Many of us have a preferred operating system when purchasing a new laptop. But which platform is the most secure – Mac or Windows? We spoke with many security experts to learn how vulnerable each platform is, what threats to avoid, and how to keep your device safe – regardless of which one you use. Here’s what we discovered.

Consumers have long believed that Macs are safer than Windows devices, with users assuming that Apple devices are impervious to fraudsters plotting malware assaults. However, the reality is more complicated, and this has left many users vulnerable. For example, they may believe they don’t require a VPN to play online or to use a password manager. According to data, both platforms are highly vulnerable to security risks. The number of users for each operating system is one probable explanation for the assumption that Macs are more secure than Windows laptops. Windows-based laptops have long dominated the laptop market, and it wasn’t until 2018 that Macs surpassed 10% of the global user share. As a result, attacks against Windows laptops have held greater value for cybercriminals wanting to get the most bang for their cash.

It merely makes sense for cybercriminals to target Windows laptops. Because there are more Windows users than Mac users, phishing and malware efforts generate a higher return. Historically, this has provided Mac users with security via a minority. However, Macs aren’t always more secure than Windows devices; there are fewer to attack. Therefore, it is harmful to spread the notion that Macs are immune to viruses or resistant to attack. In reality, both Macs and Windows laptops are highly vulnerable to web risks and cyber-attacks.

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Laptop Safety - Mac or Windows?

Malware is a significant hazard to almost all devices, including Macs. While Windows laptops are more vulnerable to classic forms of malicious malware, Macs are more susceptible to adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). Adware can reroute your internet searches, display pop-ups, slow down your computer, and, overall, annoy you. PUPs, while not technically malware, are equally dangerous. They’re frequently packed with legitimate software, so you might unknowingly download one. They provide no actual benefits, even in the best-case scenario. They may, in the worst-case scenario, slow performance, and function as spyware or adware. Ransomware, trojans, fraudulent websites, social engineering attacks, cryptojacking, and other criminal tactics may potentially affect Macs.

The Specifics

Security, affordability, and efficiency are essential elements that most people have to consider. But, of course, it’s tough to say which platform is safer, so let’s look at some of the crucial features each brand offers and try to figure out how secure they are.

Hardware

MacOS and Windows are operating systems, but their approaches to security and privacy differ. MacOS is only available for Macs. Windows 10, on the other hand, runs on hardware from dozens of manufacturers, each with its own system and configuration options. The notion is that Apple’s closed system improves security and privacy. Apple has an advantage since it has closer control over the hardware that runs MacOS. This does increase data privacy by lowering the likelihood of hardware-based vulnerabilities that lead to hacking or spying.

Tech Support

When evaluating security standards, the technical support provided by a platform is just as significant as the magnitude of cyber threats it confronts. In addition, the speed with which your manufacturer responds to security issues can prevent or increase the damage caused by malware exploits. But laptop security is more than just the volume of cyber threats and reaction times. To grasp the complete picture, you’ll need to understand how these platforms handle various types of security.

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Internet Browsers

Safari is Mac’s native browser, and it was recently updated to include more dynamic ad-blockers. Undisclosed tracking, intrusive pop ups, and ad blocking are all hotspots that can jeopardize your security. Although Safari outperforms Microsoft Edge, third-party browsers such as Firefox and Google Chrome rank higher due to Safari’s long update cycle. Microsoft Edge is Windows’ native browser, and it was released to replace Internet Explorer in an attempt to make up for Internet Explorer’s poor reputation. The update cycle for Windows is highly dynamic, with security updates delivered every week. However, their approach to user diagnostic reports still leaves much to be desired.

Software

FileVault is one of the best parts of MacOS security. It is equivalent to BitLocker in Windows 11. However, in this scenario, MacOS outperforms Windows in terms of performance. As a result, unlike BitLocker, enabling FileVault has no substantial impact on performance. This Apple OS also has additional security capabilities, such as Lockdown, which come in helpful in many extreme scenarios. Finally, MacOS downloads and installs applications through the Mac App Store, ensuring that the software is 100% secure and meets Apple’s stringent security standards. A Gatekeeper feature is also available for applications downloaded from the Internet. Apple uses this feature to examine programs downloaded from the Internet for harmful malware.

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Laptop Safety - Mac or Windows?

To Conclude

There are a few things you can take to keep your devices safe and lower your chances of becoming a victim of cyber fraud. The most obvious solution is to install antivirus software. It’s also a good idea to get a VPN to protect your info while browsing the web.

When it comes to security, neither platform is flawless. Malware attacks, hacks, and other security breaches have occurred on both operating systems. Nonetheless, both Apple and Microsoft make tremendous efforts to ensure the security of their operating systems. Therefore, it is critical to enable the built-in security features and install security updates when they become available, regardless of the operating system you use.

Author

Ruby has been a writer and author for a while, and her content appears all across the tech world, from within ReadWrite, BusinessMagazine, ThriveGlobal, etc.

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