Risk

3/30/2007
02:49 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
Commentary
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Is The Mac More Secure Than Windows? Does It Matter?

Is the Mac more secure than Windows, in some absolute measurement of security? And does it really matter? Senior writer Sharon Gaudin talked to a few security experts and reported the consensus that, despite a recent increase in reported security flaws, the Mac is still more secure than Windows. But it's doubtful that'll change anybody's buying decisions -- Windows users know that their software has security pr

Is the Mac more secure than Windows, in some absolute measurement of security? And does it really matter? Senior writer Sharon Gaudin talked to a few security experts and reported the consensus that, despite a recent increase in reported security flaws, the Mac is still more secure than Windows. But it's doubtful that'll change anybody's buying decisions -- Windows users know that their software has security problems, and yet they use it anyway.

McAfee last year said that reported Mac vulnerabilities increased 228% in the past three years, compared with a 73% increase for Windows. And Apple is lagging behind Microsoft in issuing bug fixes, with Apple taking an average of 66 days to patch vulnerabilities, while Microsoft took three weeks.

But the Mac is still safer than Windows, says Johannes Ullrich, chief research officer at the SANS Institute. It's just not as safe as Apple pretends it is.

Read the rest of the article for more information and discussion.

The security comparison is interesting information. But just how useful is it? I've never encountered anyone who cited security as a reason for buying a Mac. They buy a Mac for stability, ease of use, because they're doing graphics or multimedia or some other application for which the Mac is best. They buy a Mac out of desire to stick it to Microsoft, for which many people in the user community have an irrational hatred. But I've never heard anybody say, "I bought a Mac because it's more secure."

Let's hear it from the Mac users out there. Why'd you go with the Mac?

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