Alexander: Malware-free days may be over for Apple

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 13, 2012 - 4:39 PM

QApple has long advertised that its computers are not subject to virus attacks. But now that more of the company's products are being sold, will Apple computers be subject to such attacks? Does one now need virus protection?

ROBERT OPHEIM, Plymouth

AI think so, although some may disagree.

Apple computers are attacked far less often than Windows computers. In the past, that was because Apple's Macintosh had such a small share of the personal computer market. Malware writers passed it by in favor of Windows PCs, which were more plentiful and thus a more attractive target.

But that's starting to change because Apple is selling huge numbers of iPads and, to a lesser extent, more Macs. For Mac security problems, see tinyurl.com/6relnan. For a still-rare iPad threat, see tinyurl.com/8ye96wc.

You can find security programs for the Macintosh at tinyurl.com/6mmynxz. So far there hasn't been a big push for iPad security software. Apple discusses security at tinyurl.com/84gzxqa.

QI used the now-discontinued Windows Live OneCare to back up my Windows Vista computer files on an external hard drive. But when I bought a Windows 7 PC, I couldn't get OneCare software and thus couldn't access my backed-up files. Are those files gone forever?

JEROME PETERSEN, Gibbon, Minn.

 

AYou can get your files back. When Microsoft discontinued OneCare, it provided a software "restore tool" so people could recover their backed-up files. For a link to the restore tool, see tinyurl.com/yfgc36f. For details on installation, see tinyurl.com/7rv8vfr.

QI read your column about adding Greek symbols to a PC keyboard. But, after adding a language such as Spanish or French, how do I know which keys correspond to which letters? Do I need to buy keyboard overlays?

MIKE HACKER, Miami

AYou can usually find printable diagrams of standard foreign language keyboards by searching Google Images for terms such as "French keyboard" (see result at tinyurl.com/3sxst7q.)

But for languages such as ancient Greek, there is no standard keyboard, so you'll need to use the diagrams in Windows, which unfortunately can't be printed. To find them in Windows 7, go to Start, type "Keyboard Language" in search box and choose "Change keyboards or other input methods." Click "Change Keyboards," then click "Add" to install a second language. Highlight the language with your mouse and click "properties" on the right to see the keyboard diagram.

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Av., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.

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