I received an email this week asking about which computer should someone get for their home: a Macintosh or a PC? I was told that their "IT guru is still harping on the safety of a Mac."
I recommended a PC for their use at home. Mainly because it will meet their general computer annd online needs, as well as offer complete application compatibility with their files from work. If they were working at the office with Macintosh computers -- as one friend does in his design firm -- then I might recommend a Mac.
On PC safety in general, of the interest is this article from the Seattle Times which said that...
"Broad PC attacks tapered off last year in part because improvements in hardware and software are making it harder to attack at the operating-system level, Mackey said. IBM is now finding more vulnerabilities in software applications. Mackey expects more attacks via instant-messaging programs, for instance."
And take a look at this report from PC World magazine.
Last, see this paper for a summary of some of the improvements made to the Microsoft platform from the Enterprise Strategy Group (link):
"Microsoft has proven time and time again that its corporate focus equates with execution excellence somewhere down the line. The company is now delivering on security in a way that sets it apart from other software companies. Yes, Redmond has a way to go to be considered a security company, but ESG believes that its security efforts should be taken seriously by competitors – and embraced by customers."
I "grew up" on the Mac platform buying my first Macintosh 128K directly from school in 1985. I own and use both computer platforms at home, but the one we spend the most time on at home (and, no surprise, at the office) are our Windows machines. No matter what you choose as your preferred computer, make sure your protected.
For more on how to protect your PC, here are a few helpful tips from the Get Safe Online website, sponsored by government and businesses. (For other computers, see their sections on "Protect your Mac" and "Protect your Linux computer.")
- Use a firewall: Firewalls keep out some viruses and hackers
- Install anti-virus software: Prevent virus infections
- Get the latest Windows updates: Keep your applications and operating system fit and healthy
- Stop spyware: Don’t let strangers get inside your computer
Make regular backups: Protect your data from disaster
Secure wireless networks: Without protection, Wi-Fi (wireless) networks are vulnerable
Stop unwanted email: Spam email is a security threat and a pain in the neck
Use instant messaging safely: Instant messaging systems can be vulnerable to fraud, hacking and viruses
For more reading, see Bruce Schneier's CNET article on safe computing.