Mac OS X ... greater virus risk?

I’ve been using Macs for years. One great comfort to me has been that the Mac OS, since it has such a small user base, is generally not often targeted by virus-/worm-/trojan-horse-/etc.-writers.

But OS X is based on a UNIX kernel, right? Is the new iBook that’s being shipped to me w/ OS X pre-installed at greater risk of being infected than my OS 9 computer at home? Or does it make no measurable diff., and I should just thank my lucky stars that I’m not using a Microsoft OS?

Unix systems don’t usually get viruses or worms or such, they get “exploits.” Apple has been doing a pretty good job with security updates, and the default settings for BSD Unix systems is very secure, there really isn’t any angle to attack with viruses. You don’t really have to worry about security unless you set up MacOS X to run unix services like FTP or Web serving. But if you do, you better know what you’re doing.
You can run your typical Norton AntiVirus or whatever, right under Classic in MacOS X, so if you want to keep protecting your MacOS 9 from viruses, the usual programs will continue to work. Norton is coming for MacOS X, but I don’t know if it will really even be necessary.

A great relief, Chas. Thanks. Fortunately, I will be creating no network more ambitious than an iMac and an iBook hooked up via an Ethernet crossover cable.