
I continued to run antivirus software on my Macs until the Mac OS X era arrived in 2001. While it wasn’t advertised as free of malware, it was Unix-based and far more secure. Thus most outbreaks were more about social engineering. So you’d click a link in an email or on a site, or download and install something that contained the payload. If you were careful and avoided such traps, you would be all right.
Perhaps the worst outbreak occurred in 2012, involving a Trojan Horse known as Backdoor. Flashback, which infected Java. A lot has changed then, and Apple ended up letting Oracle, Java’s owner, handle the updates. It also meant that I opted to stay away from apps developed in this cross-platform environment wherever I could.
But it wasn’t always easy or apparent where I’d run across Java. So, for example, I still use an older version of Adobe Photoshop, version 12.1, part of CS 5.5 from 2011, partly because I’m not inclined to want to subscribe and pay forever to keep the latest versions running.
However, as many of you with newly-installed versions of macOS can testify, you also have to locate and install an old Java 6 update for Photoshop to launch. Wasn’t it supposed to be a native Mac app?
Well, anyway, I don’t run web apps or services that require Java anymore.
While there are occasional Mac malware outbreaks out there, I have yet to see the need to install antivirus software. You see, Apple provides its own level of basic malware protection, regularly updated. That’s one way Flashback was eradicated. Businesses who run both Macs and PCs may install security software on the former. But a main reason is that some Mac antivirus apps will guard against PC viruses too, so it protects you against an accidental cross-platform infection.
As a practical matter, a good way to avoid possible malware is to only download and install apps from the Mac App Store or from a recognized third-party publisher’s site. It’s not a good idea to just search at random for something cool, because something cool may contain something that’s not so cool. One app that has garnered plenty of complaints is MacKeeper, which offers to provide a host of cleanup and protection functions. But some feel it may cause more trouble than its worth, and it can be difficult to remove once it installs itself on your Mac.
One cleanup app that does do what it claims is Cocktail, which basically puts standard macOS cleanup, maintenance and repair functions in a pretty interface for easy access. It’s one of those added ounces of protection that you may never need, but it’s worth a try if your Mac suddenly seems to run a little too slowly for no discernible reason.
Otherwise, always be skeptical about emails claiming to be from a business or financial institution that you may patronize. It’s a common way to fool you into going to a bogus site and giving up your login information. If you get a message that there’s a problem with your account, it doesn’t hurt to just go to the firm’s site and login directly and check out the situation. Scam emails pretending to be from PayPal and large banks are all-too-common.
If you are careful about downloading stuff, and you watch out for bogus links in email, you’re likely to reduce or eliminate the need for installing security software. I mean, it probably doesn’t hurt to run one of those apps, except that the ones that offer automatic background scanning may also slow down your system or cause some instability. The Mac App Store has some free or low-cost antivirus apps that will do on-demand scanning, meaning you run them when you want, and otherwise they don’t do anything to impact performance.
Gene Steinberg is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own. Gene hosts The Tech Night Owl LIVE - broadcast on Saturday from 9:00pm - Midnight (CST), and The Paracast - broadcast on Sunday from 3:00am - 6:00am (CST). Both shows nationally syndicated through GCNlive. Gene’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter is a weekly information service of Making The Impossible, Inc. -- Copyright © 1999-2017. Click here to subscribe to Tech Night Owl Newsletter. This article was originally published at Technightowl.com -- reprinted with permission.
“So he gets about 400lbs of equipment up 30 floors, sets up a concealed sniper nest, disarms fire alarms and other security systems in a casino, removed a window that’s 800lb of hurricane proof glass, then for 10 minutes reigned in aimed firepower, all with no training whatsoever, and with no motive!” –Post found on live feed
Does it not amaze you America that in administration after administration there is some major crime spree from a “lone wolf” that calls for more gun control measures? Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Denver Movie theatre, Navy Shipyard, San Bernardino, Las Vegas etc…
The established media, which is bought and paid for, as well as controlled by the CIA, and that 94% of the American people claim that they do not believe, tells them that another “Lone wolf” did the unthinkable. The criminal politicians then gather together only to never let a good “crisis go to waste.”
Criminal Hillary Clinton (Why has she not been prosecuted yet?) said, that we must put politics aside and immediately called for gun control.
Remember the armed guards that she has around her at all times protecting her from you, America?
Pope Francis calls it a senseless tragedy while stating, “People who manufacture weapons or invest into weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christians.”
Remember the armed guards that he has around him at all times protecting him from you?
And the list goes on….
Yet, those that work for “We the people” want to disarm you? How does that work? Let me show you….
“All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” - Mao Tze Tung, Nov 6, 1938
How ironic that those who are calling for gun control are those who want the guns so they can have the control.
It is of interest to the American people to take note of those whom they entrust to serve them. We are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Yet, time and time again in this country we have leaders in government who put on the guise of “patriot” and then turn out to be the criminal in garb.
We learned in the past about the criminal acts of anti-gun mayors. We found that anti-gun mayors are criminals themselves, guilty as charged within their own ranks of such crimes as tax evasion, extortion, accepting bribes, child pornography, trademark counterfeiting, perjury, and one demigod mayor was even convicted of assaulting a police officer.
The crimes that these anti-gun mayors are convicted of suggests they are public enemies rather than public servants. No wonder they want to take guns from law-abiding citizens.
