AdAge blows it: Marketing flack tries to sell ‘Security Via Obscurity’ myth

“The PC-Microsoft campaign is about how you get more ‘value’ for your dollar with PCs. While not brilliant, it is straightforward,” Judy Shapiro blathers for AdAge. “The key message is you pay a premium for Mac-brand bling, whereas a PC gives more features and performance for the money. Score one to Microsoft for a clear message.”

MacDailyNews Take: Judy, Judy, Judy. Microsoft’s message is not at all clear. Since we – unlike you, we’d venture to guess – have actually used both Macs and Windows PCs before writing about them, the Microsoft ads scream to us: “Windows PCs are for the cheap and/or ignorant who have no comprehension of Total Cost of Ownership and who are willing to settle because, regardless of the shortness of life, they do not consider themselves worthy of the best life has to offer. Judy, we don’t pay a premium for “Mac-brand bling,” you ignorant twit, we buy and use Macs because they are the best personal computers on the market by a wide margin.

Shapiro continues, “Now on to the Mac campaign, which has launched two spots. The first spot shows average ‘Judy Consumer’ making a decision between a Mac and a PC. Judy Consumer first asks PC Guy if a PC can give her hassle-free computing without ‘thousands of viruses.’ PC Guy tries to tell her that these types of problems are inherent to the PC experience. When she hears that, she decides to go with Mac.”

Direct link via YouTube here.

Shapiro continues, “In another spot, PC Guy is dressed up as Mac Guy to misdirect Judy Consumer into thinking that Macs and PCs suffer from the same host of security issues. In this case, Judy Consumer goes off to think about what to do. But in both Mac spots, the clear implication is that Macs don’t have the same security issues as PCs do because Macs are technologically built to be more secure.”

Direct link via YouTube here.

“It is true that Macs, in fact, do have fewer viruses, as the spots say. But that’s not the whole of it,” Shapiro claims. “Many of us in technology also know that Macs are no more inherently secure than PCs. The reason they have fewer viruses is simply because their relatively small market share does not yet warrant the attention of hackers.”

MacDailyNews Take: Bullshit. Judy Shapiro is a marketing flack who happens to have worked for technology firms. Judy Shapiro is no more “in technology” than Steve Wozniak is “in the Bolshoi Ballet.”

Undaunted by her own withering ignorance, Shapiro plods on, “Indeed, just to make sure I was right technologically, I double-checked my facts. I posed the following scenario to the CEO of a well-known security company: ‘If PCs and Macs had equal market share, would Macs be safer than PCs?’ His blink-of-an-eye answer was, ‘No, Macs would not be safer.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Judy the Tech Genius goes to an antivirus software peddler to ask if people need to buy antivirus software and seems reassured that he said, “Why, yes, Judy, yes they do.” Stay tuned for Judy’s next article where she asks diamond sellers if women should buy diamond rings for their fiancés, too. Judy, you wouldn’t recognize a fact if it fell on your empty head.

Judy the Tech Genius continues, “He gave me an excellent metaphor for the situation. He said Macs are no safer from viruses than Native Americans were safe from smallpox before the Europeans came. True, Native Americans were not dying from small pox before the Europeans — not because they were immune but because they had never been exposed. We all know the tragic truth in that case.”

MacDailyNews Take: Sheesh. Alright, that’s enough of the rambling, utterly painful stupidity of Judy “I’m in Tech” Shapiro.

Yet again, for the umpteenth time — sigh — it is utterly illogical to state or imply that the Mac platform is secure via obscurity. Why, if obscurity means security, in April 2007 was there a virus for iPods running Linux (a few thousand devices total, to wildly overestimate, in all the world), but there are no viruses in nine, yes nine, years for the over 30 million Mac OS X computers that are currently online? When we hit a nice round virus-free decade will abject morons like Judy finally wise up? And, why would criminals not target the most affluent personal computer users, the tens of millions of Mac users around the world?

We’ve asked those and similar questions for years, yet the silence remains deafening and telling. Instead we get a steady stream of lies and/or ignorance from the likes of Judy “I’m in Tech” Shapiro.

The idea that Windows’ morass of security woes exists because more people use Windows and that Macs have no security problems because fewer people use Macs, is simply not true. By design, Mac OS X is simply more secure than Windows. Period. For reference and reasons why Mac OS X is more secure than Windows, The New York Times’ David Pogue, provides a concise mea culpa on the subject of the “Mac Security Via Obscurity” myth here.

Simple logic is certainly not what AV software peddlers, Windows PC box assemblers, and the leeches affixed to the Windows ecosystem want people to hear. Fear is what they’re after and they love bullshitting to the Judy Shapiros of the world. The sheep must be kept in the Windows pen, no matter the cost to reputations, reality, productivity, sanity, etc. Far too many have far too much invested in Microsoft Windows for them to stand idly by and let it all slip away due to a vastly superior, vastly more secure solution from Apple. But, slip away it does nonetheless.

Every single time there is a Windows virus outbreak or a new OS release, the “Security Via Obscurity” myth gets trotted out. This is done for a reason, even though it gets more ridiculous with each passing year.

“Security via Obscurity” is a defense mechanism for the delusional and also tool for Microsoft apologists and/or those who profit from the Windows economy that’s designed to be used when attempting keep Windows sufferers from straying. 30 million Mac OS X installs is not “obscure” at all, but nine (9) years of Mac users surfing the Net unimpeded certainly is “secure.” Besides social engineering scams (phishing, trojans; no OS can instill common sense) the only thing by which Mac users are really affected are large swaths of compromised Windows machines slowing down the ‘Net with spam and nefarious botnet traffic targeted at exploiting even more insecure Windows boxes.

The. Problem. Is. Windows. Get a Mac.

The full brainlessness of Judy “I’m in Tech” Shapiro — Think Before You Click™here.

MacDailyNews Note: We hope Judy likes email. Contact info:
Judy “I’m in Tech” Shapiro:


  1. Judy Shapiro is exactly the kind of average PC user virus/AV makers target to take to the bank.

    Actually there are a couple of virus vectors on the Mac. They’re called Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Flash plug-in.

  2. “He said Macs are no safer from viruses than Native Americans were safe from smallpox before the Europeans came. True, Native Americans were not dying from small pox before the Europeans”

    So that’s why Bill Gates came around handing out blankets! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. “Security via Obscurity”?
    Apple has been taunting hackers and virus makers for years with the TV ads and by the millions of Mac users that brag about the Mac user experience.
    Who is the biggest target?
    There are just too many sheeple in this world.

  4. Repeat a lie often enough… and you’ll still look like a complete idiot. Bravo, Ms. Shapiro.

    And I’ll have to second Jason on the “Bolshoi Ballet” line – that’s the stuff I keep coming back to MDN for! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

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