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Are Macs more Secure than Windows PCs?

Dave Miller with Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller – Tech Enthusiast & Security Expert – January 8th, 2023

are Macs more secure than Windows 11

We sometimes hear that Macbooks are intrinsically secure, but does that mean they are as safe as, are Macs more secure than Windows pcs? It isn’t easy to select between two completely different computers in different ecosystems. 

Both Windows and Macbook laptops are available, but Windows has the advantage because it gets more widely used (76%), followed by Apple’s macOS (16%). As a result, you will frequently encounter your friends and relatives using a Windows laptop nearby.

Anyone using an Apple device knows that Macs offer stronger security out of the box. Additionally, you very rarely hear of Mac computers receiving viruses, although Windows users get frequently bad mouthed about this. As a result, users may consider that Windows is less secure. To respond to this, we must contrast both in terms of the security measures they both provide and draw a judgment. But are Macs more secure than Windows PCs?

Continue reading the article to find out what historical episodes may get used to resolve the Mac vs. Windows argument and which laptop you should buy next if you want to increase your security.

Are Macs more Secure than Windows PCs?

Mac vs Windows: Cyber Attacks & Viruses

what is cyber security

Understanding the origin of a PC attack depends on your concentration because security is a difficult and complex topic, but you could start by learning how everyday cyberattacks affect computers globally. A cyber attack is often an offensive activity that targets computer networks, infrastructures, or personal computing devices and uses various techniques to steal, change, or destroy data or information systems. However, since computer users are most in danger since they get not always prepared for what is coming, I will concentrate on them in our article today.

If we go back in time, there have been numerous well-known attacks, and with the invention of computers, attacks on computers have become inevitable. Furthermore, dangers from viruses, the environment, and even obsolescence have all get subtly addressed over the years. Additionally, the relevance of cyber security is rising quickly as the world depends more and more on wireless networks and the internet.

There is little doubt that all computer systems are vulnerable, and hackers don’t necessarily need to be attracted by unusual activity. Your system is sure to run across a lot of risks if you routinely use your laptop or desktop computer at home to surf online. Therefore, the world’s most significant software and hardware companies have taken it upon themselves to protect their clients, given the intricacy of today’s cybercrime tactics. And for that reason, we’re here to talk about Windows vs. Macs and, more particularly, are Macs more secure than Windows pcs?

MacBook Security


Apple believes that secure software needs a physical basis created with security in mind. And because of this, they built Mac hardware and software with cutting-edge technologies that cooperate in running programs more securely, safeguard your data, and promote online safety. In other words, security features get built into the silicon of Apple products. It also comprises extra silicon devoted to security tasks and the CPU that drives the system’s security features.

To guarantee that devices are devoid of known viruses and haven’t been tampered with, Apple is thus constructing its security measures from the ground up with layers of protection. Computer operating systems have had to advance due to the constantly shifting threat landscape, and macOS is no exception. Over the past ten years, Apple has added several features to macOS that improve security and privacy.

At the heart of the Mac today, the highly advanced runtime safeguards in macOS keep your machine secure from infection. Because of how Apple created the Mac, all you need to do to keep it safe by running the most recent software. The most secure Apple operating systems are those that are most latest.

It does not imply that your Mac is completely safe from attacks, but compared to other operating systems, Apple undoubtedly has its own standards that determine its existence. And their main selling point is this. And if we go back in time, Macs have historically been less vulnerable to assaults, partly because they were less common than PCs running Windows, so hackers didn’t specifically target them. However, it has also changed over the past several years, but generally, Mac is enduring in the face of unavoidable cyber attacks. According to a recent Statista report, only 7% of assaults now target Apple’s MacOS X, while 91% still target Windows. So, Apple users enjoying the freedom of not getting attacked are also on the radar.

Security Features Apple MacBook's and macOS

When you purchase a MacBook Pro, you can be sure that Apple silicon includes security protections to prevent any outside influence from affecting your data. Here are the characteristics you should know to comprehend better what it offers.

System Integrity: The MacBook Pro’s Apple silicon got built in such a manner as to automatically confirm that the version of macOS loaded on startup got approved by Apple. As a result, whenever you switch on your MacBook Pro, you will have the genuine version of macOS. By doing this, dangerous software and websites have a tougher time exploiting your Mac.

