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Wesley Harris
Wesley Harris

Mac Malware: How Real Is the Threat and How to Prevent It with Apple Antivirus for Mac


Apple Antivirus for Mac: Do You Need It and Which One to Choose?




If you own a Mac computer or laptop from Apple , you might think that you don't need any antivirus software to protect it from malware . After all , isn't macOS supposed to be more secure than Windows ? And aren't there fewer viruses targeting Macs than PCs ?




Apple Antivirus For Mac


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Well , not exactly . While it is true that macOS has some built-in security features , such as Gatekeeper , XProtect , FileVault , and Sandbox , that make it harder for hackers to infect your system , it is not immune to malware . In fact , there have been several cases of ransomware , spyware , adware , trojans , keyloggers , backdoors , rootkits , worms , and other malicious programs targeting Macs in recent years . Some examples are: - OSX/MaMi, a malware that hijacked DNS settings and installed a root certificate to intercept traffic - OSX/Dok, a malware that used a phishing email to trick users into installing a fake update that gave attackers full access to their system - Fruitfly, a malware that stole millions of user images, personal data, tax records, and embarrassing communications by capturing screenshots and webcam images - MacDownloader, a malware that posed as a Flash update and attempted to steal credentials from the Keychain - KeRanger, the first known ransomware for Macs that encrypted files and demanded payment for their release - LockBit, a ransomware group that created samples of Mac encryptors that could potentially lock users out of their data As you can see , Macs are not safe from malware attacks , and they could become more frequent and sophisticated as more people use them . That's why you need to protect your Mac with antivirus software , just like you would with any other device . But how does antivirus software work on Macs , and what should you look for when choosing one ? Let's find out .


How Antivirus Software Protects Your Mac




Antivirus software is a type of software that scans your Mac for any signs of malware , such as suspicious files , processes , network activity , or behavior . It can also block malicious websites , downloads , emails , and attachments that could infect your Mac . Antivirus software can protect your Mac in three ways :



  • Prevention: Antivirus software can prevent malware from entering your Mac in the first place , by using real-time protection features that monitor your system and warn you of any potential threats . It can also use firewall features that control what applications can access the internet and block unauthorized connections .



  • Detection: Antivirus software can detect malware that has already infected your Mac , by using scan features that analyze your files , folders , drives , or entire system for any traces of malware . It can also use heuristic features that detect unknown or new malware based on their characteristics or behavior .



  • Removal: Antivirus software can remove malware that has been found on your Mac , by using quarantine features that isolate the infected files or processes and prevent them from spreading or causing further damage . It can also use cleanup features that delete the malware and restore your system to its normal state .



By using antivirus software on your Mac , you can enhance your security and privacy , avoid data loss or corruption , improve your performance and stability , and save time and money on fixing potential problems . But not all antivirus software are created equal , so how do you choose the best one for your Mac ?


What to Look for in a Mac Antivirus Software




There are many factors to consider when choosing a Mac antivirus software , such as performance , security , usability , compatibility , price , and customer support . Here are some questions to ask yourself when evaluating different options :



  • Performance: How fast and efficient is the antivirus software ? Does it run smoothly on your Mac without slowing it down or draining its battery ? Does it have a low impact on your system resources and disk space ? Does it offer different scan modes and schedules to suit your needs ?



  • Security: How effective and reliable is the antivirus software ? Does it protect you from all types of malware , including ransomware , spyware , adware , trojans , keyloggers , backdoors , rootkits , worms , and others ? Does it have a high detection rate and a low false positive rate ? Does it update its malware database regularly and automatically ? Does it offer additional security features , such as web protection , email protection , VPN protection , password manager , parental control , or identity theft protection ?



  • Usability: How easy and intuitive is the antivirus software ? Does it have a user-friendly interface and design ? Does it offer clear and helpful instructions and notifications ? Does it have customizable settings and preferences ? Does it have a simple installation and activation process ?



  • Compatibility: How compatible is the antivirus software with your Mac ? Does it support your macOS version and hardware configuration ? Does it work well with other applications and programs on your Mac ? Does it have any conflicts or issues with other security software on your Mac ?



  • Price: How affordable is the antivirus software ? Does it offer a free trial or a money-back guarantee ? Does it have different plans or packages to suit your budget and needs ? Does it offer discounts or coupons for multiple devices or longer subscriptions ? Does it have any hidden fees or charges ?



  • Customer Support: How responsive and helpful is the antivirus software's customer support ? Does it offer 24/7 support via phone , email , chat , or social media ? Does it have a comprehensive knowledge base , FAQ section , or forum ? Does it have a good reputation and feedback from other users ?



