Updated on February 6, 2020
It is a common myth that owners of Apple Mac computers do not need to worry about protecting their devices from viruses, but how accurate is this now? If you are among many people running Mac OS and you are not sure whether you require security software, continue reading.
If you have got an Apple iMac, MacBook, Mac Guru, or Mac Mini, then you might be wondering in case you will need to install an antivirus program to stay safe and secure and protect against the variety of threats you keep hearing about in the media. But then again, you might have discovered that malware only affects Windows systems. So what’s the reality? As with most questions concerning security, the solution isn’t crystal clear, but this report can allow you to gain a better comprehension of the topic.
Mac computers have long enjoyed a reputation for being basically immune to viruses and other sorts of malware. However, while they continue to be a lot more secure than Windows systems, Apple Macs are still vulnerable to some viruses and other malware, and it is an increasing problem. Apple’s built-in security system does a fair job of maintaining malware at bay, but you still need to look at beefing up security by installing antivirus software.
In this informative article, we discuss why you will need to look at using antivirus with a Mac computer and show some of the best antivirus software to assist.
Do you actually need an antivirus to protect a Mac?
In short, yes. Mac’s aren’t immune to malware and Mac-targeted strikes are becoming more and more prevalent. Following best practices for securing your device and utilizing built-in security features can help, but an antivirus software can function to secure your device even farther.
Let us explore this in more detail:
That having been said, figures do indicate that Mac computers are not as likely to come under threat from malware. But only because the risk is lower than using a Windows PC does not mean there is no risk in any way. Additionally, the danger is amplified if you are a business that runs multiple Mac computers.
Even if you’re just using a Mac as a home computer, there are some great reasons to consider improving security:
- Macs are getting more popular. Part of the allure of attacking Windows PCs is that the effect is so huge, with Windows with 80% of the market share. But Mac’s increase in popularity surely makes it a juicier target for attackers than in years gone by.
- Mac users are appealing targets. With Macs being far more expensive to buy than Windows PCs, it follows that Mac users will typically be wealthier. Therefore, they are attractive targets for criminals, particularly those seeking to steal personal data, such as financial information.
- Windows is getting more secure. Macs used to have a large lead over Windows PCs concerning security, which makes the latter easier to strike. The most recent versions of the Windows operating system are more protected than ever before, closing the gap, and making them harder targets. It would be surprising to see malicious hackers turn their efforts towards Macs.
Mac’s operating system does include built-in malware detection, which we will talk in more detail below. This built-in detection feature is a nice-to-have, but with more dangers, there is an increased likelihood that new malware may find its way onto your system before Apple updates its databases. These are known as zero-day dangers and are reason enough to consider installing some security program.
Notice that even an antivirus can not defend you against all sorts of attacks. By way of instance, if someone tricks you into escalating admin rights to install malware, it is already too late for an antivirus to spare you. Human error doesn’t differentiate between operating systems and Mac users may fall prey to scams just as readily as PC users may.
Other tips for securing your Mac computer
While built-in and extra antivirus software can help, there are additional things you can do to secure your computer. Past the unlikely event of a virus taking hold of your Mac, the most probable threats you may face are spyware and adware. The best way of preventing those and other threats is by taking basic but powerful security measures:
- Enable your firewall: Your firewall is the first line of defense against potential security threats.
- Keep your computer shut: This may sound obvious, but not let anybody else have access to your Mac or install files onto it on your behalf if you don’t know you can trust them.
- Prevent opening unknown files: Never open email attachments or other documents which you’ve received from unknown or suspicious sources.
- Be skeptical of software suppliers: Only install applications from respectable sites you know you can expect and prevent pirated software.
- Use strong passwords: Make sure your Mac, in addition to all your local and online accounts, are protected with strong passwords composed of at least eight characters. Passwords should contain numbers, letters (both upper and lower case), and unique characters. Test your password power here.
- Keep your applications up-to-date: Maintain your Mac and applications current at all times. Get those upgrades through the developers’ websites or the App Store, not from popups.
If you practice all the above, you should not need to worry about threats disrupting your pleasure of your Mac. Of course, things do change, so keep abreast of the most recent security news just in case.
Updated on February 6, 2020
Does your Mac want an antivirus tool? The brief answer is yes! If you are in the market for Mac antivirus apps (and you ought to be) there are a couple of significant players with renowned names and terrific reputations offering quality programs for Mac users. Here are our top 7 picks for the best antivirus for Mac.
Perhaps the best lie told to any Mac user is that: “Macs do not get viruses.” If you are landing on this page, you have either discovered, sadly, that Macs are really prone to viruses, or you’re just a little suspicious of the claim once you heard it. In actuality, according to McAfee’s 2018 Threat Report, the complete number of macOS viruses found in the wild more than doubled as 2016. Mac viruses may be less common than Windows viruses, but they are out there and can wreak havoc for Mac users.
