As any fan-boy (myself included) will testify, Macs don’t get viruses – or rather, that’s what we used to say…
With the popularity of the Macintosh platform at the highest it’s ever been, we are no longer as immune to cyber attacks as we could once claim. Only last week the ill intentioned ‘Mac Defender’ virus raged chaos on Macs the world over. The question of Mac security has raised its head once again – and this time, we might actually need to pay attention…
In a timely culmination of development and marketing, internet security stalwart, F-Secure have brought their anti-virus protection to the Mac. The software offers full protection from a plethora of internet nasties, including viruses, worms, spyware and most other common forms of malware that set out to hurt your shiny Apple goodies.
At a mere $30 for a years worth of protection, it’s not going to break the bank; but $30 is still a decent amount of cash to invest in something that you might not need.
Well, I’m here to say this (and trust me, it’s a hard thing for me to admit) – Mac users of the world – no longer are we able to sit in our towers, gloating and bragging about our invulnerability, and mocking the perceived ignorance of Windows OS users. The time has come for us to suck up our pride and install an anti-virus.
‘But, how will we win Mac Vs Pc debates?’ I hear you cry. While it is still true that Mac computers are A LOT more secure than our Windows counterparts, the moment the Mac Defender virus mutated, and became able to install without user authentication was the moment we lost.
Luckily, F-Secure has made virus management a breeze. Simply download the software from the company site, buy a subscription and you are away. Installation is a quick and painless process and the program takes up a mere 47 MB of storage.
F-Secure Anti-Virus has 2 areas of protection. Firstly it has a realtime protection system that stops malware getting into your Mac in the first place. Secondly you have the option to scan your hard drive to detect threats that may already be present.
The realtime scanner is great – it sits happily in them menu bar and doesn’t take up any CPU resource worth mentioning. The manual scanning however is a beast. For me, on a 128GB SSD (45GB in use) the scan took over 4 hours. In that time the program used up 80% of the CPU. This is a massive drain, so I would only advise using the manual scan when you are not using the computer.
Unsurprisingly, the manual scan revealed zero viruses. I am a fairly vigilant person, so I would have been shocked if anything had made it onto my system, but now that OS X is firmly on the radar for internet criminals and general troublemakers – having active protection is good peace of mind.
Good virus and malware protection is as much about common sense as it is good software. If you click a link in Google and it starts downloading a file – it’s pretty safe to say that’s a bad thing. Delete that SOB before it can get hold! Equally authenticating an unknown app will get you unstuck; but even the best of us mess up sometimes, and having a second line of defence is now a must.
I’m sure I will be slammed by the commenters for admitting fear in the face of virus adversity, but for me, I would rather be safe than sorry. Maybe it is all hype and we will all be fine, but I recommend getting some sort of anti-virus solution on your Mac and F-Secure are a trusted name that offer a great solution.
F-Secure Anti-Virus for Mac is available from the company website with subscriptions starting at $29 a year. Free trials are also available.