Over half (54 per cent) of Mac users are "slightly concerned" about Mac security threats and viruses, the latest poll indicates.

A total of 40 per cent believe viruses "are for Windows users" – despite recent Mac security threats, vulnerabilities, and a Trojan Horse disguised as a Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac demo.

A remaining 5 per cent are "gibbering wrecks of fear." The number of readers too terrified to go online to vote is unclear.

The recent changes have led readers to exercise more caution and many on the Macworld Online Forum are noting changes in outlook.

However, some readers feel that the threats are being exaggerated. "What annoys me is how these threats have been hyped by people who should know better. We're not all IT geniuses out here and rely on others to give us the facts," says one reader.

Others disagree. "There has been so much 'bigging-up' of Macs that I suspect Johnny Virus Writer has finally had his interest piqued by all the press effectively saying that he won't be able to break Mac security. I suspect the challenge of being told you can't do something has turned more than Jonny's head towards our platform. By being so smug (and unusually high profile), I'd say we've inadvertently given Jonny and his mates a part time hobby."

Another reader agreed: "Even though Mac users still aren't (yet) running scared from the malware community as much as our Windows brethern, having a smug "we can't be hurt" attitude is the last thing we need," with a different reader adding: "Yep we all gotta be worried, someone will get us in the end one day."

Compared to Windows the threat from viruses to Macs is still small. One reader pointed out: "Applying the occasional once-or-twice-a-month patch to my Macs is nothing compared to keeping a Microsoft OS and application-based network patched up and running."

The advice of one reader is to: "Install a decent firewall, keep your Mac up-to-date through the Software Update control panel on at least a weekly basis, keep up-to-date with the Macworld.co.uk website and install every patch mentioned. And - most importantly - be bloody careful about what you download and from where."