To keep up with the growing demand for AV tools, an increasing number of well-regarded AV software companies are currently producing macOS versions of their resources.
We have lined up the details on each service under, but if you’re looking for the short version, these are the best antivirus for Mac:
Intego Mac Internet Security X9: Our number one option for Mac users. Intego only makes antivirus for Mac and it does it quite well. Packed with wonderful features and powerful results from independent testing labs.
Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac: A solid choice for Mac users. Very low CPU use, high scores from independent testing labs, and charging practices which you can trust.
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac: Another Great choice for Mac users. Bitdefender combines great value with excellent scores from the huge testing labs.
McAfee Antivirus: Produces a fully-featured Mac OS version, but mostly as second-tier merchandise to its Windows software.
Symantec Norton Security Standard: An option to think about, but only marginally covered by independent AV testing labs.
ESET Basic Cybersecurity for Mac: A powerful performer that does attempt to push a few unnecessary add-ons at check out.
Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac: A fantastic entry at a very low cost, but with a few user-unfriendly billing practices.
Though all antivirus applications work similarly from a security perspective, most programs have unique attributes or methods of implementation. Really, some actually work better for Windows computers than they do for Macs, which means that you will want a program which has a Mac version and that’s well suited to the job of both cleaning up and protecting your Mac.
Additionally, among the biggest concerns for Mac users is CPU usage. An excellent Mac antivirus program should perform well with very little CPU usage and shouldn’t noticeably slow down your computer’s processing power.
When Searching for the best Mac antivirus software, we judged options using the following criteria:
- A definitive Mac version of this software is readily available
- High independent AV-Test detection scores
- Excellent independent AV-Test performance rates (CPU usage)
- High independent AV-Comparatives detection scores
- Consumer-friendly billing practices
Many imitations or shady antivirus apps exist on the marketplace that’s designed to grift computer users from their money. Instead of legitimate applications, they frequently offer faulty software that behaves more like a virus than a genuine antivirus program.
All the Mac antivirus apps recommended below aren’t only legitimate programs from reputable software companies but are fully vetted across multiple separate antivirus test labs, independent users, and review websites.
Note that we specifically utilized AV-Test.com and AV-Comparatives.org scores because these two testing labs are somewhat separate. We researched other respected independent testing labs (for example, Dennis Labs and Virus Bulletin) but these either didn’t have tests for Mac antivirus apps or didn’t have recent evaluations as of 2017.
Why should you have antivirus for Mac OS computers?
You certainly are not the first to question the validity of this claim about Macs and viruses. “Can Macs Get Viruses and Malware?” Requested DigitalTrends at a 2015 article. “The answer is definitely, yes,” Bitdefender’s Senior E-Threat Analyst, Bogdan Botezatu advised the online magazine. “There have been events, and there’ll be more.” Botezatu’s statement might be a bit of an understatement.
In fact, Mac OSX is the 4th most vulnerable operating system, based on information from the CVE Vulnerabilities list. In fact, Mac OSX has more vulnerabilities than rival Windows operating systems, such as older Windows versions like Windows 7, 8, as well as Windows Vista.
According to McAfee Labs, malware attacks on Macs climbed a jaw-dropping 744% in 2016. In spite of this increase coming mostly from adware, the case against the mythical “virus-free” Mac grows stronger daily. Even though it’s true that, by percent, Mac’s constitute a tiny proportion of computers becoming viruses, this has more to do with smaller market share than Macs simply having greater security.
NetMarketShare states only 3.52% of all computers are running Mac OSX. There are now more computers running the almost 20-year-old Windows XP operating system.
Still, there’s some truth to the claims. Mac OSX operating systems are sandboxed, meaning it’s harder for a virus to spread throughout your system if it does contract a computer virus or virus. Additionally, the tools required to make malware for Macs aren’t as readily available or as simple to make as they are for Windows machines, which makes them less vulnerable since virus programmers need more patience and time to craft malware.
From a larger perspective, however, Mac’s do not so much avoid getting viruses since they are not as likely to be targeted by hackers as a result of low odds of actually turning a profit. Microsoft notes that there are 400 million Windows 10 users, in addition, there are 100 million Apple users. The odds of turning a profit for a hacker are much higher when targeting Windows machines. But with 100 million Mac users, the chance is still there, and virus programmers are increasingly benefiting from Mac consumer complacency, particularly as Apple’s devices grow more popular globally.
Do you need antivirus protection for your Mac? The easy answer is yes. Every Mac user needs antivirus protection on their device. The bigger question that springs to mind, then, is that is the best antivirus for Mac computers, and what if Mac users are searching for when searching around for an antivirus program.