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OK Karen

She's OK, folks. And MacVirus doesn't exist (really).


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'As a result Macs do get viruses...'

You see a piece like that, run for it. Any journos who start with that: you can know they have NFC what they're talking about.

Karen Haslam of PC World UK has an ambivalent message for you. She's telling you that you're no safer with Apple than you'd be with Microsoft, and then she's telling you that's not quite true.

It's a filler piece. But worse: it's steered by that sycophantic ambivalence they all must have in the world of tech journalism. Forty years ago they'd be visited in their offices by 'muscle' who told them the 'boss' didn't like what they wrote. Today they have to respect the almighty pound as it's the same companies paying in their advert revenues. So pieces get muddled.

'As a result Macs do get viruses and are just as vulnerable to attack as a PC.'

'Macs are generally safer, though.'


Which is it, Karen?

This is the danger with journos pretending to know something. Relying on a tech piece in today's MSM is just plain stupid.

'Gatekeeper is a feature of macOS that is designed to stop users from installing malware in the first place.'

No, it's there to exact an Apple Tax™. The cheque's in the mail, Karen.

'If the app is considered a risk Gatekeeper will stop you from installing it.'

Patently false. The download process itself flags the download with an Apple 'quarantine' flag (extended attribute com.apple.quarantine) and that's what the launch services pick up.

Apple want vendors to only sell through their App Store so your prices go up 15-30%.

'Gatekeeper isn't infallible, it has been bypassed in the past.'

Gosh what an admission. Frame the fucker.

'But both offer a level of protection that should give you peace of mind.'

Peace of mind? More like Pain-in-the-Ass™. Both are annoying and less than useless.

'Also, since Catalina launched in 2019 it has been a requirement for all apps to get your permission to access your files.'

And people are wondering why we pulled the plug on the bastards.

'The above is designed to protect you from rogue apps.'

No, Karen, and you know it - it's a shell game worth $6-8 billion per year. Somehow it's unlikely Karen isn't acutely aware of this - her livelihood depends on it.

'Another way Apple protects Mac users is by keeping Flash off Macs.'

That was interesting ten years ago.

'On that note, Apple also offers iCloud Keychain, a password management system that works across all your Apple devices so that you can log into software and services on any of your devices without having to remember individual passwords and log in details.'

Because the NSA will remember them for you?

Thanks, Karen. Of course Apple joined the NSA PRISM project years ago, meaning that all your secret stuff that you put in Apple's cloud is already in the hands of the NSA.

Why are Apple users so thick? This has been common knowledge for almost a decade and yet those twits still pretend it's not really happening.

Karen's tips for Apple security

Here's Karen's list.

Use a password, set up additional users, use 'Find My', keep things up to date, watch WiFi and Bluetooth, use a VPN, be careful with downloads, surf Safari safely, turn on the firewall, scan for malware, check for persistent apps, turn on FileVault, disable the FileVault security crater, use a firmware password, check your privacy settings, check shares.

Thanks, Karen. You're OK, Karen.

Of course you should only shop at Apple's own store, Karen reminds you.

'As we said earlier in this article, one of the reasons why Macs are more secure than PCs is that Apple makes it difficult - impossible even - to install anything that hasn't been verified by them.'

Your nose is growing again, Karen. (But the cheque's in the mail, cheers.)

'How does Apple make sure they are safe? It won't let you install an app if it's not from a verified developer.'

Another nasal extension, Karen.

OK Karen

OK Karen. Thanks anyway.

You're a journo, not a programmer, not infosec. And you work in an industry fully dependent on the goodwill and sterling from Apple. Cheers.

You can't take care of an Apple computer with the default tools given you by Apple - neither can Karen. So get it out of your mind now and sleep better at night. Hey folks? Karen's OK.

'An ex-Apple PR, Karen's career highlights include interviewing Apple's Steve Wozniak.'

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