Running Windows On Macs Is Risky Business, Solution Providers Say

Mac Windows XP

“Our customers routinely decide to go with Mac because they want to avoid security problems. If you’re running Windows XP, the risk of your machine being infected with malware is much greater,” said John Eaton, president of Eaton Associates, an Apple partner in San Francisco.

Although most of his clients are aware of the various pitfalls of Windows security, Scott Schaefer, president of Transbeam, New York, expects that some customers who do choose to run Windows on their Macs will encounter problems.

“My personal opinion is that anyone who voluntarily runs Windows when they have a Mac machine is a little bit insane,” said Schaefer.

Ed Crelin, president and CEO of MacInsight, an Apple partner in Wallingford, Vt., said he’s curious about the possibility of Windows-based rootkits affecting OS X operations. A rootkit is a type of malware that attackers install underneath the OS that can allow a wide range of hidden activities, including installation of hidden files and interception of network data and keystrokes.

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Apple posted a message on its Web site warning Intel Mac users of the potential dangers of running Windows: “Word to the wise: Windows running on a Mac is like Windows running on a PC. That means it’ll be subject to the same attacks that plague the Windows world. So be sure to keep it updated with the latest Microsoft Windows security fixes.”