Why are Macs more Secure vs Windows

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by LaCosta, May 25, 2016.

  1. LaCosta macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2011
    New to the Mac world (iMac 27", 2TB Fusion, etc) after being tied to a Window environment for work purposes.

    I have always heard that Macs are more secure than Windows. Why is that?

    I have read the marketing materials and know of Gatekeeper, FileVault, Sandboxing, etc.
    But what really drives Macs to be safer? And does using Safari vs say Chrome as a browser make it any more safe?

    A side question. I have been using a Chromebook for my portable device. How does OS X and the Mac environment compare for security purposes?

  2. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Well for one thing shares do not auto connect! Plus in the sharing if you don't have a password your out of business!
  3. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2014
    There are two major reasons: firstly, Apple designs their software in a way that is more secure, using a UNIX framework and the other features you listed for example; and secondly, throughout their lifetime, Macs have had the smallest marketshare, so they haven't really been targets for large viruses. However, they are more popular now than ever, so there have been more larger-scale attacks, but Apple is usually pretty quick to fix these problems. As for security between Safari and Chrome, think about it this way: one was created and is maintained by a company whose income comes mainly from advertising, and the other was created by a company who is very serious about keeping customer's info secure. People have differing opinions about each, but at the end of the day do you want your browser reporting everything you do back to a company who wants to sell that information.
  4. dogslobber macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    Security is all about psychology. When XP was released then it effectively ran everything with admin privileges. They eventually locked it down and have improved the Windows security over the years since. But the reality is that it'll always be viewed as insecure due to its history.

    OS X is built on UNIX which has a 40 year old security model and that's still as true today as it was in 1976. Sure, naughty OS X malware exists but generally it requires tricking the user into running it.

    In general, the litmus test for OS security is whether you would type your bank details into it. If you do that with Windows then who knows what felon has gotten access to your money.
  5. rambo47 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2010
    Denville, NJ
    Architecturally, the registry in Windows is a petri dish for viruses and malware. When Gates first thought it up malware was nonexistent. OSX doesn't have a registry. That alone is a huge advantage.
  6. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

    May 15, 2015
    near Boston, MA
    Both Browsers have their security issues, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pwn2Own is a good annual conference to benchmark which browser safer.

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5 May 25, 2016