Secure Startup: A built-in feature of a Mac allows you to utilize the startup Security Utility to confirm that your computer always boots from the specified starting disk and a reliable, trusted operating system. It provides three features—firmware password protection, Secure Boot, and the option to choose approved boot media—to help safeguard your Mac from unwanted access. When an untrusted component is detected, it launches from a safe recovery partition and, if it is feasible, automatically fixes any problems.

Secure Storage: When you format an internal or external storage device on a Mac, you can encrypt and password-protect it. To guarantee high levels of security, the storage drive in your MacBook Pro gets encrypted with hardware keys. You see how to use encryption features by reading the official guide. 

To periodically back up your files, you may set up Time Machine or another backup strategy. Your Mac’s built-in Time Machine backup function assists you in performing backups.

XProtect Virus Scanner: A built-in antiviral program for Macs is called XProtect. When programs are updated or first started, it scans them and prevents them from executing if malware gets found. Therefore, it both prevents malware from performing on client computers and removes malware that has already done so.

The system uses YARA signatures, a malware detection program that Apple routinely upgrades and gets periodically checked for viruses.

Data Protection: To further safeguard sensitive data, MacBook Pro permits third-party program developers to implement file-level encryption without degrading system performance. The FileVault function, one of the essential macOS security measures, is available at the software level, particularly if your MacBook ends up in the wrong hands. Your hard disk will be encrypted when FileVault configures, rendering it inaccessible to anybody with a unique decryption key. In other words, the data on your Mac gets encrypted by FileVault, so it cannot get viewed without entering the login password.

Find My Mac: Find My Mac, which got explicitly created to track down Mac thieves, is one of the most helpful features of the Mac. Find My iPhone enables remote device track if you lose it. However, you must enable Location Services and Find My Mac before you can let your friends know where you are and find your Apple products and belongings.

Windows Security

According to Microsoft ideology, an operating system that protects your computer and its contents from the minute it boots up—basic chip-to-cloud protection—is essential for security and privacy. To secure data and provide access from everywhere while keeping you safe and productive, Windows OS got created with zero-trust principles. Microsoft has thus taken action to give the users the required assistance. Windows 10 and 11 come with Windows Security, the most recent antivirus defense. Once Windows starts, your device will get actively protected.

And Windows 11 is said to be the most secure version of Windows ever, with a host of security features to keep you safe. As a result, Windows-powered laptops today have sophisticated data encryption and protection built in, as well as a strong network and system security and smart defenses against threats that are always changing. Microsoft has committed to releasing updates two to three times a year to fix newly identified security flaws and enhance functionality.

There have been discussions about how Microsoft Windows has a terrible reputation for being a “vulnerable” operating system. Yet, believing that all Windows systems are, by default, insecure is incorrect. But because Microsoft is the most used operating system, many issues arise.

It’s also true that several manufacturers utilize Windows as their primary operating system (OS), but here is where Windows and Microsoft fall short of macOS, which has hardware under Apple’s control. However, Microsoft is the world’s most popular desktop OS as of June 2022.

Windows OS Security Features

From its humble beginnings decades ago to the newest and best Windows 11, Windows has gone a long way. Because different manufacturers use Windows, Windows security gets mostly focused on the software side. For this reason, Microsoft put all its security measures directly into Windows.

Secure & Trusted Boot: Your Windows machine will boot up securely and safely thanks to Secure Boot and Trusted Boot. They create a secure route to the Windows kernel from the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI).

Trusted Boot continues the procedure that Secure Boot began. The signature enforcement between UEFI, bootloader, kernel, and application contexts prevents tampering or malware assaults.

Therefore, Windows may automatically fix the damaged component, restoring Windows’ integrity.

Encryption & Data Protection: Anywhere sensitive information gets kept, it must get secured against unwanted access. As a result, Windows offers robust at-rest data protection options that deter malicious attackers. The drive can run at its maximum data rate thanks to encryption circuitry built into the drive controller. Additionally, Windows has BitLocker as a built-in function that offers encryption for the operating system.

Windows Defender Antivirus & Firewall: All iterations of Windows 10, Windows Server 2016 and later, and Windows 11 come with Microsoft Defender Antivirus. Also, as a stateful host firewall, Windows Defender Firewall helps safeguard the device by enabling you to establish rules that specify what network traffic is allowed.

In order to provide quick detection and blocking of new and developing threats, safeguard against malware and threats and identify and block potentially harmful files.

Anti-Tampering Protection: Attackers attempt to disable security measures during cyber assaults, and Tamper protection can assist in stopping these types of actions. Actions from malicious applications are prohibited.

