When it comes time to upgrade your PC, you should consider many factors before coming to a decision. Durability, price, and user-friendliness are all factors, but you should also think about the security that your operating system will be providing. Since many of us spend a lot of time on our computers, it makes sense that you would want to ensure optimal security for all your files and information. We will be taking a look at macOS and Windows and determining which operating system is more secure.
macOS: The Basics
Apple has designed an operating system (known as MacOS) for their computers. When you purchase a Mac computer, you will be getting MacOS automatically with it. Without the OS, you will not be able to perform basic functions on your computer, such as use the internet, play games, upload documents, etc.
A macOS is sometimes thought to be easier to use than a Windows system. Macs have many built-in, exclusive apps that can benefit the user, such as video editing software. In the past, this operating system was predominantly used by artists, as many editing programs would run better on Macs than on Windows. This performance is fairly comparable in current times.
Mac products tend to all go hand-in-hand. If you have a Mac computer, likely, you will also want to invest in an iPhone, iPad, and/or Apple Watch. These devices work cohesively together. For instance, if you are working on a document on your iPad, you can stop and then pick up where you left off on your computer.
macOS runs on a small variety of devices, which means that Apple has greater control over the system. There are fewer opportunities for hackers to invade the device as compared to Windows, which is far more open.
macOS products have sandboxing in place for their apps. This means that the apps and system resources remain separated, and viruses are not able to spread from one place to another.
Another safety feature that Apple added to Mac devices is their System Integrity Protection. This technology works to prevent malware from infiltrating your protected files and keeps core processes from modification without proper authorization. The protection will also block extensions from downloading if they come from an unsecured location.
Windows: The Basics
Windows, specifically Windows 10, is currently the most popular operating system and is widely used around the world. It is a very versatile operating system and will work well on most devices. Windows users will also have access to the extensive app library with popular selections such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, and other streaming services.
Windows is also more compatible with printers, speakers, separate keyboards, and game controllers than Macs. The Windows 10 operating system also provides upgrades twice per year – but Windows 11 is expected to go for 1 feature upgrade only per year. The Insider program allows users to experience cutting-edge updates and brand-new features as soon as they are available.
Since Windows is so popular worldwide, it is the operating system that gets targeted most often by hackers. If you search for people online who use Windows, you will find that the operating systems’ market share is almost 69% worldwide. This means that hackers are designing malware specifically for Windows products, as it is more likely to succeed in a cyberattack.
To compensate for the potential influx of malware, Microsoft now offers many tools and protection options that have the purpose of keeping your Windows system safe from cyberattacks. There are regular updates available with the purpose of patching any potential vulnerabilities. Windows products also come with a built-in anti-malware program. This program will scan files for viruses and conduct regular checks for malware on the device.
macOS vs. Windows – Which is more secure
Malware gets designed with a specific operating system in mind. If its target was a Mac, a Windows user would likely remain unaffected by it, and vice versa. It is rarer to come across cyber attacks on macOS, simply because they take up less of the market share, and it is not as beneficial to the hackers. For this reason, macOS is more secure than Windows. Windows users have a multitude of malware protection and tools, but they are more likely to fall victim to a cyberattack while using such a device.
Staying Protected from Cyberattacks – Tips
Regardless of which operating system you end up choosing, you will still need to avoid downloading malware and falling victim to a cyberattack. Doing so can result in the theft of your information and all of your files.
Make sure that your computer has anti-virus software (many come auto-installed). The software will scan files and let you know if certain websites are safe to visit. It will also give you the option to scan for viruses. A good habit is to scan for viruses every day, as they will be easier to remove if you catch them quickly. Set up the scan to automatically work in the background or right before you shut your computer off for the day. If you do not receive automatic updates to your anti-virus software, you will need to manually search for and install them regularly.
Before installing programs that you download from the internet, make 100% sure that they are safe. Hackers will frequently hide malware inside games, images, and screensavers because people tend to install them without a second thought. Do not download the file from a questionable website, and always use your anti-virus to scan programs before installing them.
Backing up your files frequently is a good way to ensure that you will not suffer from a ransom attack. A ransom attack is when hackers gain control of your device and lock your files, preventing you from accessing them. They will then demand a sum of money in exchange for returning access to you. Using a device such as a USB or external hard drive, you can keep all your files offline and safe from harm. Companies typically do daily backups, but you might consider doing them weekly or monthly instead.
Finally, you should always be wary of unknown email links and attachments. Emails are fairly simple for people to hack into and spread their malware around. All the hacker has to do is send a mass email to the person’s contact list with a link or attachment. As soon as the recipient opens the malware, it will spread to their device as well. Use your protection software to scan everything that gets sent to you, even if it is from a well-known colleague or your boss.