A list of Mac anti-virus software that will protect your machine and your data from the dark side of the internet.
Mac computers were once thought to be immune from any virus or malware-related activity. Trojans, worms and viruses were far more likely to target PCs than Macs, so Mac users could get away without having to install anti-virus software on their machine.
With recent reports about Mac malware making its way onto computers through Flash files, however, it seems the time to be complacent about Mac security is over. While the proportionately low number of Mac computers in existence meant it wasn’t worth developing malware that specifically targeted Macs, Apple computers have skyrocketed in popularity over the last 10 years, making their users more of a target. Here is a list of Mac anti-virus software than can help protect your computer, and personal data, from any mishaps. Prices vary, so the software you choose will depend on how many licenses you need and your budget.
Sophos is one of the most popular free Mac anti-virus packages available. Using Sophos, you can schedule regular system scans, create custom scans, scan individual files before opening them, and quarantine any suspicious files for you to check and delete as necessary. The software receives regular live updates so has details of the latest threats. Unlike some of the other anti-virus programs available, Sophos runs in the background, and doesn’t disrupt your online activities.
McAfee is one of the big anti-virus software developers for PC, and has produced a version of their program especially for Macs. The software protects your computer against malware, viruses and hacking attempts, and also alerts you to potential phishing scams and unsafe websites. It rates each website you visit according to a traffic light scale of green, amber and red to alert you to security risks. It also automatically scans any files you want to download, and creates a firewall that restricts access to your computer when you’re online. At $79.99 for a license that protects one Mac for one year, McAfee doesn’t come cheap, however it does have extra features that some other anti-virus software packages don’t, and could be useful if you’re concerned about the security of your computer.
The Kaspersky ONE Universal Security software package is the company’s only anti-virus offering for Mac users. It provides a variety of useful options, including live updates for new viruses and spyware, a two-way firewall, parental controls and identity theft protection. As well as protecting your Mac computer, you can also use this Kaspersky software to protect your Android or other smartphone from online threats too. ONE Universal Security costs $79.95 for one year’s protection.
Another free anti-virus software package for Mac, Avast provides protection against malware and viruses in a variety of ways without slowing browser loading times. As well as scanning web pages, java scripts and files, it scans outgoing and incoming emails for viruses, and comes with a browser plug-in that provides you with details of a website’s reputation before you click to open. In addition to online protection, you can run automated and customized scans of files on computer and external drives.
iAntiVirus helps shield your computer from Mac-specific viruses and malware. It provides protection against online threats and will scan your hard drive for corrupted files. As well as being able to run quick and normal scans, you can create customized schedules, and command the software to scan your computer every day, two days, or week. iAntiVirus receives live updates about new threats and, because it only looks for Mac-specific viruses, takes up less memory than other anti-virus programs that look for PC threats.
BitDefender for Mac provides anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-phishing protection when you are online. The software also destroys viruses that target PC users so, as the company points out on their website, you don’t unknowingly pass infected files along to Windows-using friends and family members. Using BitDefender, you can create your own automated scanning schedule, quarantine suspicious files, and block websites that might steal your credit card information or other personal data. BitDefender starts at $39.95 for a license that covers one computer for one year.
Like McAfee, Norton is one of the big PC anti-virus software developers, and like McAfee, Norton’s Mac anti-virus software comes with most of the features you’d find in its Windows programs. It has all the basic functions, including live updates, and scanning your hard drive for viruses. Norton also scans MobileMe and iChat messages, and removes spyware that could be used to steal personal information or hack your computer. With its virus database updated daily, Norton might not be one of the fastest anti-virus programs around, but you can be sure that you’ll be protected against the latest threats.