Let’s get one thing straight: Mac users are less likely to be targeted by hackers and cyber criminals than PC users. But that doesn’t mean Macs are definitively more secure than PCs.
Apple makes a point of claiming that its products ‘don’t get PC viruses,’ but that’s a misleading and dangerous claim. Macs do get viruses and they’re just as vulnerable as PCs.
According to NetMarketShare, Windows 7 alone is more commonly used than all of the Mac OS X operating systems combined. Windows accounts for over 90 percent of the market, while Mac has a combined share of less than 8 percent.
For cyber criminals, targeting PCs just makes sense. There are more PC users than Mac users, and therefore greater return on things like phishing and malware campaigns.
Historically, this gave Macs ‘security through minority.’ Macs aren’t inherently more secure than PCs, there are just less of them to target in the wild. Propagating the myth that Macs are immune to viruses or resistant to attack is dangerous, particularly considering that Apple’s sales figures are strong and the number of active Mac users is 100 million and counting.
‘The truth,’ according to Kaspersky Lab, is that ‘both Macs and PCs are very vulnerable to web threats and cyber-attacks.’
The rising popularity of Macs makes them an increasingly more attractive target for cybercriminals, and as a result we’re seeing more and more Mac users fall victim to viruses, malware and web threats. Here’s what you need to know:
Let’s be clear: Macs, on the whole, are somewhat more secure than PCs. This is because of the way Mac OS is designed - it’s Unix-based and more difficult to exploit than Windows.
But while the design of Mac OS protects you from most malware and other threats, using a Mac will not:
The fact is, a computer is only as secure as its user. If you’re not taking the proper precautions, you put yourself (and your business) at risk - regardless of the operating system you use.
None of this means you should avoid using Macs for business or personal use. Indeed, a recent survey of 500 IT professionals from organisations of all sizes found that 96 percent of businesses support Macs.
If you choose to deploy Macs in your business, here’s what you need to do to ensure your system is secure:
Macs are a good choice for business and personal use, but they’re not foolproof. If you use a Mac be aware of the risks, put the right protections in place and use it wisely.