graeme_p - 7:36 pm on Sep 11, 2012 (gmt 0)
Linux is probably still a lot safer.
1) There are FAR fewer Linux viruses in existence. You can find web pages that claim to list every Linux virus know. Tens vs hundreds of thousands.
2) Linux us more varied. Windows comes in fewer versions, so there are more vulnerabilities a virus author can rely on being present on a Windows target. It is rather like why crop monocultures are more vulnerable to disease.
3) Almost all software is installed from a repository (like an appstore, except Linux has had them for a decade) , and is digitally signed. Much safer than downloading something off somewhere on the net.
4) A single mechanism updates all the software on your computer. Makes users much likely to be up to date with security fixes.
5) The GUI has fewer ways of making you unwittingly run a malicious program (i.e. you click on a document/attachment/hatever, and it turns out to be a virus). The only real hole in this are .desktop files.
6) There are strong additional security measures such as Apparmour, and, again, these vary between Linux distributions, so a hole would only affect some people.
7) Linux encourages secure practices: not logging in as root, each person using different logins. Even my four year old can switch users correctly. Most Windows and Mac users I know use a single login for a family. The problem is with things like Mac having fast user switching off by default - the underlying systems are there, but often unused.
IMO Linux is a LOT safer, and if you are savy or careful you are very unlikely to get malware. My family have never managed to infect any of our Linux PCs, and they are not savvy or particularly careful.