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My Kaspersky contact checked with the developers and confirmed that there is a problem "due to one of the protection components not being updated in this version. Other product lines have exhibited a similar variation in the phishing test. For example, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus for windows managed 99 percent detection, while it's Mac edition only managed 88 percent. And Norton's Mac antivirus has a lower score than its Windows counterpart, too. In addition to the expected quick and full scans for malware, Kaspersky offers a custom scan that lets you choose drives or folders for scanning, scan for active malware in memory, or just scan items that launch at startup.

A quick test scan finished in less than a minute, while a full scan took 33 minutes. Norton scanned even faster, finishing a full scan in 10 minutes and a quick scan in 30 seconds. Its full scan finished in just two minutes, and it completed a quick scan in 15 seconds. These and other speedy scans have pulled the average full scan time down to 23 minutes, but Kaspersky is still plenty fast. I'm not equipped to release actual macOS malware on the test system, but I did drop a folder of samples containing malware from my Windows antivirus testing onto its drag-and-drop scan screen.

Overall, it wiped out 76 percent of the samples, better than average and quite a bit better than when I last tested this product.

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McAfee AntiVirus Plus for Mac detected just a quarter of the samples, and Intego even fewer, while Sophos wiped out every single one of them. ESET Cyber Security for Mac includes an elaborate scheduling system that even lets you schedule the launch of third-party applications. Bitdefender and Webroot, among others, let you create a daily or weekly scan schedule. Kaspersky, on the other hand, doesn't include a scheduling component, instead relying on real-time protection to eliminate any attempted malware attacks.

It does now run a full scan after installation, to take care of any preexisting problems. When you're about to visit a financial website or other sensitive site, it offers to open the site in a special browser that's hardened against outside interference. In the Windows version, a glowing green border serves as a visual reminder that you're using the safe browser. The Mac antivirus also has a feature called Safe Money, but it's a completely different thing. When you visit what appears to be a sensitive website, Kaspersky double-checks it with the Kaspersky Security Network online, and notifies you if the site is not legitimate.

In previous versions, it slid out a notification stating that the site is OK, but I found that it frequently offered multiple notifications. The current version is completely silent unless it detects a problem. I assume it's working, but I couldn't prove it. Specifically, they let the administrator block access to websites matching categories deemed inappropriate. With Kaspersky, on the other hand, you get a full-scale parental control utility, with content filtering, time control, and private data protection.

Previously, Kaspersky Internet Security's parental control included control over social media contacts, both on Windows and macOS. That feature is no longer present, but you can get it in Kaspersky Safe Kids for iPhone , which comes with the top-tier suite Kaspersky Total Security. Web Control lets you ban access to nine content categories, among them Adult Content, Profanity, and Violence.

By default, it forces Safe Search on major search portals. You can also use it to restrict downloading of apps, music, and videos.

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When Kaspersky blocks access to a site, it shows the category or categories that triggered the block. In testing, though, I found that it let through numerous raunchy websites that its Windows equivalent blocked. And logging in to a secure anonymizing proxy completely defeated the content filter, where the Windows edition prevented such chicanery.

Time Control lets parents control the time each child spends online. You can set a daily maximum, and also define just when internet access is permitted. There's no fancy grid to set the schedule like what you get in the Windows edition. Rather, you just define a single time-span for internet access on weekdays, and another for access on weekends.

Kids like to chat with their friends online, but sometimes they can share more private data than parents would prefer. If that's a concern, you can turn on Personal Data Control and add any data you feel they shouldn't share, such as your home address and phone number. This is a fairly common feature, but some implementations fail when data is shared over a secure HTTPS connection. I did find the process of adding private data items to be awkward. The list consists of alternating white and grey lines. Clicking the icon to add an item simply turns the next available line a darker grey.

You have to click on the new line to add your data. It's much more straightforward in the Windows edition. As you can see, Kaspersky offers more parental control features than competing Mac products. If this is something you need, Kaspersky can be a good choice. Be warned, though, that its content filter is more porous than the Windows equivalent.

Do you ever worry that someone might be spying on you through your MacBook's webcam? Kaspersky's Privacy Protection features include a simple webcam block. Under Windows, you can set Kaspersky to allow specific programs while blocking unknowns, and you can also block spying through the microphone.

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To confirm that this feature works, I blocked the webcam and then launched FaceTime. FaceTime reported "no camera available," and a slide-in notification reported that Kaspersky blocked access. You can also turn on website tracker blocking, to prevent advertisers and other trackers from following you around the web. This feature lets you choose whether to block four types of trackers: Note that blocking social networks doesn't prevent you from clicking links to like or share a page.

Please read our review of the VPN for full details. Bitdefender's product line now offers a very similar VPN arrangement, with MB and no server choice for free, or unlimited bandwidth and choice of servers for a premium. It's no surprise that the two are similar, since both are backed by the server network of AnchorFree Hotspot Shield Elite. We have dinged Hotspot Shield in past reviews for some iffy privacy policies; this problem seems to be resolved.

