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Viruses, Trojan horses & hoaxes

Viruses. There have been no viruses infecting OS X on the Macintosh and there are not likely to be any of significance. The Mac's software and hardware both discourage them. That said, it is foolish to leave your front door open through the night. In Word's and Excel's Preferences, under General, make sure that "Macro virus protection" is checked.

Trojan horses. A Trojan horse is a destructive program masquerading as something else. To protect yourself against a Trojan horse, don't run any program unless you have reason to trust it. Also, whenever the Mac ever throws up a warning that it is about to run a program for the first time, and asks your permission, think before giving it the okay.

Hoaxes. Nearly all e-mailed warnings about viruses are hoaxes. Before passing on any of these, check one of the web sites that keeps tabs on hoaxes like www.symantec.com/avcenter/hoax.html.

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