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Are Apple and Linux Safe From Viruses? Um Maybe (For Now)

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Are Apple and Linux Safe From Viruses? Um Maybe (For Now)

Post by Mojo on Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:56 pm

The number 1 thing I always hear from Apple and Linux people is how safe their systems are compared to Windows.  They don't need to worry about viruses because Windows is an inferior product to Macs and Linux boxes. 

Let's take a look at this...

From an operating system viewpoint, Linux and Macs are better insulated from hackers because they're UNIX based machines.  A UNIX based machine by default has built in safeguards to prevent a viral infection from spreading whereas Windows systems tend to be more open to malware. 

Linux and Apple also do a much better job blocking 3rd party plug in software which is another way malware affects pcs. 

Apple and Linux users also tend to get software ONLY from official download sources, for example the Apple Store or the Linux software store of whatever flavor of Linux they're running.

Is it enough to forgo antivirus, firewall, and spyware protection though?  For now I would say yes but not for reasons of design superiority.  In fact, far from that.

According To website Net Market Share (, Windows systems still have a 78% overall market share to Apple's just under 8% and Linux's under 2%.  The remaining 12-14% is divided between Apple's IOS and Google's Android products for tablets and phones. 

Basically Windows is still the prevalent OS in the world by any stretch of the imagination.

Malware is about making money from unsuspecting people far more than it is to show off or brag and Windows users have a big bulls eye on them.  If you add the user base numbers with the fact that Windows based PC are easier to infect and spread, and you can see why Apple and Linux receive far less malware incidents.

So if you're somebody with a scheme to infect PCs to make a bajillion dollars through malware, what are you going to go after?  Also if you have a house with the doors unlocked across from a house with locked doors and an alarm, which one seems to be the easiest?  Seems like a no-brainer to me.

That's not likely to stay that way forever though and as Apple creeps along closer to double digit share, we're likely to see an increase in malware attacks on Apple systems. 

How much and how soon depends on both Microsoft and Apple.

Whether you like or hate Windows 8, no one can deny that it is the SAFEST operating system for Windows to date making it that much harder for bad people to do bad things. 

With that and Apple's continuing success, is the end of their no need for protection mantra coming?  I would say, without a doubt, yes.  Regardless of the system you use, you need to protect yourself not just from virii and malware now but the stuff coming in the future.  There is no safe haven, be prepared....

If you have any comments or just want to call me a genius or idiot, feel free to post a comment below.  I'll take the good with the bad, just be ready to defend your position.
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