Virus and spyware protection for mac

As with ransomware protection, we've observed more features specifically devoted to spyware protection on Windows-based security products than on the Mac, but a few products in this collection do pay special attention to spyware. Under Windows, Kaspersky's Safe Money feature opens sensitive sites in a secure browser that's hardened against outside interference. The Safe Money feature on the Mac doesn't do that, but it does check URLs to make sure you're on a legitimate secure site. Kaspersky offers an onscreen keyboard, so you can enter passwords with no chance of capture by a keylogger.

Its webcam protection isn't as configurable as it is on Windows, but you can use it to disable your Mac's webcam whenever you're not using it. It even includes the ability to block advertisers and others from tracking your online activities. If spyware is your bugaboo, you'll like Kaspersky. Sophos Home Premium offers protection for the webcam and microphone that's more substantial than Kaspersky's. You get a notification any time an untrusted program attempts to access either; you can allow access or stop the program. There's also an option to whitelist a program, so you don't get a popup every time you use your off-brand video chat tool.

Many antivirus tools on Windows pack in a ton of bonus features, packing in everything from tune-up utilities to VPNs. That behavior seems less common on the macOS side.

macOS - Security - Apple

Even so, some vendors don't have a standalone Mac antivirus, opting instead to offer a full security suite as the baseline level of protection, and a few others include suite-like bonus features in the basic antivirus. A typical personal firewall component blocks attacks coming in from the internet and also manages network permissions for programs installed on your Mac. Parental control is another common suite component.


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With Sophos free or premium and Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac, a content filter can block access to websites matching unwanted categories. Kaspersky goes beyond that, with content filtering, internet time scheduling, private data protection, and even social media contact control.

Most of the products covered in this roundup earned certification from at least one independent testing lab; some managed two certifications. There really are no bad choices here, as far as basic antivirus protection goes. Even so, a couple of products stood out. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac not only achieved certification from both labs, it earned the maximum score in every test, and took the top antiphishing score.

Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac also earned high scores. It offers a full suite of Mac security tools, at the same price competitors charge for basic antivirus protection. These two are our Editors' Choice winners for Mac antivirus protection. Look over the reviews, pick the product that suits you best, and get your Mac protected.

Once you've done that, you should also consider installing a Mac VPN. While an antivirus protects you, your devices, and your data locally, a VPN extends that protection to your online activities, protecting both your security and your privacy. Editors' Note: We are aware of the allegations of Kaspersky Labs' inappropriate ties to the Russian government.

Until we see some actual proof of these allegations, we will treat them as unproven , and continue to recommend Kaspersky's security products as long as their performance continues to merit our endorsement. Protects files and backups from ransomware. Top ratings from two independent testing labs. Excellent score in our antiphishing test. No-hassle Autopilot mode. TrafficLight browser extension marks dangerous links in search results.

Even Macs Need Antivirus Protection

With its handy Autopilot mode, you can set it, forget it, and have confidence that your Apple computer is protected against malware. Excellent scores from two independent testing labs. Full parental control system. Network protection. Decent score in our antiphishing test. Privacy protection. Useful bonus tools. Parental content filter foiled by secure anonymizing proxy. Content filter missed raunchy sites blocked by Windows edition. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac excels in independent lab tests, and it goes far beyond mere antivirus, offering protection against network attacks, parental control, privacy protection, and many other useful features.

Certified by one independent testing lab. Fast scan. Firewall blocks exploit attacks. Cleans up unneeded files. Now includes password manager. Poor score against phishing sites. Limited detection of Windows malware. Firewall's application control generates many pop-ups. Elaborate scan scheduling options. Good detection of Windows malware. Simple device control. Includes online cybersecurity training. Poor results in our hands-on antiphishing test. Slow scans in testing. No longer certified by independent labs. Perfect score in antiphishing test.

Includes simple personal firewall. No current test results from independent labs. Firewall no longer includes application control. Certified by one independent antivirus lab. Webcam protection. Very good phishing protection. Ransomware protection. Remote management. Simple parental control.

How to protect your Mac from Malware

Lacks exploit protection, malware deep-clean, download reputation check, keylogger protection, and other advanced features found in the Windows edition. Certified by two antivirus testing labs. Speedy full scan. Social network privacy scan. Includes ransomware protection, webcam privacy, and parental control. Parental control foiled by secure anonymizing proxy.

Very poor phishing protection score. Webcam privacy needs work. Social network privacy not fully functional. Licensing model not practical for all-Mac households. Very fast full scan.

