Is Mac OS X more secure than Windows 7?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Aidoneus, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Aidoneus macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2009
    I am well aware that in practice, Mac OS X is vastly superior in terms of virus protection to Windows. What I am wondering is if this is solely due to the popularity of Windows, or if given an equal market share of Macs and equal number of equally skilled, equally determined hackers Macs would still come out as more secure.

    Can anyone with more technical knowledge of the underlying OS architectures answer this question?
  2. GGJstudios, Jan 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  3. Aidoneus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2009
    The only passage of that which was relevant to what I asked was this;

    I am well aware that no viruses exist for Mac OS X. The question I was asking is hypothetical.
  4. daver11 macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    I don't think Mac OS is inherently more secure. It's just a less popular target. That means that is more secure, at least for now.
  5. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    I never bought into this, "Nobody uses macs so why write a virus for it?" nonsense.

    And it doesn't take a technical genius to deduce that were a mac virus easy to do then it would have been done long ago just for the glory. Nothing pisses hardcore Windows users off more than the fact it has yet to be done.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The market-share myth is exactly that: a myth. Apple sells over a million Macs every month. That's plenty of targets. How do you account for the fact that in the past 10 years, Mac market share has grown to the highest point in history, while the number of viruses has declined.... to zero? That disproves the argument that it's all market share.
  7. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Mar 18, 2006
    And what was the reason for asking this hypothetical question?
  8. ssdeg7 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2010
    It's not more secure, it's just less popular.
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Read the post I just made.
  10. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Do you have a link or anything to support such a wild claim?
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I disagree, the inherent design is what makes it safe. OSX is built on Unix and when you combine the Unix and OSX marketshare, its much larger. Besides the recent volume of Macs being sold should make it a juicy target but yet we don't see any viruses.

    Window's design is less secure and they tried addressing it in Vista and win7 with UAC but in Vista it was too intrusive and in win7, they adjusted the threshold making less bothersome but that in turn increased the security risk.
  12. Aidoneus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2009
    This is the sort of answer I was hoping for; if possible, please could you describe in technical terms why a Unix foundation is more secure than the Windows equivalent?


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