sub specie aeternitatis

Want to Get Rid of Spyware? Switch Your OS.

October 22, 2005

I was skiming through the latest issue of PC World at the library and had some thoughts about their cover story on spyware/malware/internet security in general. The author(s) of the main stories did a fine job of describing the sad state of affairs when it comes to the prevalance of malware found on so many pc’s today. But after reading through an aritcle on the best spyware removal tools, I wondered why the authors didn’t bother to mention switching to a different platform. I know it is PC World after all, and Microsoft has their operating system on something like 95% of the world’s computers. Yet I wonder if many people give any serious thought to trying an alternative when it comes to home computing. I’m not an Apple user myself, but their products consistently get solid ratings of performance, reliability, support, and are much more free of malware than windows. And although some still debate the value of Linux for the mainstream, it is certainly more free from malware than Windows. Of course, if Windows didn’t have the 95% market share it does, you would certainly find more shady businesses trying to overtake your system in Mac OS and Linux. But even if they did, the architecture of these operating systems behave in a different way than Windows, perhaps in a way more favorable to the actual computer owner, rather than the malware creator.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make is this: Linux and Apple do not have virus and spyware proof systems, but compared to the current state of affairs in the Windows world, perhaps some people should give them a more in depth look. Why wait for Vista for better security? Why not try something else right now?