By now, the notion that Macs are free of malware is recognized as an outdated false sense of security. As Apple's computers get more popular with consumers, so they do with miscreants. There are a few anti-virus/anti-malware options for Macs, such as the free Sophos Antivirus for Mac, and today Apple users got another option.
AVG Technologies announced that its AVG AntiVirus software, long a popular free download for Windows PCs, finally made the jump to Mac computers today (Dec. 12). The new software, simply called AVG AntiVirus for Mac, is compatible with both the latest Mavericks (OS X 10.9) operating system and its predecessor Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8). Mavericks is a free upgrade for OS X Leopard (10.6.8), Lion (10.7) or Mountain Lion. AVG has stated that it has 172 million active users of its PC AntiVirus software.
Among AVG AntiVirus for Mac's main features such as auto updates real time scanning is a potentially handy one that lets users scan individual files or folders by simply dragging and dropping them onto an icon.
The prospects for AVG's Mac product are good, if its PC performance is any guide. In July 2013 tests of the PC version, independent lab AV-Test found that it caught 98.9 percent of 1,972 malware samples that had emerged in the preceding four weeks. All anti-virus software tends to do well on such tests, however. The average detection rate for all programs AV-Test evaluated was 95.2, and AV-Test ranked AVG's malware detection at 5 points out of a possible 6. AV-Test also reported that the PC app had no significant impact on system performance and battery life, earning 6 out of 6. Of course, it remains to be seen how well AVG AntiVirus for Mac will do.
This isn’t AVG's first Mac app. In November, it launched Cleaner, a hard drive cleanup program. The company also offers PrivacyFix, a browser plugin which is also compatible with Macs, that lets you adjust privacy settings on sites you visit, such as Facebook and Google, and also see which sites are tracking you, with the option of disabling them.