5 Free Apps to Protect Your Mac from Viruses

Do you use an antivirus application on your Mac? There’s a misconception going around that Mac computers do not receive viruses, but that’s actually quite the contrary. No computer is exempt from viruses, malware, spyware, trojans, etc – no matter what operating system you may be using.

Online threats targeting Mac computers are on the rise, especially since many Mac users believe that they cannot get viruses. Hackers realize that many Mac users are oblivious to the fact that they do indeed need some type of protection. Although viruses on a Mac are not as common as they are on Windows computers, they still do happen.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you really have nothing to lose by peforming a daily or weekly scan of your computer. So why not download an application to protect your Mac? If you’re looking for available options, here are 5 free antivirus applications to get you started.

ClamXav Antivirus for Mac

ClamXac is an easy-to-use antivirus that can detect both Windows and Mac threats. You can use it to scan your entire hard drive, or just the files that you choose. If your Mac is indeed infected, you’ll get a list of infected files and you can send them to quarantine or to the trash. You can also set a schedule so that ClamXac scans your system as often as you’d like.

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

Like ClamXac, Bitdefender Virus Scanner can find both Windows viruses and Mac malware. You can scan your entire hard drive, specific locations, and running apps. Before you begin a scan, Bitdefender will perform an update automatically so that you’re always up-to-date with the latest virus signatures; their virus signatures get updated hourly. Bitdefender also supports Growl for notifications.

Dr.Web Light Antivirus for Mac

Dr.Web Light uses “the most advanced virus detection and neutralization technologies” for your Mac, and has a lot of great features. Its databases are constantly updated with new signatures for your protection. Dr.Web Light also uses a heuristic analyzer for additional protection. One of the cool things about Dr.Web Light is that you can check files and folders for threats by just dragging and dropping them onto the app window. Active threats can be quarantined immediately.

iAntivirus for Mac

iAntivirus, an antivirus by Norton that can detect Mac and Windows threats, is a popular choice among Mac users. It’s a simple malware and virus scanner that can also help to block threats from the Internet. For instance, you can use it to protect your iPhoto pictures, iTunes music, and even your Facebook timeline. Like Dr.Web Light, you can drag-and-drop files and foldes onto the iAntivirus window to immediately check them for threats.

Avast Antivirus for Mac

Avast is my antivirus of choice for my Windows PC, but I have yet to try it on my Mac. Avast not only protects files and folders on your computer, but it also protects you while browsing the Web and when reading your email. Any file that you open/execute is immediately scanned in real-time, which means less work for you. You can also choose which files and folders to scan and which ones you don’t want to be scanned.

Additionally, Avast has a website reputation feature (via their WebRep plugin) that will let you know whether a website is reputable or not – before you click-through to it. The plugin is available for Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.

What have you chosen to use on your Mac to protect it against viruses? Are you happy with your decision? Have you ever had a virus or malware on your Mac? Feel free to share your experience in the comments.

Photo Credit: weeviraporn