By answering these questions , you can narrow down your choices and find the best Mac antivirus software for your needs and preferences . To help you further , we have reviewed and compared some of the best Mac antivirus software available in 2023 , based on the criteria above . Here are our top picks :


The Best Mac Antivirus Software in 2023




There are many Mac antivirus software in the market , but not all of them are worth your time and money . Some of them may have poor performance , low security , complex usability , limited compatibility , high price , or bad customer support . To save you from the hassle of finding the best one , we have tested and ranked some of the most popular and reputable Mac antivirus software in 2023 . Here is a table that summarizes their main features , pros , cons , and price :


Name Features Pros Cons Price --- --- --- --- --- Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac - Real-time protection from malware , ransomware , adware , spyware , and phishing - Web protection from malicious websites and online trackers - VPN protection for secure and anonymous browsing - Time Machine protection for backup files - Anti-tracker extension for Safari browser - Bitdefender Shield for automatic updates and scans - Bitdefender Central for remote management and support - Excellent performance and security - Easy to use and install - Compatible with macOS Big Sur and M1 chip - Affordable price - 30-day money-back guarantee - 24/7 customer support via phone , email , chat , or forum - Limited features compared to other Bitdefender products - VPN protection has a daily limit of 200 MB per device - No password manager or parental control features - $19.99/year for 1 device - $29.99/year for 3 devices - $39.99/year for 5 devices Norton 360 Deluxe for Mac - Real-time protection from malware , ransomware , spyware , phishing , and identity theft - Web protection from malicious websites and online scams - VPN protection for secure and anonymous browsing - Password manager for storing and managing passwords securely - Cloud backup for up to 50 GB of data - Parental control for monitoring and managing children's online activity - SafeCam for blocking unauthorized access to webcam - Dark Web Monitoring for alerting you of any personal information exposed on the dark web - Comprehensive and reliable security - User-friendly and customizable interface - Compatible with macOS Big Sur and M1 chip - Reasonable price - 60-day money-back guarantee - 24/7 customer support via phone or chat - Moderate impact on system performance - VPN protection may slow down internet speed - Cloud backup may not work with some external drives or network drives - Parental control may not work with some browsers or apps - $39.99/year for up to 5 devices (including PCs, smartphones, and tablets) Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus for Mac - Real-time protection from malware , ransomware , spyware , phishing , and identity theft - Web protection from malicious websites and online scams - Firewall protection for blocking unauthorized network access - Anti-phishing extension for Safari browser - Total Defense Account for managing and renewing subscriptions - Total Defense Support for accessing help and resources - Simple and effective security - Low impact on system performance - Compatible with macOS Big Sur and M1 chip - Cheap price - 60-day money-back guarantee - 24/7 customer support via phone , email , or chat - Limited features compared to other Total Defense products - No VPN protection or password manager features - No cloud backup or parental control features - No dark web monitoring or webcam protection features - $19.99/year for 1 device - $29.99/year for 3 devices - $39.99/year for 5 devices Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac - Real-time protection from malware , ransomware , spyware , phishing , and identity theft - Web protection from malicious websites and online scams - Social network protection for blocking dangerous links on Facebook , Twitter , and LinkedIn - Privacy scanner for optimizing your privacy settings on social media and browsers - Folder shield for protecting your files from ransomware encryption - Trend Micro Security Dashboard for managing your security status and settings - Trend Micro Support Center for accessing help and resources - Advanced and reliable security - Easy to use and install - Compatible with macOS Big Sur and M1 chip - Fair price - 30-day money-back guarantee - 24/7 customer support via phone , email , chat , or forum - High impact on system performance - No VPN protection or password manager features - No cloud backup or parental control features - No dark web monitoring or webcam protection features - $29.95/year for 1 device - $39.95/year for 3 devices Avast One for Mac - Real-time protection from malware , ransomware , spyware , phishing , and identity theft - Web protection from malicious websites and online scams - VPN protection for secure and anonymous browsing - Password manager for storing and managing passwords securely - Data shredder for permanently deleting sensitive files - Webcam shield for blocking unauthorized access to webcam - Wi-Fi inspector for scanning your network for vulnerabilities and intruders - Avast Account for managing your subscriptions and devices web and alerting you of any breaches or risks - Data breach monitor for scanning your email accounts for any data leaks or hacks - Ad blocker for blocking annoying and intrusive ads on websites - Clario Dashboard for managing your security status and settings - Clario Support for accessing live experts and resources - Innovative and personalized security - Easy to use and install - Compatible with macOS Big Sur and M1 chip - Flexible price - 30-day money-back guarantee - 24/7 customer support via phone , email , chat , or video call - High impact on system performance - VPN protection may slow down internet speed - Password manager may not work with some browsers or apps - No cloud backup or parental control features - No webcam shield or firewall features - $9.99/month for up to 3 devices (including PCs, smartphones, and tablets) - $14.99/month for up to 6 devices (including PCs, smartphones, and tablets) Intego Mac Internet Security X9 - Real-time protection from malware , ransomware , spyware , phishing , and identity theft - Web protection from malicious websites and online scams - Firewall protection for blocking unauthorized network access - Anti-phishing extension for Safari browser - NetBarrier for controlling incoming and outgoing traffic on your network - VirusBarrier for scanning and removing malware from your Mac - Intego Dashboard for managing your security status and settings - Intego Support for accessing help and resources - Dedicated and specialized security for Macs - Low impact on system performance - Compatible with macOS Big Sur and M1 chip - Affordable price - 30-day money-back guarantee - 24/7 customer support via phone , email , chat , or forum - Limited features compared to other Intego products - No VPN protection or password manager features - No cloud backup or parental control features - No identity theft protection or webcam shield features - $24.99/year for 1 device - $34.99/year for 3 devices McAfee AntiVirus Plus for Mac - Real-time protection from malware , ransomware , spyware , phishing , and identity theft - Web protection from malicious websites and online scams - VPN protection for secure and anonymous browsing - Password manager for storing and managing passwords securely - Identity theft protection for monitoring your personal information on the dark web and alerting you of any breaches or risks - Home network security for scanning your network for vulnerabilities and intruders - McAfee Shredder for permanently deleting sensitive files - McAfee Dashboard for managing your security status and settings - McAfee Support for accessing help and resources - Comprehensive and versatile security - User-friendly and customizable interface - Compatible with macOS Big Sur and M1 chip - Reasonable price - 30-day money-back guarantee - 24/7 customer support via phone , email , chat , or forum - High impact on system performance - VPN protection may slow down internet speed - Password manager may not work with some browsers or apps - No cloud backup or parental control features - No webcam shield or firewall features - $29.99/year for up to 10 devices (including PCs, smartphones, and tablets) Webroot Antivirus for Mac - Real-time protection from malware , ransomware , spyware , phishing , and identity theft - Web protection from malicious websites and online scams - Firewall protection for blocking unauthorized network access - Identity theft protection for monitoring your personal information on the dark web and alerting you of any breaches or risks - Webcam protection for blocking unauthorized access to webcam - Webroot Dashboard for managing your security status and settings - Webroot Support for accessing help and resources - Fast and lightweight security - Easy to use and install - Compatible with macOS Big Sur and M1 chip - Cheap price - 70-day money-back guarantee - 24/7 customer support via phone , email , chat , or forum - Limited features compared to other Webroot products - No VPN protection or password manager features - No cloud backup or parental control features - No data shredder or Wi-Fi inspector features - $19.99/year for 1 device - $29.99/year for 3 devices Note: The prices are based on the official websites of the products as of June 2023 , and they may vary depending on the region , currency , or discounts .


As you can see , each Mac antivirus software has its own strengths and weaknesses , and there is no one-size-fits-all solution . The best Mac antivirus software for you depends on your specific needs and preferences . However , based on our research and testing , we recommend Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac as the best overall option , as it offers excellent performance and security , easy usability and compatibility , affordable price , and 24/7 customer support . If you are looking for a more comprehensive and versatile option , you may want to consider Norton 360 Deluxe for Mac or Avast One for Mac . If you are looking for a simple and effective option , you may want to consider Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus for Mac or Webroot Antivirus for Mac . If you are looking for an innovative and personalized option , you may want to consider Clario Antivirus for Mac . If you are looking for a dedicated and specialized option for Macs , you may want to consider Intego Mac Internet Security X9 .


How to Install and Use a Mac Antivirus Software




Now that you have chosen the best Mac antivirus software for you , how do you install and use it effectively ? Here are some tips and steps to follow :



  • Download the antivirus software from its official website: Avoid downloading the antivirus software from third-party sources or links that may be malicious or outdated . Go to the official website of the product and follow the instructions to download the installer file .



  • Run the installer file and follow the prompts: Double-click on the installer file that you have downloaded and follow the prompts to install the antivirus software on your Mac . You may need to enter your administrator password or grant permission to allow the installation . You may also need to enter your license key or activation code if you have purchased a subscription .



  • Restart your Mac if required: Some antivirus software may require you to restart your Mac after the installation is complete . This is to ensure that the antivirus software is fully integrated with your system and ready to protect it .



  • Update the antivirus software regularly: Make sure that your antivirus software is up to date with the latest malware definitions and features . Most antivirus software will update automatically in the background , but you can also check and update it manually from the antivirus software's dashboard or settings .



  • Scan your Mac regularly: Perform a full scan of your Mac at least once a week to detect and remove any malware that may have slipped through the cracks . You can also