One in 5 Mac Users at Risk as Apple Stops Security Updates for Snow Leopard

The popular operating system Snow Leopard -- or OS X 10.6 -- still runs on 19 percent of Macs, leaving a large chunk vulnerable to attack.

learn more about Benjamin Kabin

By Benjamin Kabin • Feb 27, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Mac users who have prided themselves on using one of Apple's older operating systems may want to rethink that decision. Although no official announcement has been made, it's clear Apple will no longer provide support for its Snow Leopard operating system (OS X 10.6), leaving one in five Macs vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Yesterday, Apple released updates for Mavericks (OS X 10.9), Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) and Lion (OS X 10.7), its three most recent operating systems, but a Snow Leopard update was conspicuously absent.

Related: How to Protect Your Apple Devices From Getting Hacked Right Now

Users of the 4-1/2-year-old operating system were also left out in December when Apple patched Safari for its three most recent operating systems but not for OS X 10.6. The last update it received was in September 2013.

The old but popular operating system was still running on 19 percent of Macs at the end of January, more than its predecessor, Lion, which accounted for 16 percent and almost as much as Mountain Lion, ComputerWorld reports. Mavericks users makeup 42 percent of the Mac population.

Related: Elon Musk Admits to 'Conversations' With Apple About Tesla

One of the main reasons users report sticking with Snow Leopard is that there's simply no reason to change something that already works well. Others are dissatisfied with the direction Apple has taken in terms of its user interface. Snow Leopard is also the last operating system to support PowerPC applications.

But from a security standpoint, upgrading to an operating system that receives regular updates is the smart thing to do. Now that Snow Leopard is no longer being patched, the vulnerabilities hackers find could be used to take over a computer, spy on users and steal sensitive information.

Although Apple is continuing support for Lion and Mountain Lion, those users have the option of upgrading to Mavericks for free.

Related: Which Age Group Is Most Likely to Be Hacked?

Benjamin Kabin

Journalist

Benjamin Kabin is a Brooklyn-based technology journalist who specializes in security, startups, venture capital and social media.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Business News

Frontier Airlines Just Announced Its All-You-Can-Fly Summer Pass for $399. What's the Catch?

As travel begins to pick up, the airline hopes unlimited travel will jumpstart its business.

Making a Change

5 Principles for Dealing With Constant Change

Build competencies for adaptability into your company or risk losing your way in an ever-fluid marketplace.

Marketing

What Millennials Really Think About Product Life Cycle, As Told By A Millennial.

Millennials have come into significant purchasing power, and I know how you can capitalize on that.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas To Start Right Now

To start one of these home-based businesses, you don't need a lot of funding -- just energy, passion and the drive to succeed.

Money & Finance

How NFTs Work — and How They Could Prove Profitable for Your Business

NFTs seem to be all the rage these days, but can they actually work for most businesses?