Risk for Personal Computers - Are Macs More Secure Than Windows Pcs

Now that we’ve covered a variety of security-related features for both Windows and macOS. You may have noticed that Apple has several safeguards built right into the hardware of the Macbook, which, when combined with macOS, offers you a higher level of protection than Windows does.

Because Windows does not control various hardware from different manufacturers, macOS is always a preferable choice. However, most people favor Windows over macOS because of its increased functionality, and as Windows gains more users, more issues arise. Even though Windows has made progress, plenty is still to get done. For a long time, Windows offered programs complete access to the file system, which made malware a little bit easier to target. Windows security model got enhanced starting with the release of Windows Vista.

Overall, both systems include several technologies that, in theory, should make it hard to take over but occasionally let security holes show. However, for other factors, the typical Mac user is far less likely to experience a problem. Therefore, to better understand are Macs more secure than Windows pcs and what weaknesses each have, let’s talk about it in more depth.

Problems with macOS

Prior Apple consumers believed falsely that a mac could not contract viruses; however, Apple has recently refuted this assertion. It would be best if you get informed that you would need to take preventative steps to safeguard the Mac fully. Don’t become complacent no matter what operating system you are running.

As soon as you shut down your Mac, a pop-up opens in this “saved state” feature, which may get exploited to bypass some of Apple’s most important security measures. Researchers have now discovered a way to exploit this vulnerability even though there is no proof this vulnerability gets used. However, the issue demonstrates how, occasionally, it would be feasible for attackers to use a mac as well.

Although the Mac operating system is more resistant to the danger of viruses and malware by design, there are still several methods that malware may infiltrate a machine. And Malwarebytes gave in-depth descriptions of what may happen to Mac due to your carelessness. While Apple often reacts quickly to security flaws, there have been times when the company has come under fire for taking too long, allowing attackers to keep using these flaws and leaving customers defenseless.

Problems with Windows PCs

Microsoft Windows has a definite commercial edge regarding its IT ecosystems and user bases. Microsoft, on the other hand, only loosely views security as a feature. Windows is targeted primarily for the same reason: its enormous user base and widespread use. As part of its monthly Patch Tuesday announcement on January 14, 2020, Microsoft published software patches to address 49 vulnerabilities. However, because fixes have been made available to the general public, it is possible to develop exploits that target unpatched systems by reverse-engineering the underlying vulnerabilities.

Similar to today, several previously unknown vulnerabilities emerged back then. Microsoft Windows has allowed the security of its operating systems to overtake its own. However, statistics presently indicate such vulnerabilities are dwindling. Additionally, most Windows flaws were not reported to or documented by Microsoft, which gives the impression that Windows is far safer than it is.

The ability of third-party solutions to add windows access security without interfering with core functionality is one aspect of Windows that has contributed to its popularity. Because of this, you may continue to improve the security of Windows on any machine.

Are Macs more Secure than Windows PCs? - Bottom Line

Looking at the security measures that both Windows and Mac offer makes the decision between them simple. Given that it has fewer users than Windows and has complete control over all of its devices, the Mac has an advantage because Windows is the most used operating system, and more and more individuals could wish to take advantage of the vulnerabilities.

Although macOS is the most secure central desktop operating system, not everyone will be able to afford it. You can find anything on Windows within your budget; however, Macs require ongoing investment due to their larger software store. The security mechanisms in MacOS and Windows now make it more difficult for malware to take over the device. However, Windows has significantly improved. But the point is that you shouldn’t only rely on the OS’s security; you’ll need extra precautions to keep yourself safe, and antivirus and firewall are one of those.

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Dave Miller with Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller

IT Consultant at Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller is an IT Consultant for Online Cloud Security and has over 7 years of experience in the Information Technology space. He also specializes in repairing laptops & computers. In his spare time, he loves to talk about new technologies and hosts monthly IT and Cyber Security meetings in the Houston area.

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About Online Cloud Security:

Online Cloud Security is here to recommend you the most secure devices, from laptops to smartphones, we only want to provide you with products that we have tested and used ourselves for online security. Every product that we recommend is heavily inspected and tested for security against hackers, viruses, malware, and any other intruders that may want to steal your information. 

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Online Cloud Security Logo (500x500px)

About Online Cloud Security

Online Cloud Security is here to recommend you the most secure devices, from laptops to smartphones, we only want to provide you with products that we have tested and used ourselves for online security. Every product that we recommend is heavily inspected and tested for security against hackers, viruses, malware, and any other intruders that may want to steal your information. 

Recent Posts: