Why, despite the best efforts of Apple, Microsoft, and Google, does malware continue to proliferate on devices throughout the world? Money. Whether its pop up ads, a ransom, or stolen data, there’s a money trail attached to malware. Can you name the worst device platforms for malware attacks?
Thank. You. Apple.
By far, Android OS, in its various and sundry forms, and Windows, regardless of version, are the two largest breeding grounds for malicious, money-grubbing malware. Security researchers estimate hundreds of millions of Android devices could be infected with malware, but even more are at risk thanks to an inability of older devices to be upgraded to plug security holes.
Hundreds of millions of Windows PC users face similar risks. How does that compare to Apple’s Mac OS X and the iPhone and iPad’s iOS? Both platforms enjoy a similar situation where malware seldom is reported. Whether that is because of a smaller target, or based upon better security, is an argument of consideration, but the reality is this. There is less malware and fewer security risks on Apple’s devices than Windows or Android.
Let’s thank Apple for its Disneyesque approach to running the Mac and iPhone platforms. Disney World and Disneyland are carefully cultivated communities that provide a high level of security with non-stop entertainment for tens of millions of visitors each year in the company’s properties worldwide. Yes, it’s a tightly controlled, fully nurtured, and highly curated atmosphere where the customer experience is paramount.
See? Just like Apple.
It’s easy to criticize Apple for a walled garden, gated community approach, but it’s not easy to criticize the benefits of that approach. It works to everyone’s benefit. Apple’s customers are among the most satisfied technology owners. Apple’s products are in use by over 1-billion users worldwide, and even used products command prices that often are higher than new products from competitors.
Control. Apple has long recognized the value of the user experience and from retail store to OS and app upgrades, the company maintains a curated approach to that experience. That’s why there is so little malware running on Apple’s products (and much of that is ordinary phishing attacks). Apple curates the various App Stores to ensure apps are free of malware and conform to specific standards. That approach benefits customers and provides for a more economically feasible platform for developers.
What’s wrong with that?
Nothing. Apple’s customers, and competitor’s customers, make choices for their respective devices and platforms, and prevalent malware is merely one of the decision criteria. Just as there is a price to pay for Apple’s curated approach, there’s another cost to pay for choosing Android and Windows instead.
The price of using Apple products might be initially higher than Android or Windows devices, but the cost of ownership often runs far less over time. Apple’s customers know that. Why doesn’t everyone else?