Best antivirus for Mac: Protect yourself from malicious software

Certified by one antivirus lab. Excellent phishing protection. Excellent detection of Windows malware. Marks dangerous links in search results. Lowest passing score in independent lab test. Excellent phishing protection for Chrome and Firefox. Useful bonus features. Wi-Fi intruder detection. Doesn't add much to free edition's features. Poor phishing protection for Safari. Password manager includes only basic features. Avast Security Pro for Mac adds ransomware protection and Wi-Fi intruder detection to the features found in Avast's free antivirus, but these additions don't merit its high price.

Lab-certified for Mac malware protection. Scans for malware on demand, on access, and on schedule. Straightforward user interface. No filtering of malicious or fraudulent websites. Certified by two labs for Mac malware protection. Includes full-featured firewall. Detects Mac, Windows, and Linux malware. Poor detection of Windows malware. No protection against malicious or fraudulent websites. But it fails against Windows malware and lacks protection against dangerous URLs. Extremely fast malware scan.

Very good reputation among tech experts. No detection of Windows malware. The premium edition of Malwarebytes for Mac scans for active malware and uses real-time detection to prevent infestation. It has a very good reputation, but hard data showing its effectiveness is scarce. Certified for Mac protection by an independent testing lab. Scans on demand, on access, and on schedule. No web-based protection against malicious or fraudulent sites.

Mediocre detection of Windows malware. An independent lab verifies that ProtectWorks AntiVirus can keep your Mac safe from malware, but it lacks some useful features found in competing products. The Best Android Antivirus Apps for The Best Antivirus Protection for Other vendors, like Avast and Trend Micro Antivirus, offer an alternative feature that allows you to whitelist programs allowed to manipulate files in specific directories.

Good antivirus software should also use minimal computational resources. Beyond these primary features, an easy-to-navigate interface and extra features are worth factoring into your decision. Some AV software are full-fledged suites that offer additional options like backup service for essential files, a password manager, parental controls, anti-tracking and privacy modes or options, a more advanced firewall, and the blocking of Potentially Unwanted Applications PUAs.

Each software package is evaluated creating a clean installation of macOS Mojave, cloning it for each AV product, and then booting separately into each one to install a different package. In addition to visiting malicious websites, downloading known malicious software, and even running said malware, we also reference the most recent reports from two labs that regularly cover macOS malware: These laboratories test AV software against sets of known malware as well as products that are grouped as potentially unwanted applications like adware.

Because the testing effectively looks at a combination of virus databases and behavior, they remain good gauges even after many months. When an antivirus software package lacks a rating from a known security research lab, we do more extensive testing with real malware. Finally, while we gave props for a lot of different features and behaviors, we marked products down if they lacked any or all of the following:.

First, an antivirus product may upload the complete text of files flagged to the cloud, where it can be analyzed by separate tools hosted there. This practice is normal and sensible: Some malware can detect when a running process may examine it, and will then engage in subterfuge. Antivirus software makers also can access their massive databases to examine files with characteristics that trigger their algorithms—certain elements that match known malware.

As a result, security researchers discover new viruses, worms, Trojans horses, and the like. Where appropriate, we noted privacy policy issues in individual reviews. Second, this software may also rely partly or entirely on cloud-based checks of URLs, malware, and the like. Companies vary on their disclosure of such policies, and may not let you opt out of this kind of sharing. We note issues in each review as available. In some cases, you can opt out of this information gathering. Sophos Home Premium has the most extensive and up-to-date approach to fighting malware at an unbeatable price.

Norton Security Deluxe is the most comprehensive security package we tested, but it lacks advanced monitoring of ransomware and complete Windows malware identification—the latter of which should be a given. This suite doesn't offer a lot in the way of extras, and we'd like to see its network monitor develop into the more robust feature available on Windows. Still, for the price you get a good amount of protection against key threats on macOS. Version 6.

Its ransomware detection also has room to grow. Though McAfee Total Protection offers good protection, its subscription price and lack of ransomware monitoring allow competitors to surpass it. Intego's software has no fatal flaws, but because of its lower ratings by security labs, minimal ransomware protection, and lack of native browser plug-ins, we don't currently recommend it. Home Software Updated. Macs may be attacked less often than other platforms, but they're not invincible.

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Sorry There was an error emailing this page. Table of Contents Latest antivirus for Mac news Best overall antivirus software Best free antivirus software What to look for in antivirus software How we test Privacy concerns All of our antivirus for Mac reviews Show More. At a Glance. Avast Security Pro for Mac. Pros Folder-based ransomware app blocking and whitelisting Crisp and easy interface Rapid real-time malware discovery Well-designed alerts. Sophos Home Premium for Mac. Pros Detection of ransomware in progress Low price per computer Cloud-based remote configuration.