There’s a common myth that Macs do not need antivirus protection. That, however, isn’t entirely true. The detection of over a hundred types of malwares in Macs last year stirred a debate about the built-in security features of macOS. Yes, it is true that Apple’s flagship line of personal computers isn’t completely immune to malicious software variants.
That brings us to another question: do users need to install third-party antivirus software on Macs? Yes, they do. What are the types of antivirus tools you should use for your Mac? Are they free or paid? We’ll be covering the answer to these questions in detail. On a related note: if you’re having problems with your internet connection, we recommend opting for Optimum internet plans for high-speed connectivity.
Why Are Macs Increasingly Becoming the Target for Malware?
There are a number of reasons as to why cybercriminals have become bolder in their attacks on Macs in recent years. One of them is that malware development no longer requires extensive expertise. Even a small tweak to an existing software can convert it into a malicious software. Macs are also far more expensive than their Windows counterparts. Hackers see Mac users as attractive targets due to their buying power. Another reason behind the surge in malware attacks in Macs is that Apple’s rival Microsoft is amping up security for the Windows operating system, making it more secure than ever before.
What Are the Built-in Security Tools in Mac Software?
The current Mac operating system is based on Unix. This powerful architecture comes with its own security features, accounting for the primary reason behind the popularity of Mac’s relatively secure hardware. Mac also comes with several built-in security measures such as XProtect, Gatekeeper, and security fixes with every update.
The purpose of XProtect is to automatically block malware following its detection. This utility receives updates separately from regular system updates. Think of it as an invisible cloak preventing the installation of known malware. Gatekeeper, on the other hand, blocks the installation of apps not designated as safe by Apple. Furthermore, macOS features a security mechanism known as sandbox wherein all apps perform their functions in an isolated environment and separate from the critical system infrastructure.
What Do the Experts Say?
Digital experts say that Apple’s security features aren’t as comprehensive as they seem. They say that good security features should be all-encompassing, something which the current macOS lacks to a great extent. Some have even pointed out that XProtect is designed to detect several and not all strains of malware. Moreover, the complex nature of sandboxing is seen to restrict a third-party antivirus software from performing its function to the best of its capabilities.
Which Antivirus Software Should You Choose?
The increasing number of cyberattacks have prompted digital experts to introduce a wide range of antivirus tools. You can choose from free or paid options. The latter offer extra security features in addition to heavy discounts. Let’s explore the paid options, first. These include Intego Mac Internet Security X9, Norton 360 Deluxe, Kaspersky, VIPRE, and Bitdefender.
Intego Mac Internet Security
Intego claims itself to be the leading Mac security software since 1997. And it is rightfully so. You can run Intego on a single device for a period of one year for just $39.99. The price increases to $49.99 for each subsequent year. The best thing about Intego is that it was designed specifically for Macs. Additional features include location-based firewall and protection against phishing scams.
Norton 360 Deluxe
Norton is currently the most sought-after antivirus tool in the market. The 360 Deluxe version is said to be 100% effective against all types of malware. The Norton 360 Deluxe supports five devices for just $9.99 a month. This utility comes with a wide range of fantastic features including cloud backup and parental controls.
Kaspersky Internet Security
Kaspersky provides a high-quality antivirus scanner in addition to real-time protection against cyber security threats. You can get a year of Kaspersky’s protection at a price of $39.99. Other features include parental controls and protection against webcam spying.
VIPRE Antivirus Plus
VIPRE has bagged decent scores in lab tests. It offers security features such as spam filters and firewalls. VIPRE is seen to outperform market heavyweights including Norton and Bitdefender on numerous occasions. VIPRE Antivirus Plus is available for $34.99 a year, with multi-license subscriptions.
Numerous users have declared Bitdefender as the top antivirus software in 2021. It provides protection against a variety of cyber threats. Furthermore, it offers a virtual private network (VPN) and an autopilot feature. The company is currently giving away a huge 60% discount on Bitdefender solutions.
If you don’t intend to spend a dollar or two on your Mac antivirus protection, you can test several free antivirus tools. These include Avast Free Mac Security, Avira Free Antivirus, Malwarebytes, and Sophos Home. These utilities are designed to provide strong all-round protection against malware. We recommend that you opt for paid antivirus tools since they offer extraordinary features against different types of malware.
Some Other Tips to Securing Your Mac
While antivirus tools can provide an added layer of security to your Mac, relying solely on them is not sufficient to protect your Mac against cyber threats. Make sure to:
- Update your software on a regular basis
- Create strong passwords
- Enable firewall
- Run unauthorized files with antivirus scanners
- Do not give anyone else access to your computer
Be vigilant of the latest cyber security threats. Protect your smart devices.