The fact that Apple is now encouraging people to use antivirus software on its systems is to be welcomed. I use a Mac myself but I'm regularly disturbed by the number of fellow users who refuse utterly to use AV because 'there aren't any viruses, they're all on the PC' is alarming. As Apple gains in popularity so its appeal to the Ungodly will increase.

The point is, though, that all of this stuff about attacks on your own local computer is becoming a bit irrelevant. Cloud computing (says a newly-converted Google Apps user) is where we're all being pushed, so it's not actually going to matter very much whether you're using a protected system or not.

What's going to matter is whether your host, if you're a small business, or your IT department if you're in an enterprise, has this sort of protection sorted out. And this is where we get to the real problem people are going to have with the cloud, software as a service or whatever we're calling it this week. It's the sheer level of trust you have to have in whoever is hosting your applications and information.

Let's consider for a moment. If you have all your information hosted by someone you have to hand it all over. Customer information, your accounts, everything. You probably don't actually trust your bank with all your customer data, let alone a third party IT company - and yet that's what you're going to be asked to do if software as a service really takes off. None of the small businesses to whom I've spoken think this is a viable idea. That doesn't surprise me.

The technology is great. The reliability of the web is certainly there. The psychology of letting it happen isn't, at least not universally.

Maybe this is what's behind the Apple move. Protect your data on your computer - because in spite of what the analysts say, you'll be storing it there for a good while yet.

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