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Although Mac viruses are few and far between, it can pay to install some security software to gain some peace of mind and keep your data secure.A few weeks back, a malware program (which is not a virus, but is harmful nonetheless) disguised as legit software MAC Defender wreaked a bit of havoc on unsuspecting Mac users worldwide.
LOTS of people fell for the malware scam. Apple support calls were off the charts.
UPDATE: The malware is now also known as MacSecurity and MacProtector, so keep your eyes open for it.
People downloaded the fake software and ran it, at which point it would alert these people to viruses and ask them to buy the full program in order to vanquish the worms.
As soon as people put in their credit cards to buy the full version of the fake program, they were screwed.
So, we’ve put together a list of the best and most comprehensive anti-virus and anti-malware programs for your Mac, even though a little discretion when surfing the net could be your best anti-malware bet.
Intego offers two solutions for consumers: Virus Barrier, and Internet Security Barrier, which both come with two licenses.
Virus Barrier is probably all you'll need to protect yourself. It includes protection from viruses, spyware, phishing, and more. It constantly runs in the background to alert you of incoming threats.
Intego's software also won About.com's Readers Choice aware for 2011.
It's our pick as the best Mac security software.
Virus Barrier: $49.95
Internet Security Barrier: $79.95
Sophos touts its 'business class' virus protection, its engineers working 24 hours a day to seek out viruses, malware, and provide protection to users. You won't get too many features for free, though.
Cisco, Ford, Coca Cola, and other big companies use Sophos. They provide great support and easy to use software. It runs in the background, but you can scan anything you're concerned about with a simple CTRL click.
Price: free for consumers
McAfee's SiteAdvisor shows you red, green, and yellow colour codes to indicate the safety of every website you visit, before you click.
This way, you'll never click any ads or pop-ups that are potentially malicious.
McAfee's software also cleans and scans anything you download, so even if you stumble upon something nasty, you won't ever open it.
If you use Safari and see this message, it's probably best to close the page.
It's that simple.
Norton's Internet Security suite is a feature-packed alternative, offering tons of customisation, scheduling for scans, identity protection, and more.
The software monitors everything in the background, including incoming emails and instant messages, and encrypts keystrokes to prevent anybody from logging everything you're typing.
Automatic updates give you constant protection, and anti-phishing measures keep the phishers at bay.
Price: $79.99 for one year
BitDefender will kill spyware, viruses, phishing websites, and more, but it's missing some critical features like protection for when you're about to enter a harmful website.
One feature we like is that you can drag and drop any file into the dock icon for quick scanning, but there aren't many specifically malicious files for mac.
Panda has all the features you'd expect like virus, phishing, and identity protection, but it also includes one awesome feature: the ability to scan your iPhone and iPad.
For jailbreakers, this might be a great solution. We haven't really heard of any serious iOS virus attacks, though.
Price: $49.99 for a year
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