Is MacOS more Secure than Windows

Apple’s MacOS is considered safer than Windows for a long time. I would like to share my thoughts on why its considered safer than windows OS and is it really true in 2022 with Windows 11.

Windows Hacking incidents are more in News

As the windows user base is so large which is almost 8 times more than MacOS user base, the number of security attacks are more. It’s the very same reason attacks are targeted more on Windows compared to MacOS. Also in general Apple gives limited freedom to users in all of its Operating systems.

Is MacOS Safer than Windows
iMac running MacOS

MacOS has a Unix style protection of the system. Most of the OS is protected and loaded applications could not gain access to the system files and settings. Windows on the other hand allowed applications to have full access to the file system, which gave malware a bit of an easy target.

Can a MacOS get viruses and Malware’s

Yes MacOS is vulnerable to cyber threats just like windows. Even if MacOS is stricter on some privacy aspects and more secure than windows, you can still be a target of phishing scam or other web based attacks. Most human errors make MacOS vulnerable to attacks and hold a risk of installing a malware.

Security Software in MacOS And Windows

Windows OS comes with a pre installed antivirus software called Windows Defender. But MacOS doesn’t specifically have any inbuilt security software. But you can find various free security softwares for MacOS like Malwarebytes. For windows you can get a ton of free antivirus softwares online but Windows defender is good enough for most users.

How Security in OS has improved over the years

Windows has improved a lot on stricter security controls and making Windows 11 a safer operating system than its previous versions. By default, Windows OS enables a lot of data collection settings which can be turned off by the users explicitly. MacOS really takes privacy very seriously and limit most of the cookies and data collections. So in general it’s difficult for web tracking for advertising and data collection cookies in macOS using a Safari Browser.

Windows OS

In the latest MacOS Monterey , Apple has introduced a Mail privacy protection feature. Mail Privacy Protection hides your IP address, so senders can’t link it to your other online activity or find your location. Also it prevents senders from seeing if you’ve opened their email or not. Safari browser by default enables stricter privacy features compared to windows alternatives.

is Mac OS secure than Windows or Android?

macOS is often considered more secure than other operating systems due to several factors:

  1. Unix-based Foundation: macOS is built on a Unix-based foundation, which inherently brings robust security features. Unix-based systems have a long-standing reputation for security due to their design principles, such as file permissions, user separation, and built-in security mechanisms.
  2. Secure by Default: macOS is designed with security in mind and adopts a “secure by default” approach. This means that certain security features are enabled by default, such as a built-in firewall, data encryption, and secure boot processes. This helps protect the system from potential threats from the moment it is set up.
  3. Limited Malware: macOS has historically faced fewer malware and virus attacks compared to other operating systems like Windows. The closed ecosystem of the Mac App Store and the stringent app review process help mitigate the risk of malicious software being distributed to users.
  4. Gatekeeper: macOS includes a feature called Gatekeeper, which helps protect users from running malicious software by allowing only apps from identified developers or the Mac App Store to be installed by default. This feature adds an additional layer of security and helps prevent the installation of potentially harmful software.
  5. System Integrity Protection (SIP): macOS includes System Integrity Protection, a feature that restricts the modification of critical system files and directories, even for administrative users. This helps prevent unauthorized changes to the core system, protecting it from malware or malicious modifications.
  6. Regular Security Updates: Apple consistently releases security updates and patches to address vulnerabilities and strengthen the security of macOS. These updates are typically released in a timely manner and can be easily installed by users, ensuring that the system is protected against known security risks.
  7. Limited Market Share: While macOS has gained popularity in recent years, it still has a relatively smaller market share compared to Windows. This makes macOS a less attractive target for attackers, as they tend to focus their efforts on the more widely used platforms.

It’s important to note that no operating system is completely immune to security risks, and macOS is not exempt from potential vulnerabilities or threats. Users should still practice good security habits, such as regularly updating their system, using strong passwords, being cautious with downloads and email attachments, and exercising safe browsing practices.

Ultimately, the security of any operating system is a combination of its inherent design, the measures taken by the developers, and the user’s responsible behavior.

How to Keep MacOS and Windows Secure

As both of these operating systems have various security controls and features, they are still vulnerable to Virus and Malware attacks. You can follow the below steps to keep your system from attacks.

  • Keep your operating system and browser software up to date.
  • Install a security software for an extra line of defense.
  • Get most recent updates for all of your application software.
  • Do not click unknown or sketchy website links.
  • If system prompts for a software installation approval, ensure it’s a valid action.

Final Thoughts

Over the years both MacOS and Windows have improved the security standards, it comes down to the user behavior to keep the virus and malware away. However, MacOS has a slight edge over windows due to its stricter privacy and data collections policies.

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