Home World Tech The Security Angle: Mac vs Windows | Which OS is More Secure

The Security Angle: Mac vs Windows | Which OS is More Secure

This week we’re going to dig into the performance of Apple’s Mac operating system, which is officially known as Mac OS X, and Microsoft’s Windows operating system, which is officially known as Windows 7. The latest version of Mac OS X, version 10.10, is called “Yosemite” and was released in September of 2014. The latest version of Windows 7, version 7.1, was released in July of 2013. We’ll be comparing the two operating systems in terms of performance, security, and other features.

Apple’s Mac Operating System is more popular than Microsoft’s Windows.

This week we’re talking about security and how different operating systems can impact your privacy. Running either Mac or Windows? Here are some of the differences between the two.. Read more about mac vs pc security comparison and let us know what you think.When it comes to the type of personal computers (PCs) we use and their proprietary operating systems (OS for short), there are certainly some very distinct differences between the two dominant brands. Hardware design and specifications aside, Apple and Microsoft have been direct competitors for decades. Both brands have always stuck to their brand image, design, approach and the target markets they serve. There are also differences in each brand’s approach to online safety.

As many of us remember, Apple’s MacOS and Microsoft’s Windows were the undisputed leaders in consumer desktop computing and dominated the market in this sector. In the past there were others, like IBM, and today there are niche operating systems like Linux (more of a specialized niche), but they have minute market shares (less than 3% for Linux) compared to the two giants. While the market share is small, it is important to note that Linux remains resilient in this regard and has a loyal following in the technology community. One of the main reasons is that Linux is secure.

Back to macOS and Windows: In July 2024, Microsoft’s desktop operating system held about 77% of the global desktop market, while Apple’s share was only about 17%. However, if we look at Apple’s statistics for the 2013-2020 period, we see that macOS has almost tripled its market dominance over the past seven years, while Windows has taken a hit of almost 15%.

So we’ve covered the big picture and some statistics, but what about the differences in security between macOS and Windows? Most of us who have been around computers for a long time, and those who have used both operating systems, know that Apple is different because it promotes security (privacy) and emphasizes privacy. How do the Apple and Windows offerings compare? Below we examine and compare what both brands offer in terms of security in their desktop OS platforms.

Safety: MacOS versus Windows

Over the past decade, macOS has emerged as a worthy competitor to Microsoft’s Windows operating system. In popular tech culture, Windows was already global and known for its viruses and other threats in the 1990s, but Apple’s macOS was not in the spotlight. The general consensus about Macs was (and to some extent still is) that they are;

  • Can’t get viruses
  • Malware immunity (term for all software infections)
  • Do not freeze
  • Always safe and secure
  • Easier to use than comparable Windows systems

It’s only recently (in the last decade or so) that macOS has started to have cyber security problems. The following is a list of software that attackers use to attack both macOS and Windows, for example ;

These are methods that online attackers use to try to disrupt, destroy or steal information from a computer system. For perpetrators or cybercriminals, the main reasons for hacking are financial gain or domination/control.

Is it true that Macs are safer than Windows PCs?

The important thing to remember is that Windows was developed in the 90s and is much more widely used than macOS. As the use of macOS (and the popularity of Apple devices) has risen from to over the decade (think about how many people own a Macbook), cybercriminals are starting to focus more on attacks against macOS systems. Trends indicate that Apple systems will continue to gain popularity and share a much larger market share with Microsoft in the future, so cyber attacks are to be expected.

However, there are inherent security differences between Windows and macOS that we must take into account in order to reach certain conclusions;



  • macOS has a stricter approach to hardware security than Windows.
  • The Safari browser is one of the most secure browsers in the world.
  • MacOS does not support the Windows NTFS file system for file protection.
  • Apple has developed its own file system with APFS
  • Most MacOS software is developed by Apple itself.
  • Gatekeeper software that verifies digital signatures
  • Filevault Hard Drive Encryption
  • MacOS is based on Unix (BSD), which is inherently more secure.
  • The default firewall of MacOS is excellent
  • Apple computers come standard with Bootcamp, a feature that also lets you start Windows.


  • Still incompatible with many applications, which is not Apple’s fault.
  • MacOS has recently become more vulnerable to malware.
  • The free and easily accessible technical support is not as extensive as for Windows systems.



  • Compatible with most software
  • Ability to use multiple privacy browsers
  • Technical support easily accessible at any time
  • You can fully customize your security
  • Longer history/experience with malware
  • A much larger global user base
  • Good anti-malware protection built into Windows Defender.


  • Still leading the pack in malware attacks
  • Security risks due to the large quantity of third-party software
  • Not as much built-in hardware protection as macOS
  • Windows has a registry that can be vulnerable
  • Generally more open operating system

It is true that macOS is much more secure than Windows and comes with a high level of security from the start. This automatically makes it harder for attackers to exploit the system. However, this does not mean that Windows is not safe, but that you will have to put more effort into learning about it and configuring it first. In fact, the amount of manual work required to provide a comparable level of security to that of a Mac is very high. However, Windows machines are also much cheaper, used more often and updated more frequently, which is a big advantage over macOS machines.

How to stay secure on your Mac and PC with Windows

So we looked at some of the main positive and negative security aspects of macOS and Windows operating systems. Remember, no operating system is safe these days and the old myths (a Mac can’t be infected by a virus) no longer hold true. Virtually all connected devices (not just desktop systems, think of the Internet of Things) are vulnerable to malware these days. Here are some general best practices for anyone using a PC;

  • Always seek technical support for the brand you are using and find out how to protect yourself.
  • Make sure you have legitimate and reliable antivirus and protection software installed on whatever system you are on.
  • Another important factor is to install a virtual private network (VPN) to protect your online activities from prying eyes.
  • Finally, always keep your computer up-to-date and never download software you don’t know.

For years, Microsoft and Apple have been the two brands of choice when it comes to computers. In the past, people tended to stick to one brand for their entire computing life. Then Apple released the Mac and Microsoft released Windows. Windows has been plagued with system updates and security exploits that have gotten the better of it. No one was really sure which OS was more secure.. Read more about mac vs pc viruses comparison and let us know what you think.{“@context”:”https://schema.org”,”@type”:”FAQPage”,”mainEntity”:[{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”Which OS is more secure Windows or Mac?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:” Windows is more secure than Mac.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”Is the Mac OS more secure than Windows Why or why not?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:” The Mac OS is more secure than Windows because it is not possible to install malware on a Mac.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”Is Mac or Windows better for cybersecurity?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:” Macs are better for cybersecurity because they are more secure than Windows.”}}]}

Frequently Asked Questions

Which OS is more secure Windows or Mac?

Windows is more secure than Mac.

Is the Mac OS more secure than Windows Why or why not?

The Mac OS is more secure than Windows because it is not possible to install malware on a Mac.

Is Mac or Windows better for cybersecurity?

Macs are better for cybersecurity because they are more secure than Windows.

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