• Nikhila Jain

A Guide to Keep Your MacBook Malware Free

With pandemic on the run and everyone working from home, securing your MacBook, laptops, desktops, and tabs have taken precedence. People often buy Apple products (I am a proud owner) as they have confidence that it is far more secured than the competitors. Even though this holds true, but there is a fair chance that one can break in. Thus, it becomes extremely important that you keep your MacBook malware Free.


Follow these good practices to keep your MacBook malware free with these simple steps.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Keep Your MacBook Malware Free


Before we look into the guidelines to keep your MacBook malware free, let's see how a malware is distributed.


Malware Distribution

A virus or a malware is distributed by embedding it in a fancy-looking app that projects to be harmless. You click that app & Boom! You have that sticky adware on your MacBook. The most tricky part is to get rid of this app and secure your data, but how?


Guidelines

You can follow these simple guidelines that will keep your MacBook malware free.


Apple - Inherent Defense System

The macOS offers built-in features that would ensure that any malicious program or Trojan would not get access to your personal information.


Did you know Apple has a native defense setting? Follow these easy steps to set up, and protect.


Settings

  • Go to System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then click General.

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  • If the lock at the bottom left shows locked, then click it to unlock the same.

Select the sources from which you will allow the software installation:

  • App Store: This is the most secure way of allowing apps to get downloaded. All the developer apps are identified and reviewed by Apple and then available in the Mac App Store. Thus, ensuring the highest level of security.

  • App Store and identified developers: Allows apps from the Mac App Store and apps from identified developers. Identified developers have to register with Apple and upload the app for security check. Select one of the options, and you are all set. Cool, right?

Keep your Mac and Software Updated

Once you have set up the gatekeeper, always keep your software updated to keep your MacBook malware free. Apple ensures that any vulnerabilities are fixed and bundled in an update. Hence, it is essential that you apply the patches. Follow the simple steps to keep your macOS updated:


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  • Go to System Preferences, then click Software Update to check for updates.

  • If any updates are available, click the Update Now button to install them. Or click More info to select specific updates to install.

  • A Software Update ensures that all the installed apps are updated too.

  • To automatically install future updates, select Automatically keep my Mac up to date. Your Mac will notify you if an update requires you to restart, and you can choose to install those later.

Disable Old Plugins

The most common gateway for the Trojan to get access is through your browsers. It uses Java or Flash plugins to trespass and become native. Safari, the default web browser on macOS, by default disables them unless enabled by you.


It is advantageous to keep this setting disabled in all circumstances unless you trust the source. Modern web applications are moving away from using these plugins to keep your MacBook malware free.


Get an Anti-Malware Tool

An anti-malware tool is a program that will guard against malicious programs popularly known as a virus. The program will prevent, detect and remove it from your devices.


There are many anti-malware tools available in the market. The article on tech-radar gives a detailed study of top-notch anti-virus and anti-malware tools available in the market. Pick the one that best suits your need.


Schedule Malware Scans

The anti-malware tools come with a quick setup for scheduled scans. It can run the scan at the desired time and generate reports for you to take action. It helps in keeping your MacBook malware free and getting an early alarm before it is too late.


Keep your Anti-Malware Updated

As you keep your macOS and other apps updated, ensure to update the anti-malware app when an update is available. It ensures that the anti-malware app has the latest malware information and effectively fights against the Trojan.


Anti-Malware Software for Mac


Though less prone to cyberattacks than their windows counterpart, but recently has seen increasing number of cyberattacks on Mac machines.


The macOS is based on Unix, which is sandboxed, that is making it hard for a virus to penetrate. This makes the antivirus or the anti-malware software to be specially designed to provide protection for Mac.


Here's a list of top five Mac antivirus software to keep your MacBook Malware free:


Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

Bitdefender is a top-notch antivirus for Apple devices as it includes multi-layer ransomware protection. It has an excellent anti-phishing capabilities, with a robust web browser protection delivered via an extension, and an adware scanner.


It also comes with an additional security for Time Machine which is very helpful to ensure your backup security.


Along with its standalone version, it is also a part of Bitdefender Total Security - the flagship security suite across devices and operating systems.


Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac

Kaspersky is a well-established name in the internet security paradigm. With features like URL blocking, ransomware protection and webcam hijacking protection, it is one of the best antivirus for Mac.


The only downside is it is a bit pricier than its other counterparts. You can check its vanilla version which at times could be affordable.


Norton 360 Deluxe

It would never be a case that we talk about antivirus, but don't mention Norton. It is the best antivirus as it provides security for your multiple devices, and can use it up to five devices.


There are quite of few out-of-the-box features offered like antivirus protection, anti-ransomware, a firewall. Along with this there are also parental controls, a cloud backup utility and a password manager.


The only major downside to it could be that it will have some impact on your system performance. But, if that doesn't bother you that Norton 360 Deluxe provides an overall protection for your Mac devices.


Avast Premium Security

Avast is another big player in the antivirus space. With its Avast Premium Security, it provides ransomware shield which is an extra layer to protect from malware.


It also makes your web browsing experience seamless with its anti-phishing protection, along with Wi-Fi intruder that alerts you if your network is compromised.


Like Norton and Kaspersky, it is also priced on a higher side. Though, if you don't go for an all exclusive Mac option than you could save some money on the deal.


Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac

Trend Micro offers a very robust malware protection for your Mac that too at reasonable price.


It offers ransomware protection for folders, webcam protection, a social-media privacy scanner and a parental web filter.


A major drawback of Trend micro is that it badly hits your system performance during full scans. But if you can live with it, and it doesn't bother you than it offers decent features at the low cost.


Free or Paid Antivirus


Whether you should opt for a free or a paid antivirus is debatable not just for Mac but for all devices for that matter. The most important aspect to understand is that free antivirus provides a peripheral protection. It lacks many premium features that are available only in a paid version.


But if you are still looking out for a free antivirus for your Mac, then you can find some options here - Free Mac antivirus.


Takeaway


Apple is the leader in providing secured devices to users. Yet, 2021 brought the news of the first M1 malware targeted at MacBook. Here is everything that you need to know.


With malware targeting Mac machines, it's better to be over prepared than under prepared. Update new software versions, only install trusted apps, get a front-line defense installed, and an antivirus software that meet your requirements.


Follow above guidelines to get the maximum protection for your MacBook.