Security tip: every computer needs protection, not just Windows PCs

Windows computers have traditionally been the hotbed of viruses, malware, and security problems, but security issues now go beyond one operating system, putting any computer you own at risk.

“While hackers are still targeting PCs, with the increasing popularity of tablets, smartphones and Macs, cyber criminals have realised the value in targeting these platforms and so threats are becoming both more common and more complex for non-PC devices,” said Michael Sentonas, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at McAfee for the Asia Pacific region.

“It makes sense that as trust – for example in online shopping and banking – increases and people use mobile devices to do more things and store more personal data, threats move to target these platforms.”

Windows has certainly had its fair share of viruses – well over 18,000,000 right now – users of Mac OS X are also suffering from the occasional security problem, with 2011 bringing the problem to the surface with a form of Malware infecting Apple’s computers.

This year, we’ve seen a few different variations of infections hit more than 40,000 Apple computers in Australia, and it’s likely it will grow.

And then there’s the mobile side of things, and with Android devices now supporting mobile security software and an expectation that other platforms – including Apple’s iOS, Microsoft Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry – will be targeted, it’s more than likely that we’ll see every device requiring some form of security software.

“All of our digital devices can contain personal and sensitive information such as family photos, online passwords and work-related data,” said Mr. Sentonas. “This is the type of material we need to safeguard the most and why all users should take security and online safety precautions, no matter which operating system they use.”

Security software providers now have solutions for devices on most platforms, with Windows, Mac OS X, and Android the most likely suspects to get hit with attacks, whether it be from virus, malware, or phishing scams. If you’re surfing the web unprotected, you should find some form of paid protection immediately to help safeguard your digital life.