These politicians know that where the citizenry operates in the rights given to them without government interference, namely the right to bear arms, crime diminishes. With mud on their face, they know when they interfere with the right to bear arms, crime skyrockets.
What we see is that some of today’s politicians are magnifying the crimes they are placed in office to prevent.
This is exactly how criminals in government operate.
They demonize the gun, not the criminal.
Friends, this mentality is like blaming spoons for people being overweight, as if to say the act is apart from the actor.
Since criminal politicians refuse to look at history, which can be at the present our greatest teacher, it is very clear that gun banners know exactly what they are attempting to do -– put the Second Amendment in the crosshairs.
Looking back, who has committed murder in the largest degree? Dictators Adolf Hitler, Mao Tse-tung, Josef Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, etc.
Time and time again, it has been a corrupt government that has been responsible for the mass murder of their own people under the deceptive guise of “gun control,” all of which the said dictators implemented.
Keep in mind these people promised their citizens protection and freedom upon the forfeiture of their guns.
How many times does history need to repeat itself?
Let’s parallel history with the present ideology and methodology that those in the past blueprinted to implement gun control.
Mass murderer Adolf Hitler at a dinner talk on April 11, 1942 said:
“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country.”
Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
Josef Stalin, the sole leader of the Soviet Union from 1924 to 1953, said:
“If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves.”
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Mao Tse-tung, communist dictator of China said:
“War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.”
China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Idi Amin, president of Uganda from 1971 to 1979, said:
"I do not want to be controlled by any superpower. I myself consider myself the most powerful figure in the world, and that is why I do not let any superpower control me."
Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Pol Pot, who created in Cambodia one of the 20th century's most brutal and radical regimes, was responsible for killing one million of his own ‘educated,’ yet unarmed citizens.
Our forefathers did not arm the American people for the purpose of hunting, but rather to protect themselves from those who were doing the hunting, namely the tyrant King George.
The Second Amendment is only to vouchsafe our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and to ensure all of the other rights given unto us by our Creator.
The wisdom of the framers of the Constitution is found consistent with the lessons of the Bible they used as their bedrock for civil law. The people’s individual protection should always be a primary concern of government “of the people.”
In a righteous country, self-government reigns by the constraint of Christian morals.
The civil government that desires such a monopoly of force (i.e. they are the only ones with guns) is a threat to the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens, for that government ceases to be “of and for the people.”
George Washington, our first president, said:
“From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.” (Luke 11:21)
Bradlee Dean is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the Genesis Communication Network. Bradlee's radio program, The Sons of Liberty broadcasts live M - Sat only here at GCN.
I’ve always looked on honoring the flag and standing for the national anthem as a basic premise that connotes a commitment to protect our freedoms guaranteed to us under our constitution. It’s also a symbol of reverence for our soldiers who protect us throughout the world. It’s never occurred to me not to stand as the national anthem is being played. I guess I’m just an old fashioned coot that has allowed current trends to pass me by. It apparently is just not “cool” or “hip” to celebrate freedom and to honor those who protect us.
I guess I have never been all that “cool.” I was one of those young kids who didn’t dodge the draft, and even though I was married with a child on the way and past draft age, I still volunteered to serve in the military. Initially in the Army and then 12 years in the National Guard. I was a lawyer, but enlisted in the infantry. I still have and wear my dog tags given to me by the Army back in 1966. But I wasn’t all that special. Thousands of young men did the same. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
But I guess being patriotic is passé in this day and age. It’s not just many overpaid NFL football players who can’t seem to take a few moments to honor those who serve and protect our country. Have you been to a college or pro game recently? Just take a look around you while the Star-Spangled Banner is playing. As sports writer John Branch wrote in The New York Times this week, maybe we ought to turn the cameras around on the fans. “Those who have spent a lot of time in stadiums and arenas know that they are rarely sanctuaries of patriotic conformity and decorum.”
Go to LSU’s Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night or venture into the SuperDome for a Sunday afternoon Saints game. Many fans seem oblivious to the anthem as they wander towards their seats or walk about looking for bathrooms and concession stands. Tailgaters, almost without exception, carry on with their cooking and drinking as the music drifts outside the stadium gates. No time or interest in pausing for the anthem.
Actually, there is a federal act that requires allegiance to the American Flag. In United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, the law states that non-military persons “should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with the right hand and holding to the left shoulder, hand being over the heart.”
I’m sure lawsuits would come raining down from the ACLU if such a law were enforced. I oppose players taking a knee, but those that do are at least staying quite and focusing on the anthem. Not like many fans who seem to be oblivious to a two-minute pause in honor of those who defend the freedoms that allows these same fans to attend a sporting event. As Jack Nicholson said in A Few Good Men: “We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline.”
Sure, there are many problems involving fairness throughout our nation. I have written a book about discrimination in the federal judicial system called Justice Denied. But there are times when our country should speak as one voice, and that time to me is during the playing of our national anthem.
The American Flag is rarely flown anymore, outside of public buildings and some car dealerships. When I grew up, many homes throughout our neighborhood proudly hung the Flag. I still fly the nation’s flag in front of both my house and my office, 365 days a year.
But that’s just me. I guess, to many of us old guys, patriotism is something that too many Americans acknowledge in passing. Take for granted. No big deal. Now let’s get on with the game.
Jim Brown is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own. His column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show, Common Sense, each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Communication Network.