Apple users have enjoyed an amazing run of good fortune. In the time Windows has been hit by an almost uncountable list of viruses, worms, Trojans, key-loggers, software vulnerabilities and browser hacks of every colour running into the thousands, Apple users have faced what?
We can be fairly precise about this. One Virus (or worm by some definitions), another worm for a hole that might have been fixed some time ago, and a small if growing clutch of software holes. If you want to be accurate, youd also include social engineering attacks that dont directly involve malware to execute their information theft.
And yet there has to be a qualifier somewhere there are plenty of people who believe (including some Apple users) that Apple users are still at significant risk.
They will never have to fight off the number of security issues facing Windows users, but it is no longer the number that matters. Take a closer look at Windows and the most troubling threats come from a relatively small number of critical vulnerabilities that could, in principle, be attacked before they have been patched. The Apple OS is less likely to suffer a major attack using this channel, but it is still more than possible.
It only has to happen once. Ive given up on the number of Apple people I know who dont bother to install anti-virus software because they feel they are not at risk, and AV is a relatively old-world defence by todays standards. This is symptomatic of a user base some of whom remain in denial about the changed nature of computer security.
This is not an argument about which platform is best, it is about people. You can argue all you like about computers, but people are fallible and therefore vulnerable. If Apple is ever visited by something destructive, it will not be a failing of the platform as such, but the users of that platform. Nobody should get away with complacency. Complacency is just asking for it.
If you wait long enough, the pessimists are always right.