climberdan asks: my wife and I are planning to get a new computer. She wants a Mac, but I think this has more to do with how they look than anything else. I have always been a PC user and although traditionally I understand Macs have been pretty safe from viruses etc, I’ve heard recently that they too are now becoming more susceptible to attack. Which in your opinion would be safer?

Pete replies: the chances of falling victim to a Mac virus are remote. The majority of modern virus writers are motivated by profit alone and are working the rich seam of Windows system, with little interest in the Apple Macintosh platform. The Unix–based MAC OS X offers better security than older operating systems. The first Mac OS X virus, Leap.A, was discovered in February followed by other 'proof-of-concept' viruses. They were not unleashed on the world at large, but were made available to antivirus companies, so that analysis reports would be produced ‘in honour’ of the author’s skills so to speak.

However, Macs do need to be used in a secure fashion.