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Linux or Windows- the security issue

I often see people complaining that Windows is "highly insecure" while linux is MUCH more secure.

What exactly are the reasons/flaws that make Windows less secure ? How can one mitigate the dangers of these flaws ?

More importantly, is there any strong evidence to prove that each version of windows (such as windows 7) is MUCH more secure than the previous versions ?

marked as duplicate by Steve, user10211, Hendrik Brummermann Jan 20 '13 at 7:14

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    First reaction. Linux is more secure because most of the malware is written for Windows (this OS is used by more people who has lesser experiences with computers) The other big fact is the division between non-admin user and admin user in Linux (which is getting better since Windows 7 in the Microsoft OS) I will post an answer with links after some research ;-) – Jan Koester Jan 19 '13 at 23:01
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    My experience is that it's predominantly tribal - something which will show up in the answers you receive. If I get time I'll try & grab some stuff on windows security evolution tomorrow rather than get into what is as much a religious battle as anything. But when you look at the threat landscape today it is mainly attacks on frameworks (like Flash, Java) and applications (Acrobat etc) rather than the kernels. – James Snell Jan 20 '13 at 0:22
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    Here are a bunch of links over on Ask Ubuntu on the topic of security. askubuntu.com/q/35629/6005, askubuntu.com/q/16178/6005, askubuntu.com/q/6676/6005, askubuntu.com/q/79722/6005, askubuntu.com/q/2271/6005, askubuntu.com/q/30032/6005, askubuntu.com/q/1069/6005, askubuntu.com/q/97667/6005. Basically, it's a whole bunch of MOAR reading. Most of it is useful, some of it is not. – jrg Jan 20 '13 at 1:11
  • @jrg - umm...what is MOAR ? – FirstName LastName Jan 20 '13 at 1:48
  • This question is very broad. Windows is neither secure nor insecure, unless you put it into context of who is using it for what. – Steve Jan 20 '13 at 1:59

By extension, windows is less secure because it has such a big part of the market, and is therefore targeted by hackers all the time. The smallest vulnerabilities are found rather quickly, it seems, because so many malicious users target this particular system at a time.

Look at the facts, some malware are appearing on OS X now because apple's OS is starting to get out there, and so an increasing amount of people use Mac these days. Up until 5 years ago or so, there had been almost literally no malware or viruses on Mac - simply because it wasn't targeting a large enough chunk of people, IMO.

Also, and I'm afraid I cannot expand too much on this because I'm not expertly enough, but I remember reading that UNIX-based systems were more secure by nature because, in part, of their administrator rights, like our friend Jan here just mentioned.

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