In any case, both Bitdefender and Kaspersky put severe limits on the user info they share with AnchorFree. This suite costs no more than several of the Mac antivirus utilities I've reviewed, but it offers quite a lot more. While not precisely a full-scale firewall like that found in Intego Mac Internet Security X9 and Norton, its Network Attack Blocker watches for port scans and other attacks from the internet. When Kaspersky detects an attack, it imposes a temporary block on all traffic from the offending site. In addition to fending off fraudulent and malicious websites, Kaspersky's URL Advisor marks up dangerous links in search results.

Under Windows, this feature puts a green icon next to safe links as well. On the Mac, the latest update removes the green safe icon and the grey unknown icon, marking only dangerous links. Norton's similar feature lets you bring up a full analysis of the page, showing exactly why it's marked as dangerous. You can also install an onscreen keyboard in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, to eliminate the possibility of password capture by a software or hardware keylogger. The keyboard appears automatically when you're about to log in to a secure website. Among the product's many recommendations is a suggestion to install Kaspersky Password Manager.

Note, though, that this is the free, feature-limited edition, something anyone can download and use. Kaspersky doesn't offer a stand-alone Mac antivirus, so Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac is this company's entry-level security product for macOS. In addition to high-scoring malware protection, you get a full parental control system, effective protection against fraudulent and malicious URLs, privacy protection features, a firewall-like Network Attack Blocker, a bandwidth-limited VPN service , and more.

It's an impressive array of features. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac scores a hair better than Kaspersky in the lab tests, and its scans run faster. If what you want is just antivirus, Bitdefender is an excellent choice, but if you're looking for more comprehensive security, Kaspersky can be even better. Both are Editors' Choice programs for Mac antivirus.

Bottom Line: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. He was present at the formation of the Association of Shareware Professionals, and served on its board of directors. See Full Bio. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. PCMag reviews products independently , but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. Terms of use. Pros Excellent scores from two independent testing labs.

Cons Parental content filter foiled by secure anonymizing proxy. Bottom Line Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac excels in independent lab tests, and it goes far beyond mere antivirus, offering protection against network attacks, parental control, privacy protection, and many other useful features. Sophos, our top pick, includes this feature in the Home Premium version of its update. Other vendors, like Avast and Trend Micro Antivirus, offer an alternative feature that allows you to whitelist programs allowed to manipulate files in specific directories.

Good antivirus software should also use minimal computational resources.

A part of:

Beyond these primary features, an easy-to-navigate interface and extra features are worth factoring into your decision. Some AV software are full-fledged suites that offer additional options like backup service for essential files, a password manager, parental controls, anti-tracking and privacy modes or options, a more advanced firewall, and the blocking of Potentially Unwanted Applications PUAs. Each software package is evaluated creating a clean installation of macOS Mojave, cloning it for each AV product, and then booting separately into each one to install a different package.

In addition to visiting malicious websites, downloading known malicious software, and even running said malware, we also reference the most recent reports from two labs that regularly cover macOS malware: These laboratories test AV software against sets of known malware as well as products that are grouped as potentially unwanted applications like adware. Because the testing effectively looks at a combination of virus databases and behavior, they remain good gauges even after many months.

When an antivirus software package lacks a rating from a known security research lab, we do more extensive testing with real malware. Finally, while we gave props for a lot of different features and behaviors, we marked products down if they lacked any or all of the following:. First, an antivirus product may upload the complete text of files flagged to the cloud, where it can be analyzed by separate tools hosted there. This practice is normal and sensible: Some malware can detect when a running process may examine it, and will then engage in subterfuge.

Antivirus software makers also can access their massive databases to examine files with characteristics that trigger their algorithms—certain elements that match known malware. As a result, security researchers discover new viruses, worms, Trojans horses, and the like. Where appropriate, we noted privacy policy issues in individual reviews. Second, this software may also rely partly or entirely on cloud-based checks of URLs, malware, and the like.

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  8. Companies vary on their disclosure of such policies, and may not let you opt out of this kind of sharing. We note issues in each review as available. In some cases, you can opt out of this information gathering. Sophos Home Premium has the most extensive and up-to-date approach to fighting malware at an unbeatable price. Norton Security Deluxe is the most comprehensive security package we tested, but it lacks advanced monitoring of ransomware and complete Windows malware identification—the latter of which should be a given. This suite doesn't offer a lot in the way of extras, and we'd like to see its network monitor develop into the more robust feature available on Windows.

    Still, for the price you get a good amount of protection against key threats on macOS. Version 6. Its ransomware detection also has room to grow. Though McAfee Total Protection offers good protection, its subscription price and lack of ransomware monitoring allow competitors to surpass it. Intego's software has no fatal flaws, but because of its lower ratings by security labs, minimal ransomware protection, and lack of native browser plug-ins, we don't currently recommend it.

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    Home Software Updated. Macs may be attacked less often than other platforms, but they're not invincible. Email a friend. Privacy Policy. Thank you Your message has been sent. Sorry There was an error emailing this page. Table of Contents Latest antivirus for Mac news Best overall antivirus software Best free antivirus software What to look for in antivirus software How we test Privacy concerns All of our antivirus for Mac reviews Show More.

    At a Glance. Avast Security Pro for Mac. Pros Folder-based ransomware app blocking and whitelisting Crisp and easy interface Rapid real-time malware discovery Well-designed alerts.

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    Sophos Home Premium for Mac.