Want safe Internet surfing? Spend your time tweaking Windows or just get a Mac and be done with it

“To see the e-mail I get every day from readers about security issues is to develop a deep discomfort with the state of computing today. Keeping a Windows PC safe can demand a high degree of vigilance — if cars needed the same constant care and feeding, the Beltway would revert to a country byway,” Rob Pegoraro writes for The Washington Post. “And yet all these attacks by viruses, worms, spyware and browser hijackers could have been prevented with some initial effort. It’s completely feasible to put a computer on the Internet — even one running Windows, the most attacked, least secure operating system around — and never suffer a single successful attack.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Even one running Windows.” Snicker. Pegoraro covers his posterior by recommending that Windows users who still end up finding malware slipping through the cracks use the System Restore utility to reset their computers.

“Here’s what to do to make that possible, starting — as many people will this week — when you take it out of the box and plug it in. Most of these steps apply only to Windows, but some pertain to Mac OS X as well,” Pegoraro writes.

Pegoraro’s step one is to use a firewall, step two is to make sure you download the latest updates and patches for your operating system, then Pegoraro writes, “The next three steps apply only to Windows; Mac users can skip ahead.”

MacDailyNews Take: Skipping ahead of Windows users is commonplace for Mac OS X users. In fact, it’s the normal working position from which Mac OS X users regard Windows XP users, although it is getting very hard to see them these days without a Hubble-powered telescopic rearview mirror. It reminds us of scanner and printer instructions that have the Mac OS X information on top of page one, “connect to Mac and turn on scanner,” and the Windows directions on the rest of pages 1-15.

Windows sufferers are then instructed to “activate and update the antivirus software on your computer (step three), to update three core Internet programs (step four), and not to use Internet Explorer (step five)… If, after all these precautions, a malicious program does find its way onto your computer, Windows users can try using the System Restore utility to reset the computer to an older configuration.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There really is not much more information for Mac OS X users to skip ahead to, as the rest of the article tells Windows users not to be afraid of cookies and not to click attachments of unknown origin in their email (the latter being a good practice for everyone, regardless of OS). Pegoraro really should have advised Windows users not to use Outlook or Outlook Express, either, but ends up with a successful article anyway because the underlying message delivered throughout is that if you want to be safe and secure on the Internet, stay away from Windows, get a Mac, and surf to your heart’s content!

Related MacDailyNews articles:
New Microsoft Internet Explorer exploit spoofs Web sites on fully patched Windows XP systems – December 17, 2004
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Detroit Free Press: Windows malware problem getting worse, it’s time to get a Mac instead – December 16, 2004
Sick of spyware, adware headaches? Get a Mac and surf the Internet freely – December 13, 2004
Mossberg: Windows PCs plagued with problems, Apple’s Mac is ‘rock solid, elegant and affordable’ – December 09, 2004
Security expert: Don’t use Microsoft Windows, Office, Outlook, Internet Explorer – December 09, 2004
Security test: Windows XP system easily compromised while Apple’s Mac OS X stands safe and secure – November 30, 2004
Sick of spyware, adware infecting your PC? Don’t fret, just get a Mac – November 01, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Spyware plagues Windows users while Mac users surf Net with impunity – November 01, 2004
Ballmer blames Windows users for not upgrading systems as Microsoft’s biggest security problem – October 22, 2004
Windows users line up to pay for spyware removal; Mac users surf Web with impunity – October 18, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Windows users’ security woes spark interest in Apple’s secure Mac OS X – October 06, 2004
Windows desktop monopoly threatened by secure, safe Apple Mac OS X – October 04, 2004
Even Bill Gates can’t avoid Windows malware; Mac users surf the Web freely – October 03, 2004
Cyber-security adviser uses Apple Macintosh to avoid Windows’ security woes – September 27, 2004
Information Security Investigator says switch from Windows to Mac OS X for security – September 24, 2004
Mossberg: Apple iMac G5 ‘powerful, affordable, virus-free with better, more modern OS than Windows XP’ – September 23, 2004
USA Today: people are switching from Windows to Mac because of security issues – September 21, 2004
Windows besieged by hackers; number of Windows viruses soars by more than 400% – September 20, 2004
USA Today columinst angry about Windows viruses, adware, spyware – September 15, 2004
University of Chicago recommends all students patch Windows at least once a day – September 14, 2004
Windows XP worm speaks to users as it deletes their files; Macintosh unaffected – September 13, 2004
Security is top priority in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 12, 2004
Millions of Windows PC’s hijacked by hackers, turned into zombies; Macintosh unaffected – September 08, 2004
Mossberg: Dump your Windows machine and get an Apple Macintosh to free yourself of spyware – August 25, 2004
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Gartner: Worms jack up the total cost of Microsoft Windows – May 07, 2004
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SmartMoney: Long-suffering Windows users can only dare to dream of Mac’s ease-of-use – February 12, 2004
Mac OS X has no viruses; what’s wrong with Windows? – February 11, 2004
Gates: Windows ‘by far the most secure’ system; tries to use ‘Mac OS X secure through obscurity’ myth – January 27, 2004
Columnist tries the ‘security through obscurity’ myth to defend Windows vs. Macs on virus front – October 1, 2003
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg on making the switch from Windows to Mac – September 18, 2003
Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
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Is Mac OS X really inherently more secure than Windows? – August 26, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times columnist: Windows ‘many holes in its security’ but ‘none of my Macs have ever been affected – August 26, 2003
Sick of worms and viruses? ‘Move to Mac OS X’ suggests Chicago Tribune columnist – August 25, 2003
Virus and worm problems not just due to market share; Windows inherently insecure vs. Mac OS X – August 24, 2003

