We design Mac hardware and software with advanced technologies that work together to run apps more securely, protect your data, and help keep you safe on the web. And with macOS Catalina available as a free upgrade, it’s easy to get the most secure version of macOS for your Mac.*
Built right in. We design Mac hardware and software with advanced technologies that work together to run apps more securely, protect your data, and help keep you safe on the web. And with macOS Catalina available as a free upgrade, it’s easy to get the most secure version of macOS for your Mac.
Apple T2 chip.
The next generation of security.
The Apple T2 Security Chip — included with many newer Mac models — keeps your Mac safer than ever. The Secure Enclave coprocessor in the Apple T2 chip provides the foundation for Touch ID, secure boot, and encrypted storage capabilities. Touch ID gives you a seamless way to use your fingerprint to unlock your Mac, fill passwords in Safari, and make purchases with Apple Pay. Secure boot helps ensure that you are running trusted operating system software from Apple, while the Apple T2 chip automatically encrypts the data on your Mac. So you can be confident knowing that security has been designed right into the architecture of your Mac, from the ground up.
Apple helps you keep your Mac secure with software updates.
The best way to keep your Mac secure is to run the latest software. When new updates are available, macOS sends you a notification — or you can opt in to have updates installed automatically when your Mac is not in use. macOS checks for new updates every day, so it’s easy to always have the latest and safest version.
Protection starts at the core.
The technically sophisticated runtime protections in macOS work at the very core of your Mac to keep your system safe from malware. This starts with state-of-the-art antivirus software built in to block and remove malware. Technologies like XD (execute disable), ASLR (address space layout randomization), and SIP (system integrity protection) make it difficult for malware to do harm, and they ensure that processes with root permission cannot change critical system files.
Download apps safely from the Mac App Store. And the internet.
Now apps from both the App Store and the internet can be installed worry-free. App Review makes sure each app in the App Store is reviewed before it’s accepted. Gatekeeper on your Mac ensures that all apps from the internet have already been checked by Apple for known malicious code — before you run them the first time. If there’s ever a problem with an app, Apple can quickly stop new installations and even block the app from launching again.
Stay in control of what data apps can access.
Apps need your permission to access files in your Documents, Downloads, and Desktop folders as well as in iCloud Drive and external volumes. And you’ll be prompted before any app can access the camera or mic, capture keyboard activity, or take a photo or video of your screen.
FileVault 2 encrypts your data.
With FileVault 2, your data is safe and secure — even if your Mac falls into the wrong hands. FileVault 2 encrypts the entire drive on your Mac, protecting your data with XTS-AES 128 encryption. And on Mac systems with an Apple T2 Security Chip, FileVault 2 keys are created and protected by the Secure Enclave for even more security.
Designed to protect your privacy.
The most secure browser for your Mac is the one that comes with your Mac. Built-in privacy features in Safari, like Intelligent Tracking Prevention, help keep your browsing your business. Automatic strong passwords make it easy to create and use unique passwords for all the sites you visit. And iCloud Keychain syncs those passwords securely across all your devices, so you don’t have to remember them. You can also easily find and upgrade any weak passwords you’ve previously used (and reused and reused and reused).
Automatic protections from harmful sites.
Safari also helps safeguard you against fraudulent websites and those that harbor malware — before you visit them. If a website seems suspicious, Safari prevents it from loading and notifies you. And when connecting to unencrypted sites, Safari will warn you. So everything you need to browse without worry is right at your fingertips.
Find your missing Mac with Find My.
The Find My app combines Find My iPhone and Find My Friends into a single, easy-to-use app on Mac, iPad, and iPhone. Find My can help you locate a missing Mac — even if it’s offline or sleeping — by sending out Bluetooth signals that can be detected by nearby Apple devices. These devices then relay the detected location of your Mac to iCloud so you can locate it in the Find My app. It’s all anonymous and encrypted end-to-end so no one — including Apple — knows the identity of any reporting device or the location of your Mac. And it all happens silently using tiny bits of data that piggyback on existing network traffic. So there’s no need to worry about your battery life, your data usage, or your privacy being compromised.
Keep your Mac safe.
Even if it’s in the wrong hands.
All Mac models with the Apple T2 Security Chip support Activation Lock — just like your iPhone or iPad. So if your Mac is ever misplaced or lost, the only person who can erase and reactivate it is you.
Best answer: Though Windows malware doesn't affect Mac devices, it's easy to unknowingly send these threats to PC-using colleagues, family members, and friends. During our testing, we used live malware and saw that the protections that come with Mac devices don't always stop them. Several threats are disguised to look like legitimate Mac programs and often sneak in through email messages and network connections. Luckily, a good antivirus program can stop them while keeping your Mac safe.
- Staff pick: Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac ($60 at Bitdefender)
- Tech support recommended: Malwarebytes ($40 at Malwarebytes)
- Free Mac antivirus: Avast Essential Security for Mac (Free at Avast)
If you start to notice weird advertisements popping up in strange places on popular websites like YouTube, you might be infected. These ads tend to feature adult content or claim that a virus has been detected on your device and will often appear in places that you don't normally see ads.
You may also discover that your personal email or social networking sites are sending out messages that you didn't write. If this happens, you should immediately change your password to stop any more messages being sent from your account.
If your Mac just isn't responding the way it should, you might have malware planted into your system somewhere. If it takes much longer for your Mac to wake up than it used to, there may be something lurking in the shadows.
You won't always know if you have a virus. Technology has improved for the bad guys just as much as it has improved for the good guys. There are viruses out there that are smart enough to know how to hide deep in your system and work constantly to keep you from noticing it, all while performing malicious attacks. And once you're infected, it super easy for other devices connected to your network to become infected, too.
While you may think you don't need antivirus protection on your Mac, it's more important than ever now that Apple has grown so popular. Even if you use a limited, free version of a program, you'll be doing yourself a favor.
How can I protect my Mac right now?
The Mac operating system includes a number of security tools that help keep adware and malware off your computer, including default restrictions on opening apps from unidentified developers. If you stick to only downloading apps from the Mac App Store and are good about staying away from seedy websites, you can keep your computer secure from most virus issues.
In fact, Apple's security tools are why you'll hear many old-school Mac users say that you don't need anti-virus protection. The Mac is locked down well right out of the box.
However, there is more to protecting yourself than just avoiding bad apps and websites. You never know when you are going to pick something up that could create havoc on your Mac or on somebody else's PC. That's why, for added protection, you should think about getting antivirus software.
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac
Protection against Mac and Windows malware
Bitdefender runs in the background, deleting and eliminating Mac and Windows malware as it shows up. This protects both your Mac and friends' PCs from becoming infected. Bitdefender stops most threats before they download and includes phishing filters and a VPN.
Tech support recommended
Tech support's go-to
Malwarebytes is recommended by tech support at Apple, which downloads this program to user's devices when contacted about performance issues. This software searches out malware and other exploiting viruses and blocks websites that are known to distribute malicious content.
Free Mac antivirus
Avast Essential Security for Mac
Free basic protection
Avast's Essential monitors your email messages for any phishing schemes, malicious links or downloads that could lead to a malware attack or identity theft. It also watches your network connection and stops hackers and snoops as they try to sneak in.
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