Macs vs. PCs; iPhones vs. Android – What’s Riskier?

Computers and smartphones are supposed to make our lives simpler. Though they do make life exponentially more convenient, they can also leave us with frustrating feelings of not feeling all too safe. Whether you’re using a Mac instead of a PC or an Android phone over an iPhone, you could be the victim of a compromised identity. The question is though – is any device definitively safer than another?

Macs vs. PCs

Computer mac pc laptop

Image from SocialMonsters.

It’s the age old question of whether you should go with a Mac or a PC. Chances are, if you’re a media junkie, you’ll be going with a Mac, or if you’re doing just about anything else, you’ll be be using a PC. But what if your main concern is security? Generally, PCs are more vulnerable than Macs, but these statistics don’t include phishing or vishing attacks.

Phishing is a method of trying to gather your information via email. There are plenty of ways these thieves cloak their techniques, but the most common ways they get through to your email is by spoofing popular websites such as eBay, PayPal, and Yahoo. Vishing is phishing’s vocal cousin, voice phishing. Instead of trying to compromise your data via email, the email instead directs you to call a number.

Though you may have to install an antivirus and spyware on a PC, don’t discount getting one over them being more “vulnerable.” In this instance, it’s the user who can prevent one of these attacks on themselves.

iPhone vs. Android

Cell phones have boomed in popularity over the years. 90 percent of adults in America have cell phones and 58 percent have smartphones. With statistics like this, it’s no wonder cyber criminals looking to compromise an identity are using tactics like smishing (using text messages to gather information).

iPhones may have a more regulated app market, so your chances of getting your identity compromised through apps is quite slim in comparison to the more lax regulation of the Google Play store on Android. Whether you use an iPhone or an Android phone, of which there are many, or even a standard non-data phone, you’re still at risk. Smishing knows no operating system as it works through standard SMS which practically every modern cell phone can receive.

Even though you may try your best to avoid having information compromised, there are ways that your information can fall through the cracks. This is what companies like Lifelock and Trusted ID are for–protecting your information when you can’t. A good rule of thumb is: if something seems a little off, don’t fall for it! Anytime a “company” wants you to provide sensitive information unprovoked, it should set off red flags in your mind.

So is any one of these safer than another? Not necessarily. Sure, some operating systems may be more prone to viruses due to popularity and widespread use (Windows) or shady applications due to lax regulations (Android), but the key to making a good choice is to do the research before spending your money and weigh the pros and cons of each option.