12 Comments

  1. hell… I was skipping ahead of WinBlows users when I was still using Classic !! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

    Maybe there will come a day when many will see the light…

    who knows ?

  2. I have to agree with RJ, Apple should advertise OS X more. I think they will start soon as more and more people get the Apple Trojan Horse and find out what using a quality product is really like.

  3. Reports show they’re selling out of all lines of Macs, so perhaps they don’t need to advertise at this moment. Perhaps they held off advertising OSX until the iPod did it for them…?

    I personally would like to see some advertising though. It would make all the switchers feel more comfortable too.

  4. It is amazing that most people have heard about Apple Macintosh and vagely know that there are no virus troubles with a Mac, and still buy masses of those Windhose running PC’s ! Why ?

  5. “It is amazing that most people have heard about Apple Macintosh and vagely know that there are no virus troubles with a Mac, and still buy masses of those Windhose running PC’s ! Why ?”

    Idiots?

    Just a wild guess. ;o)

  6. FUD believers? You know, since it is very difficult to admit own mistakes, one common comment I hear is: “No viruses on Mac? No spyware? It can’t truly be otherwise we would all be on Macs. Windows users are not that stupid. If there are so many going Windows they must be right. If there were more Macs around there we would see exactly the same problems we have on Windows”

    As roll eyes said: idiots? and rolling eyes.

  7. “It is amazing that most people have heard about Apple Macintosh and vagely know that there are no virus troubles with a Mac, and still buy masses of those Windhose running PC’s ! Why ?”

    Idiots?

    Just a wild guess. ;o)

    It comes down to sticking with what you are familiar with and since 95% of the worlds computing poplation works with Windows, that is what everybody uses. Why change and go for something your not familiar with that might cost a bit more and then have to “re learn” everything again….? Bit like being in an abusive relationship, its normal life… right?

  8. ” Why change and go for something your not familiar with that might cost a bit more and then have to “re learn” everything again….? Bit like being in an abusive relationship, its normal life… right?”

    Because although Windows users do bash Mac aficionados because they are attached to what they describe as “just a tool, give me a break” they should be bashed themselves for being tied to a tool in an abusive relationship.

    Re-learn, yeah, so what? It’s just a tool, give us a break. Wasting money and time on Windows because otherwise one has to ‘re-learn’ ? Oh my, if that scares these users then probably it is true: we talk about idiots.

  9. winmacguy: sorry, you counfound. 95% of the world computing population is NOT on Windows. That figure WAS the buying market share and concerns PCs. Those PCs also run other OSes and Windows presence on the net, depending on the domain, can be even below 50%.

    World installed figure is more close to ~70%, rather. And getting lower actually.

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