You have probably heard by now that there is a nasty Mac virus going around today. The BackDoor.Flashback.39 has already affected up to 600,000 Mac computers today. Wow. I used to have many people that boasted about the greatness of Macs and how they do not get viruses or problems. At the time I was a PC/Mac technician so I always said “Well, if that were true I probably would not have a job.”

Sure, Macs may be affected less than PC’s. But you still have to be careful. So what should you do? Just like PCS, you need to install virus protection and take steps to make sure that you do not get infected.

#1. Check to See if Your Mac is Infected: Since so many Macs have been infected, many without user error, you should check your Mac to make sure you are not infected. To do so follow the simple instructions in this post.

#2. Install Reliable Virus Protection: Peek into the Mac App store (if you are running OS 10.6 or greater) and search Virus. The top FREE choice is Bitdefender.  Once installed be sure to run a full scan of your computer. It got good reviews. I installed it on my Macbook today and initiated a scan. So far it has been scanning for well over an hour and have found and deleted many things mostly in my email files which are stored on the hard drive from using Mac Mail.

#3. Update Mac OS X: Apple released a fix earlier today for Java which is how Macs are being infected with the exploit.  If you have not automatically been prompted to install, then you need to do it manually. Open System Preferences–>Software Update. Click on Check Now. It should come up with Java for OS X 2012-001 version 1.0.

#4. Be Careful Where You Browse. Although today’s particular exploit is said to “get us” even if we are being good, you should still be careful where you browse. Do not download any files that are not from reputable sites, and do not open email attachments (especially executables) from people that you do not know.

Now off you go to protect that Mac!