Of course Macs are cooler than PCs. However, Macs are no longer safer than PCs. It is true that, until 2011, Mac users were comparatively safe from hackers. Then, MacDefender/Mac Protector/MacGuard and Fakeflash/Flashback ran amok among Macs. Even so, the MacDefender fake Apple antivirus program (a simple Trojan) failed to convince many Mac users to buy Mac security software. Then, along came Flashback (also called Fakeflash), which zombified 600,000 Macs into a botnet by exploiting a Java vulnerability. Surprisingly, Mac users continued to ignore Mac antivirus, even though Apple has made it clear that it expects Mac users to purchase Mac antivirus software.
Most Mac users are still unlikely to install antivirus for Mac software, even as the Mac user base has reached the critical mass to attract attention from organized crime. We encourage you to learn how to protect your Macintosh by reading articles about antivirus software for Mac, and especially our product reviews of Kromtech MacKeeper, Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security for Mac and Kaspersky for Mac.
The process of finding the best Mac antivirus for you is not difficult if you focus – as we do – on protection, features, and help and support. In terms of protection, some products offer antiphishing and antispam in addition to antimalware. Each vendor publishes a feature list, and you will find quite a variety. Help and support policies vary quite dramatically.
Antimalware must, at the very least, detect and prevent viruses, spyware, rootkits, keyloggers and Trojan horses from invading your computer. Since no security software can always be effective, it must also be able to seek and destroy malware that successfully infiltrates your system. The antimalware features native to the Mac OS are so effective, however, that the danger is more likely to come from a phishing attempt that tricks you into downloading something dangerous. Therefore, antiphishing is one of the most important protections for Apple computers, but it is not present in every Mac antivirus product.
During a Mac virus scan, there is an impact on system performance. However, you can program scans to occur during times when you do not need to use the computer. You might also like the ability to scan a single file or folder. Another feature to be aware of is the ability to automatically detect and scan external drives.
Help & Support
The best virus protection for Mac will provide help and support in addition to good performance and useful features. We suggest that you evaluate help and support by asking questions such as the following: How good is the in-context help while you operate the product? What do you think of the online knowledgebase and tutorials that the vendor hosts on its website? Do product managers ever visit the community forums where users discuss issues? Is it important for you to be able to chat online with technical support, or would you be satisfied with telephone or email access? Do you care if technical support is available 24/7? Can you get by with support during business hours on weekdays only? What about languages? Do you want support technicians who would understand if you asked: ¿Puedes ayudarme con mi antivirus para Mac? By researching how and when vendors provide help and support, you will minimize unpleasant surprises when you need assistance.
The online world is a dangerous place. You will make a good Mac antivirus purchase if you focus your attention on the software's protection, features, and help and support. MacDefender and Fakeflash/Flashback were bad enough – and the worst is yet to come. Criminals continue to focus on Windows machines, but Macs are sufficiently exposed and vulnerable to warrant Mac antivirus software. That Macs are vulnerable to cyber attacks is undeniable, which is why Apple recommends that you buy Mac security software.
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