Antivirus: Top 5 Software Programs for Mac

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It’s a well-perpetuated myth that Apple brand computers, or Macs, are immune to viruses, especially when the stereotypical Windows “Blue Screen of Death” has become so well-known. However, some might speculate that Windows is only a huge target because it’s such a popular platform, and writing malware for Macs is a little harder. Although less common, it’s possible for threats of malware to occur on Apple devices, none of which are necessarily “safe.” Here are the top five antivirus software programs you can get today for Macs.

Number One: Avast Free Antivirus for Mac. With strong malware detection rates, Avast is one of the top-rated free options for Mac devices. It has numerous sections, such as “Status,” “Scan Reports,” “Virus Chest,” “Shields,” and “My Devices.” With detection of 97.4 percent of on-demand malware and 100 percent of on-access malware, this software is one of the strongest antivirus programs any Mac user can currently use. Most importantly, it’s completely free to use! The only major complaint users tend to have with Avast is the lack of scheduled scans, but other than that it is by far the highest-rated software program for protecting your beloved Mac.

Number Two: Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac. If you insist on paying for virus protection, Bitdefender is one of the cheaper options at $39.95 per year. Not only does Bitdefender protect against viruses and spyware, but it also protects against Trojan horses, key loggers, worms, and adware. Bitdefender will scan your entire Mac system, plus external USB hard drives and disk images. This version of Bitdefender for OS systems yielded incredibly fast scan times while searching for viruses.

Number Three: Avira Antivirus for Mac

Another free antivirus software, Avira has a very clean and concise interface. Originally a program for Windows, this family-owned German software company does its job at a fairly good rate. Whereas a new Windows malware is released nearly every week, Avira uses heuristic detection levels to predict, identify and protect against new malware. In a test trial, Avira identified 399 out of 422 assorted Mac viruses, equaling about 96 percent.

Number Four: Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition. This program has a bit of a simpler setup than McAfee, and what’s even better? It’s completely free! With easy installation and a short download time, Sophos gives a great impression right off of the bat. The program also has a “Scan This Mac” feature, which is used to remind you to scan your Mac or schedule custom scans. On a test computer, Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition was able to detect 96.6 percent of on-demand malware compared to the national average of 80 percent, and 97.6 percent of on-access malware compared to the 57.5 percent national average.

Number Five: McAfee Internet Security 2014 for Mac. With a price tag of $79.99, McAfee is perhaps one of the more expensive antivirus software programs. However, with that price tag comes some stand-out features, especially for Macs. McAfee protects you from malware that gets sent out by web-based threats. Additionally, the program can scan attachments sent from emails and instant messaging. McAfee also has a program called “Site-Advisor,” which automatically ranks which websites are safest when you use a search engine to look something up. You can even set it up to automatically block websites the program deems unsafe.

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