Why are Macs more Secure vs Windows

LaCosta

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 31, 2011
50
8
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?

Thanks.
 

tjwilliams25

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2014
316
60
Montana
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.
 
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dogslobber

macrumors 601
Oct 19, 2014
4,002
6,365
Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
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?

Thanks.
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.
 

rambo47

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2010
800
404
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.
 
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