The Best Antivirus Software for Mac 2017

Macs are not safe from viruses and other forms of malware, and you need to make sure your Mac stays protected from hackers and viruses. Check out our expert reviews to learn more.

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  • Craig Chamberlin is your source of common sense advice for technology
  • Lindsey Kennedy is freelance, free range technology journalist and editor

Why You Need Antivirus for Mac

“I don’t need virus protection – I’m a Mac user!” I hear you cry. Uh-oh… this is a common misconception - and a very dangerous one at that. Where does this myth come from?

Well, back in the day, it was largely true. You could indeed own a Mac and not have to worry about getting viruses. Because almost everyone owned Microsoft products, hackers and cybercriminals concentrated on developing malware that would exploit specific vulnerabilities in these operating systems. Lucky old Mac users simply weren’t big enough fish to fry.

That’s just not the case anymore. Today it’s very important to have an antivirus for mac and other Apple devices, tablets and mobile devices. Macs are now enormously popular – and that makes them a target for viruses and other forms of malware. While Apple is very security-conscious and its operating systems tend to be harder to infiltrate than Windows ones, they are certainly not immune.

What You Need to Stay Protected

To avoid getting caught out, it’s important to invest in a comprehensive antivirus package or internet security suite to keep your MacBook or Mac OS X device malware-free.

This virus protection should be designed to tick along in the background, allowing both for manual and real-time scans, while keeping your computer safe from all the usual suspects: viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and other forms of malware.

Ideally, you should choose a system that also provides plenty of privacy and security features such as two-way firewalls, social media protection and, if you have kids, plenty of parental controls.

Range of Options

When it comes to the specifics, there are a range of options for internet security for Mac. Just like their Windows-centered counterparts, these vary in price and quality.

To start with, there are the free options available. While there are fewer decent free antivirus tools available for Mac than for windows, you can get antivirus Mac free. Then there are the much better paid and premium services, which you can typically purchase by annual subscription and download directly from the vendor’s website to your Mac.

The best Mac antivirus software provides superb protection for any type of computer and can be managed from a central dashboard. Again, bear in mind that not all internet security companies provide antivirus for Mac, though.

Don’t Take the Risk!

Although Mac devices are still relatively new to viruses, they are proliferating fast and it’s essential to ensure you’re thoroughly protected. What’s more, if you shop, stream video or bank online, especially using public Wi-Fi, you are vulnerable to hacks and identity theft no matter what device you use.

To get the most out of your Mac antivirus software, run scans at least once per week, especially if you frequently browse the web. Even better, keep the program’s shields running in the background at all times so that your computer is thoroughly protected. The best Mac antivirus programs can do this without slowing you down. In fact, some even offer performance-enhancing tools to keep your machine running in top-top condition.

If you have more devices to cover and want to expand beyond Windows only, view the top antivirus providers here.