With Dell joining Lenovo as a PC vendor you need to think twice—or thrice—about trusting with your privacy and security, maybe it's time to take advantage of the holiday sales and get a Mac?
Earlier this week it was discovered that Dell had installed an insecure root certificate on some of their PCs, making it easy for attackers to impersonate secure websites, like banks, and intercept secure communications. Dell has since apologized and supplied a tool to remove the certificate (deleting it wasn't enough, of course, as Dell would automatically re-install it.
It may not be as bad as Lenovo, who was caught doing similar in order to inject their own advertising, and then caught again, but it's not good. And it's another sign that anyone who cares about the sanctity of their computer system would do well to consider buying a Mac, especially with the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other deals available this time of year.
You can find a good technical breakdown on what made Dell's self-signed root certificate so dangerous on Ars Technica. To their credit, Dell acted quickly to offer a fix. Yet it's one more sign that vendors will, maliciously or incompetently, do things that fundamentally compromises the privacy and security of their own customers.
Apple, by contrast, is their own vendor. There's no one in between the operating system and the customer. There's no additional potential point of failure. There'll be bugs, sure, just like any system, and those will need to be fixed fast, but there won't be adware and there won't be vendor-installed malware.
You can still get good PCs. Our friends at Windows Central will happily help you find the perfect one for you. If you've grown tired of worrying about this stuff, though, you can also take advantage of the holiday sales and go and get yourself a Mac.
Then, next time you wake up to a headline like Dell's or Lenovo's, you can shake your head rather than going full-on code red.