iMac not immune to viruses

Question: I have an early version of the iMac, and I use Outlook Express for my e-mail, as part of my Office 98 package. I have not had any apparent virus problems. I cannot find any recent news on the Apple site regarding anti-virus downloads. Is this anything you think I need to worry about? –JB

Answer: Most viruses affect Windows computers as virus writers are looking for the biggest bang possible. Since the Mac market is so small, rarely does a data-scorching virus get written for them although, if the iMac and its future cousins continue to do well, that could change.

The majority of Mac viruses seem to be related to the Microsoft software that runs on Macintosh, especially those that use Microsoft Office macros, which are programs built-into Word and Excel documents.

To protect his fruit-flavoured machine, Mac expert James Rolevink using Network Associates’ Virex, or Symantec’s Norton AntiVirus Mac. “Especially if you are on the web, and/or swap floppies or zip disks, or if you get files from external sources,” said Rolevink, who runs the strongly anti-Microsoft website Mac Attack at Both programs have monthly update files (to combat the numerous Office macro viruses).