Why Apple Laptops Are More Secure Than PC Laptops

Like if this guide is helpful
Why Apple Laptops Are More Secure Than PC Laptops

The Apple vs. PC debate has been ongoing for years and may keep going for many more. One of Apple's main selling points is that its computer products are more secure than PC products. Although this is true to some extent, many experts point out that this is mostly due to the fact that the majority of people use PCs. They describe Apple products as safer, but not necessarily more secure.

Inherent security features should not be the sole deciding factor when choosing a laptop. It is more important to choose machine that is suited to the user's needs and requirements. For example, someone who wants a laptop for casual web browsing and email applications does not need a state of the art laptop. However, cyber security is important and should not be discounted.

Before deciding on a laptop type, understand why Apple laptops are seen as being more secure than PC laptops. Review the most common security features of Apple and Windows operating systems and learn what makes any type of computer system vulnerable. Apple and PC laptops are available from private dealers, computer and electronics shops, and online, from sites like eBay.

Are Apple Laptops More Secure Than PC Laptops?

Apple products are not necessarily more secure than other computers, but they are safer. The reason for this is simple: Apple's market share is significantly smaller than the combined PCs companies. Those who write and spread trojans, viruses, and other malware target the majority of users. This means that PC users face more attacks than Apple users. However, this is starting to change as Apple gains market share.

Trojans

In April 2012 more than 650,000 Apple Macs were infected with the Flashback Trojan. Hackers exploited a flaw in Java that Oracle had patched six weeks before Apple released a fix for its customers. This delay gave hackers ample opportunity to exploit the weakness found in Java. Experts believe that those working on the Windows operating system (OS) are more focused on reducing and eliminating threats as they are more aware of vulnerabilities and the possibility of attacks.

Hackers

Windows is considered easier to hack than the Unix-based Apple operating system. In addition, if malware gains access to a Mac, it cannot spread to the heart of the computer. This does not mean that Macs are unhackable; they are simply more difficult to exploit than Windows machines. It can be seen as a criminal having a choice of stealing a car with or without an immobiliser and alarm system. It is easier to steal the unprotected car, so the thief is more likely to ignore the other. Later versions of the Mac OS do not feature Java and Flash plugins, eliminating the temptation for users to install unauthenticated, malware infected versions of either.

Apple Security Features

Apple products do have some impressive security features as standard. All downloads, email, and messages are scanned for malware. The table below lists and describes additional features.

Apple Security Feature

Description

Gatekeeper

Protects against installation of malicious software

Recommended that applications are downloaded from Mac App Store for safety

Developer ID allows Gatekeeper to filter applications

Warns about unsigned applications

Can be manually overridden

Sandboxing

Isolates applications from critical system components, data, and other applications

Infected applications are blocked to keep other data safe

Runtime protection

Built into the processor

Execute disable (XD) feature creates wall between memory used for data and memory used for executable instructions

Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) changes memory locations where parts of applications are stored; makes it difficult to find and reorder components

Software updates

Regularly updates software for the best protection

Notifications are sent; click to download and install

Automatically checks every day

Anti-phishing

Safari anti-phishing technology blocks phishing sites

Keeps sensitive information secure, such as passwords and credit card numbers

FileVault

Encrypts data on drives; built in and removable

Easy to remove data after making it completely inaccessible

In addition to these integrated technologies, Apple offers features such as Password Assistant to help users create strong passwords and keep their personal information safe. Users can no longer be passive about online security. Mac products are not vulnerable to attacks and infections from PC viruses and malware.

Windows Security Features

Windows security features differ from version to version, with each new release featuring updated security. The table below lists and describes the most common features.

Windows Security Feature

Description

Action Centre

Shows whether firewall is on and antivirus software is up to date

Updates are downloaded and installed automatically

BitLocker Drive Encryption

Encrypts hard disk to keep data safe

Turn on to encrypt all files saved to disk

Windows Firewall

Built-in protection against hackers and malicious software

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE)

Free anti-malware software developed by Windows

Windows Defender

Protects against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats

User Account Control

User warned before a program makes changes to the computer

Windows also offers parental controls that allow users to restrict access to some sites and online activities. As Windows systems are targeted by malware most often, the majority of third party antivirus and security products are designed for this platform. This makes it somewhat easier to protect a Windows system effectively against cyber attacks and infections.

How to Make Apple and PC Laptops Secure

Experts agree that, no matter how secure the design of a laptop, the greatest threat lies in the actions of the user. This means that any laptop becomes vulnerable when the user exposes it to unnecessary risks. Take care when clicking on executable files, even if they seem to be from a trusted source. This includes email attachments and program update pop-ups. Avoid downloading programs or files from untrusted or unverified sources.

Antivirus Software

While antivirus software is not necessarily required for casual Apple laptop users, it should be considered for business networks or networks that feature both PCs and Macs. PCs should always have antivirus and anti-malware programs installed. Again, their effectiveness depends on whether they are updated regularly and used as intended.

Software Updates

Operating system software updates should be downloaded and installed regularly. The safest option is to allow automatic updates and installation to ensure that both Apple and PC products have all the patches required to keep user accounts, data, and machines secure. These updates often address weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and close gaps that can be used to attack the machine.

User Vigilance

Even the most careless Apple laptop user is exposed to fewer risks than the average security conscious Windows user. This does not mean that Apple users should be less vigilant. Apple products are becoming increasingly popular and with this rise in popularity comes greater vulnerability to threats.

Buying Apple and PC Laptops on eBay

Whether you decide on an Apple or a PC laptop, eBay sellers have exactly what you are looking for. To find the laptop that you want, type a phrase, such as "Apple laptop", into the search field, which is located on every page, to see the items available from sellers. Use the menus to narrow your results by choosing the most suitable category and item specification. The advanced search feature can be used for more search options.

Before You Buy on eBay

Before buying on eBay, evaluate the item. View the item listing page, which is accessed by clicking on an individual listing, for details such as the full item description, buying options, the seller's accepted payment methods, terms of the seller's returns policy, postage and packaging costs, and the seller's feedback information. Always factor in postage and packaging costs when calculating the final selling price of an item.

Seller Feedback

eBay ' s seller feedback feature is designed to let you make up your own mind about individual sellers before buying from them. Click on the number next to the seller's username to see what other buyers think of his or her products and customer service. Detailed seller ratings provide additional information about aspects such as the seller's communication and the accuracy of the item description in the original listing. Take note of the type of products sold previously when viewing this information.

Conclusion

Apple laptops are more secure than Windows laptops due to the lesser size of Apple's market share and the way that its Unix-based operating system works. As the time required to spread malware amongst Mac users and the financial or other gain expected through these actions are small, Windows is the prime target. Cyber criminals are more likely to target the majority of computer users, and Windows products dominate the market. Macs are not unhackable, but it is far more difficult to find and exploit weaknesses in these machines' operating systems. If a virus is present, it does not spread to the heart of the machine. In addition, Java and Flash plugins have been removed from later Apple operating systems. These were the two easiest access points to Apple systems for criminals and were responsible for most of the infections over the last few years.

No system is 100 percent fail safe. To a large extent, the actions of the user determine whether a laptop is secure. Downloading infected executable files, visiting phishing sites, or clicking on fake update pop-ups leave users open to risk. Similarly, running a Windows system without adequate malware protection eventually results in problems. Both types of operating systems should be updated regularly to ensure that the software installed is not vulnerable to exploitation.

Whatever buyers choose, they should browse the selection of Apple and PC laptops available on eBay to find a secure computing solution.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides