'Protecting' Your iPad

Just because something isn't broken, doesn't mean it can't be, right? Hey, the idea isn't exactly an old adage, but software firm Intego thinks it might be a moneymaking move. The company, which only produces security products for Macs, is offering VirusBarrier X6 10.6.5 to keep your iPad free of malware.

The software is really an updated version of the anti-malware tool they designed for Mac computers and iPhones. It runs on a user's main computer and scans the iPad for malicious files whenever a person plugs it in. The software won't load on the iPad because Apple doesn't currently allow multitasking, making it difficult for stuff like antivirus software to run in the background. In other words, this is not what you might call a shroud of protection.

Theoretically, Apple deals with possible virus vulnerabilities by only running Apple-approved apps on its systems. So then why bother developing an antivirus software for this device? Intego spokesman Peter James tells me that they are essentially creating for the future, pointing out that among the issues that will make a market for this software is jailbreaking.

According to Pinch Media, less than 10 percent of iPhone and iPod Touch devices have been jailbroken to date. Jailbreaking is basically hacking your device so that you can get around controls set by Apple. On the one hand, you'll be able to download just about any software you like. But doing so has plenty of drawbacks, including voiding your warranty and making your device more susceptible to viruses.

Not that this is stopping anybody. Macnn.com reported earlier this week that there is already at least one way to crack the iPad, and the download to do it is forthcoming. So maybe, just maybe, there is a market for a problem that doesn't yet exist.    

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