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Message to IT from Mac users: Tread lightly

Christopher Breen | Aug. 4, 2014
Chris Breen offers some advice to IT departments intending to inherit a group of Mac users.

Understand the differences between Macs and PCs. Windows users need antivirus and malware protection on their computers. Macs don't. Too many IT departments impose this kind of software on every user — regardless of the variety of computer they're sitting in front of — because they believe that security trumps all. The truth is that this software can cause Macs to crash and perform very poorly and, given the lack of cooties made for the Mac, provide almost no benefit.

Worse yet, some of these utilities are devilishly difficult to remove (and IT will be unhappy if someone does so without their say so). Better to have the conversation about whether they're really necessary before arguing that they're ruining your productivity after they've been installed. A more productive use of their time may be educating users about phishing schemes and imposing firewalls that prevent bad things from making their way to your Mac.

Hire a Mac user/advocate. If IT has to support a significant number of Macs and iOS devices they should have at least one person who knows the technology inside and out. There's nothing more frustrating than being put in touch with someone who believes the only difference between Windows and the Mac OS is the Apple menu or who responds to your request to use your iPad for work with "iPads aren't secure. No."

Having that person in some position of power will also help when IT is developing its 2.0 strategy. In that position they may have the ability to halt or alter plans that could prove distressing to Mac users.


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