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Apple vs. Microsoft: Who Offers Better Security? by@jtruong

Apple vs. Microsoft: Who Offers Better Security?

Jessica Truong Hacker Noon profile picture

Jessica Truong

Interested in security? Follow along for content within Cybersecurity

Apple and Microsoft offer a wide variety of products and when it comes to making large purchases like a desktop and laptop, security should be your number one priority. It is important to understand the amount of security each platform offers for their devices and who offers better security between Apple vs Microsoft as you will learn throughout this article. Keep in mind that the level of security will depend on the version of the macOS or Windows operating system your system is running. 

Table of Contents:

  1. Apple’s macOS Security
  2. Microsoft Windows Security
  3. Apple vs Microsoft: Who Offers Better Security?
  4. How to Keep Your Devices Secure
  5. Final Thoughts: Apple vs Microsoft

Apple’s macOS Security

Apple’s operating system, macOS, has a reputation for being secure. Apple’s M1 chip has a built-in Secure Enclave which has many security capabilities to protect your iOS devices including “protecting your login password, automatically encrypting your data, and powering file-level encryption” (Apple). 

Third-Party Applications

Apple is very restrictive when it comes to their software meaning users cannot download applications or software from third parties on their Apple devices unless they jailbreak their devices. 

Browser Safety

Apple’s internet browser, Safari, has incorporated ad-blocking features - blocking ads, unwanted pop-ups and undisclosed tracking can keep internet users secured. 

Threat Growth

Just because Apple is known for being secure doesn’t mean that it isn’t vulnerable to malware. When it comes to Apple devices, most of the attacks come in the form of downloading malicious files. 

Update Frequency

Apple does not actively roll out new software updates for its devices as there are not as many cyber threats against their devices. 

Microsoft Windows Security

According to a report in 2020 from Malwarebytes, Microsoft Windows still remains more vulnerable than macOS. It is considered less secure than other operating systems due to its popularity and the fact that it is mostly used in enterprises. Most organizations provide their employees with Windows therefore increasing the hacker’s interests to target them. NetMarketShare’s statistics state that nearly 90% of the market uses Windows and only about 10% of the market are Mac users.

Third-Party Applications

Microsoft Windows devices allow users to install third-party applications therefore making it more vulnerable to malware. 

Browser Safety

Microsoft’s Edge web browser is very secure because it was built using the same code that designed Google Chrome. It has a “super secure mode” which is a new feature that disables the JIT (Just In Time) compiler. 

Threat Increase

Microsoft Windows has not had an increase in growth in terms of volume of threats in comparison to Apple’s macOS. However, that doesn’t mean that Windows devices are free from threats. Unlike macOS, they face threats that directly exploit system vulnerabilities.

Update Frequency

Microsoft Windows devices are proactively releasing security patches (i.e. Patch Tuesdays) because they have seen their fair share of cyber attacks and must constantly be prepared to roll out software updates and patches.  

How to Keep Your Devices Secure


Cyber threats will still exist regardless of the computer platform you choose to use. Besides Apple and Microsoft providing built-in security onto their devices, it is also the user’s responsibility to take additional security precautions to keep their devices secure. Here are some tips users should follow to protect their devices. 

  1. Ensure that your software is up-to-date 
  2. Replace outdated hardware/software 
  3. Make sure you have an antivirus software installed on your device
  4. Use VPN anytime you are connecting to public WiFi
  5. Implement strong passwords and encrypt your device

Apple vs Microsoft: Who Offers Better Security?

As you have learned by now, both Apple and Microsoft have their own strengths and weaknesses. These strengths and weaknesses can affect your decision on which platform to decide to go with. At the end of the day, it is each person’s personal preference on which platform feels more comfortable to the user. 

With that being said, here is a breakdown of a few pros and cons of each platform:

Apple’s macOS

  • Pro: Lower attack rates, moderate browser safety, and easy to use
  • Con: Since Apple has a reputation for their security, users tend to not pay as much attention to security; increased threat growth, not as many OS update cycles
  • Note: This platform might be more suitable to those who are less technical as they might find that it is easier to navigate and maintain 

Microsoft Windows

  • Pro: steady threat growth, proactively releasing updates
  • Con: a large target for cyber attacks therefore requiring more attention to security

As you can see from the pros and cons breakdown of each platform, neither one is perfect. They both have their fair shares of strengths and weaknesses. 

So, to answer the question of who offers the better security, it would be Apple. However, I want to reiterate that just because Apple offers better security doesn’t mean that it is protected from cyber threats. It is still very much likely prone to malware and other attacks. 

Final Thoughts: Apple vs Microsoft

I hope this article gave you a better understanding of Apple and Microsoft and which one between the two offers better security. This article was meant to break down the different aspects that one should look at when comparing the security of each platform. My final point is that I want to reiterate that regardless of which computer platform you choose, security should be the top priority, especially with technology.