Computer Virus Vulnerabilities on Apple iMac and iBook compared to PC Notebooks

It is widely believed that the Macintosh operating system that is installed in Apple computers like the iMac and the iBook are more susceptible to virus vulnerabilities, compared to the Windows operating system installed in PC notebooks. The susceptibility of these laptops and mobile computers really boils down to the operating system installed in the respective machines. In fact, at this point in time, there are still no known viruses that attack Apple computers that are run by the new OS X operating system. Of course, this does not mean that some bored computer programmer will not make an OS X virus in the future. But itís lack of viruses at this time is still a testament to its security. 

One of the most popular theories forwarded is the fact that since that Windows is installed in more PCs all over the world compared to the Apple OS, this makes it more worthwhile for virus makers to make malware and viruses for a larger customer base. These people insist that if there were as many Apple PCs as there are Windows PCs (e.g. Sony Vaio notebooks ) in the world, then there would be far more Mac-based viruses compared to what is out in the wild right now.

But computer experts say that this is the wrong theory and there are other more valid reasons for the Macintosh systemís lesser risk for virus vulnerabilities. 

One of the best reasons forwarded is that the Macintosh, which is now on its OS X iteration, is a Unix computer so it does not have the usual security vulnerabilities that Windows notoriously suffers from. The level of security is much more mature with a Unix type machine. This is apparent whenever an application is installed under the MAC OS X. A user is required to give permission in order for the process to continue. This means any unauthorized installation of an application of alteration of currently installed software is automatically prevented if it does not get the required permission.

The code of Microsoft Windows is also not documented properly. This makes newly discovered security flaws very difficult to fix. The Unix code, on the other hand is always open for inspection and the code itself can be easily changed to immediately address any security issues. Another code-related issue that makes Macintosh safer than Windows is that it does not use ActiveX. This is the most common entryway of viruses that invade Windows PCs.

Do Mac Owners Need Anti-Virus Software?

With the strengths of Macintosh-powered iBooks and Apple iMacs compared to Windows powered portables, it is a wonder that software development companies still come out with Macintosh-specific virus and spyware applications. It will be up to the owner of iMacs and iBooks to decide if they still want to buy these applications and install it in their machines. But for some people, they buy anti-virus software anyway as an insurance policy just in case some kind of malware or virus does come out that can get through the vaunted security of the Macintosh operating system.