Is your Mac and OS X safer to use than a PC running Windows Vista? Or, is Vista more secure than OS X? Semantics aside, Rich Mogull highlights The truth about Apple, Mac security, and responsibility.
Macs are plagued with as many (and sometimes more) vulnerabilities as other operating systems. These are the doors attackers use to exploit our systems, and Macs are far from invulnerable. But the truth is that in the real world, Macs suffer from far fewer compromises. This is the difference between security and safety. A highly secure home in a bad neighborhood is still more likely to be robbed than a less secure home in a safer area. Mac market share is probably an important reason here, as is the history of the platform, the focus of the bad guys, and a host of other factors.
Sigh. How about discussing how much more difficult it is to compromise a Mac vs. a Windows PC? Or, how much more difficult it is to move malware from one Mac to another?
If Macs start being compromised on a wide scale, or security concerns otherwise start affecting buying decisions, no amount of Apple advertising will be able to cover it up. Market forces will engage, and Apple will either provide a more secure platform, or we’ll all move on to something else. The more we pressure Apple for security, and not just relative safety, the less likely we are to experience future real-world security compromises.
Rubbish. Windows has not been a more secure platform and users did not, en masse, move on to something else (Mac growth notwithstanding).
Our Mac security future is in our hands, not the government’s, attackers’, or even Apple’s.