These days you hear a lot about computer security. With Windows XP SP2 and Microsoft’s monthly patch release Tuesday, Microsoft gets a lot of heat for having so many vulnerabilities.

Usually accompanying the latest round of patches is a ton of Linux/*nix/Mac users touting their superiority.

Some of these users make broad, sweeping statements that border on lies, and many simply speak out of ignorance. Some get it, but are rarely the ones posting these comments.

The simple truth is:
Every operating system requires patching.
Every operating system has vulnerabilities.
Every operating system has viruses written for it.

The difference comes in the volume and severity of these.

Now, I’m not defending Microsoft- they’ve really dropped the ball in many ways, but it boils my blood when people jump on the bandwagon and bash Windows and Windows users (as I am one).

So, as in everything, it’s about pros and cons. Is Linux more secure than Windows? Probably, but it’s hard to use, has little real software (no, the GIMP is not Photoshop) and comes in so many variations I can’t keep them straight.

Mac OS X is nice, but prohibitively expensive. Plus, Apple has done some things to the interface that make me shy away. It’s probably more secure than windows (being built on a unix core), but still requires plenty of patches (some of which are sold as new operating systems ;-).

But in the end, for me, Windows is secure enough if I keep it patched and keep my AV up to date. It’s also cheap, and I like the interface (classic, not Luna). Yes I really said that last sentence.

If you ever want to learn about the vulnerabilities in the software you run, check this out: @RISK: The Consensus Security Alert.

I think you’ll be surprised. Microsoft’s flaws may get more press, but that doesn’t mean they are more/less dangerous. The hackers know about them long before the press does.