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Attention small business owners: your Mac doesn’t make you safe


Small business owners must decide what brand of computer, mobile device and other forms of technology they want their employees using. Preferences vary, but many entrepreneurs opt for Apple products, in part because they are seen as more secure and less prone to hacking than other brands. However, a recent article on points out that often, hackers target companies that run on Macs.

The website cites Neal O’Farrell, an executive director of the nonprofit group Identity Theft Council. O’Farrell recently spoke at the San Francisco Small Business Week, leading a seminar titled “The Hackers are Coming – Why the Small Business is the Big Target and What You’ve Got to Lose.”

O’Farrell said that no matter what type of products small business use, unless they are encrypting each and every device, they are setting themselves up to be targets of hackers.

“You’ve got to wake up and protect yourself, even if you use a Mac,” O’Farrell said, according to the website. “I don’t use banking apps for my phone. Eight out of 10 mobile banking apps have security flaws, but Apple and the banks don’t want you to know that. I’ll wait another 20 years to stick my toe in that pond.”

A recent report by the AFP finds that cyber criminals are working hard to release new “weapons,” many of which are aimed specifically at Macs, tablets and smart phones. The article is based on a recently released report by security group McAfee.

“In the first quarter of 2012, we have already detected eight million new malware samples, showing that malware authors are continuing their unrelenting development,” McAfee Labs senior vice president Vincent Weafer told the news source.

In addition to attacks aimed at Macs, the experts say Google’s Android operating system has also been a target. However, the number of attacks aimed at these devices – both Macs and Androids – pales in comparison to the number of malware attacks targeted at PCs.

Fortunately, there are ways business owners can protect their technological devices from hackers. Employee monitoring software will allow employers to ensure their workers are using their business smart phones, tablets and computers safely and securely.

Additionally, business owners should advise their employees to never store passwords on mobile devices, and may want to use cell phone tracking software should a smart phone fall into the hands of thieves.