New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’

The New York Times’ David Pogue has recanted his recent propagation of the “security through obscurity” myth, writing today, “That, as it turns out, is a myth, no matter who repeats it… Mac OS X and Linux [are] much more secure than Windows XP. For example:”

– “Windows comes with five of its ports open; Mac OS X comes with all of them shut and locked… These ports are precisely what permitted viruses like Blaster to infiltrate millions of PCs. Microsoft says that it won’t have an opportunity to close these ports until the next version of Windows, which is a couple of years away.”

– “When a program tries to install itself in Mac OS X… a dialog box interrupts your work and asks you permission for that installation — in fact, requires your account password. Windows XP goes ahead and installs it, potentially without your awareness.”

– “Administrator accounts in Windows (and therefore viruses that exploit it) have access to all areas of the operating system. In Mac OS X, even an administrator can’t touch the files that drive the operating system itself. A Mac OS X virus (if there were such a thing) could theoretically wipe out all of your files, but wouldn’t be able to access anyone else’s stuff — and couldn’t touch the operating system itself.”

– “No Macintosh e-mail program automatically runs scripts that come attached to incoming messages, as Microsoft Outlook does.”

Pogue writes, “…the conclusion is clear: Linux and Mac OS X aren’t just more secure because fewer people use them. They’re also much harder to crack right out of the box.” Pogue also covers Windows virus programs and other reasons why Mac OS X is simply more secure than Windows. Full article here.


  1. People are starting to wonder how windows will bite them. For many of them the cost of switching … new software, finding support, new hardware … is too high.

    Home users will still buy machines that they have software and think they have support (a kid or friend) for…

    If Apple could help out these people – or if Mac users could – it could mean a lot

  2. Hmmm, maybe the greatest Reality Distortion Field wasn�t the one from Steve Jobs after all !!

    Anyway I do feel the Microsoft RDF is losing its power ! al least over the media (still not over some government agencies…Homeland SECURITY anyone?)

    Its a Great time to be a Mac User!

  3. Life has always been like a circle. Macs had the years back then when they ignited the pc revolution.. msft took over for a while (i don’t know for how much longer, we’ll see) .. and now mac users are on the way to the top again..

  4. Truthfully people not re-buy their software when they get a Mac. They can keep their PC, buying just the most important apps as needed until they phase out the PC eventually, if ever.

  5. You know what Apple should do to get more switchers? Offer a trade-in promotion, trade in your Windows PC and get a discount on a new Mac. Similar to what they are doing getting Adobe Premeire users to trade-in to Final Cut Pro or Express.
    This would take more PCs out of circulation while getting more Macs out there.
    Not sure how the logistics of this would work or how much it would cost Apple, but just an idea.

    What do you think?

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