MacOS is just as susceptible to malware as Windows 10 despite the contrary rumors. It’s just that Windows 10 is a more common platform, so more malware is coded with Windows users in mind. Apple’s operating system is far from invulnerable, and new threats appear on a regular basis, that’s why it’s important to keep up on basic security.

Good news is, there’s a number of great anti-malware platforms designed to give your Mac an extra layer of protection against viruses, adware, and ransomware. Combine one or more with caution, and your system will have the security it needs.

Avast! Free Mac Security


Avast! Free Mac Security is one of the most popular security suites available because aside from its effectivity, Avast! is free for non-commercial use, providing on-demand tools for quickly performing full-system malware scans as well as sifting through specific email threads, attachments, and various web activities such as webpages, downloads, and Java scripts. Furthermore, it offers drag-and-drop scanning for individual files and phishing protection, along with the ability to scan external drives and attached volumes for potential infections.

The free version also offers to install two other programs during installation: the Avast Online Security ($40 per year) and the Avast SecureLine VPN ($60 per year). Neither are actually necessary for detecting and removing malware, however, so make sure to pay attention during installation if you don’t want them.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac


For a long time now, Windows users have been relying on Malwarebytes’ free version, as a backup for always-on malware protection. If you’re a Windows user, it’s a great tool for scheduling deep-scans of your system. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac started as an adware-removing tool, but as of today, it’s now a fully-fledged tool for protecting your machine against malware. You can guarantee that it’s just as effective and reliable in MacOS as it is in Windows.

Using this tool is very easy and straightforward. All you need to do is launch it, hit scan, and the software will quickly inform you if your system is infected with Mac-specific malware. This is not an always-on solution, though, and is thus more suited for performing deep-scans and ridding yourself of particularly harmful malware.

Sophos Antivirus Mac Home Edition


Sophos Antivirus Mac Home Edition offers all the basic utilities you’ve come to expect from quality antivirus software, and a whole lot more. The utility offers custom, on-demand, and scheduled scans for specified files, folders, and drives, along with additional tools for deleting and quarantining any software Sophos deems a potential threat.

The software even incorporates a real-time protection features that will quarantine unknown files that are merely exhibiting suspicious behavior. Although the program has a tendency to scan lower than most, it’s fairly lightweight, and non-obtrusively performs vital background tasks while barely exhausting your system’s resources. Additionally, the malware definitions are constantly being updated, ensuring the program is never without the latest knowledge of potential threats. It’s one of the most hands-off antivirus programs in the market, and as such, sits among the best.

Bitdefender Virus Scanner


Built upon Bitdefender’s award-winning antivirus engine, Bitdefender Virus Scanner features a host of scan options, allowing you to quickly perform in-depth scans of your entire system, or those targeting specific locations. If you grant it access, the streamlined program even provides an option for scanning critical locations — such as your Mac’s launch agents and the entirety of your system library — thus allowing you to bypass lengthier scans when you’re in a hurry. Moreover, it automatically updates with Bitdefender’s hourly malware definitions prior to scanning, while providing a quick way for blacklisting locations from system scans.

Other features are limited, though. Bitdefender Virus Scanner automatically tries to disinfect and quarantine suspicious files it comes across with, and though the feature is not unique to Bitdefender’s offering, the software can also quickly search for malware within various archives and file types (pdf, pkg, zip, rar, etc.).

Avira Free Antivirus for Mac


Avira Free Antivirus for Mac is equipped with standard spyware and adware protection, along with the ability to intercept harmful websites and block tracking. Plus, it comes bundled with 5GB of online storage in addition to one-click deletion of malicious files.

Be reminded that Avira’s interface is somewhat bulky, though it’s easy to navigate. The app is lined with red-and-gray highlights and a left-hand navigational bar for viewing the status of your system, scheduling tasks, and viewing past quarantine history, among other options. Virus definitions are updated in a timely fashion as well, regardless of how long the initial updates might take to complete. It’s resource heavy, but capable enough if you’re looking for automation, scan history, and other advanced features.

This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 6:17:39 AM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

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