Everyone knows that Macs do not suffer from malware attacks – and everyone is wrong. There is no doubt that Windows and Android are more popular targets, but macOS has its share of malware, including ransomware. This is where F-Secure Safe (for Mac) comes in. The independent antivirus testing labs give it good scores, and it includes a single parental control system that works on multiple devices. F-Secure hits the basics, but some of the competitors are quite functional.
In truth, F-Secure Safe is a platform package that offers protection for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices. As with Symantec Norton 360 Deluxe (for Mac) McAfee AntiVirus Plus (for Mac) and several others, this review focuses strictly on the MacOS release.
Signup and Installation
All management of your F-Secure secure installations are done through My F-Secure online console. When you create your account and register your purchase, you can quickly see how many days remain on your subscription and how many unused device licenses you have. You can also tweak your account settings and manage your billing and renewal settings.
The most important thing is that the console is where you go to manage your devices. The attractive screen shows your account with associated devices. You can release the license for any device you no longer use, making it available for use on another device. F-Secure has offered parental control only on other platforms lately, but with the current release it comes with the feature of Mac. If you have assigned devices to children, they are displayed separately in the console.
It is not recommended to install more than one real-time antivirus program and F-Secure adds a lot Emphasis that you do not. Initially, I couldn't install it because it detected a weak trace of an old installation of ESET Cyber Security (for Mac). After a long session of remote control with an F-Secure support agent and a longer session with an ESET agent, I gave up.
I restored an old Time Machine backup, updated macOS again and tried again. t did not work, complained this time over a slice of McAfee AntiVirus Plus (for Mac) . Finally, I ran a factory update, which is not very good on a Mac that is only used for testing. I hope the average user does not experience any problems from this hypersensitive compatibility check.
Pricing and OS Support
F-Secure Safe has more prizes than just about any competitor, from $ 49.99 per year for a single license to $ 279.99 for 25 licenses. The usual three-license package costs $ 69.99, which is $ 1
When it comes to protecting your Mac, there's also the ability to pay nothing at all. Avast, AVG, Avira and Sophos Home Free (for Mac) do not cost a penny.
F-Secure Safe requires MacOS 10.12 (Sierra) or higher, the same as Norton and Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac. If you're somehow stuck with an old macOS version, you might want to consider ProtectWorks or ClamXav, both of which support OS versions back to 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
MORE SAFE VIDEOS GO HERE
Very Good Lab Results
Two of the independent test laboratories whose Windows-centered results I follow also test macOS antivirus products. Both now include F-Secure in their reports, and both give it good marks.
Like Windows products, researchers at AV Test Institute consider each macOS product on three criteria: protection, performance and ease of use. Protection and performance are self-explanatory; High usability score means that the product has few or no false positives (valid programs or sites identified as malicious).
Protection against malicious software is clearly important, and F-Secure tested this test and takes a full six points. It lost half a point for a small impact on performance, and also lost half a point for false positives. Still, it managed 17 out of 18 possible points, which is good, but is also the lowest score among newer products. Intego Mac Internet Security also earned 17 points. Bitdefender, Trend Micro and Vipre all peaked at perfect 18 points, while the rest squeezed between 17.5.
As noted, F-Secure aims to detect and remove Windows malicious software as well as attacks aimed at macOS. I copied my current malware collection to a thumb drive, mounted it on Mac and opened the folder. Real-time protection did not respond, so I ran a scan of the thumb drive.
The scan threw around two-thirds of the samples and marked another quarter as a risk hazard. In total, F-Secure discovered 91 percent of the Windows malware samples, which is far better than the 11 percent it last saw. ESET discovered 93 percent and Webroot 100 percent, but it's the latest products that surpass F-Secure.
Improved Phishing Protection
Malware written for Windows will not run on a Mac, and vice versa, but phishing is platform agnostic. Scammers create phishing sites to give their mark on giving away secure credentials, and it doesn't matter if the scam is on a Windows box, a Mac, or an internet-conscious pencil sharpener. I learned from experience that the antiphishing component of Mac security products is not necessarily the same as in Windows equivalents, so I didn't assume that this product would score the same as F-Secure Internet Security. Note that F-Secure Antivirus does not include phishing protection.
For this test, I scoured phishing-oriented sites for new reports, collecting the very latest suspects. I use a handy program that I wrote to launch each URL in Chrome, Firefox and Edge, and let me record how the browser handled it. Of course, that program doesn't run under macOS, so I have to copy and paste each URL and notice how Mac antivirus handles it. If any browser can't load one of the URLs, it goes out! Similarly, a page that is not clearly designed to steal login information goes to the scrap yard.
 Last time I tested the Mac edition, it refueled with 44 percent detection, the lowest of a Mac-oriented product. This time, the score raised, way up, to 80 percent detection, a few points better than when I tested F-Secure Internet Security under Windows. It easily beat Edge's discovery frequency, but still lost for Chrome and Firefox.
The F-Secures score is decent, and a big improvement, but others have done pretty much better. On Mac, Webroot managed 97 percent detection, and McAfee matched the perfect 100 percentage point achieved with Windows equivalent.
Firewall support? Not Really
On the Tools page, the macOS edition contains an icon whose title alternates between Enable Firewall and Disable Firewall while clicking on it. This does not mean that F-Secure offers firewall protection; this feature simply controls the built-in macOS firewall.
Initially, I couldn't see any effect on the firewall's status, despite the fact that F-Secure required I not to enter the administrator password once, but twice. I found that I needed to quite system settings and restart it to see that actually F-Secure turned the firewall on or off.
Multi-Device Parental Control
Parental Control in F-Secure Internet Only Windows Security is completely local. If you just pop in and configure it to block unwanted sites and set screen time limits, you'll find you've used those restrictions on your own Windows account. To set it up for another account, you must first log in to that account. If you have granted administrative rights to an older child, nothing prevents the child from ending parental control.
With F-Secure Safe, you manage configuration online, in My F-Secure console. Settings apply to all entities associated with the same child account. Note that to configure parental control for a child's Windows user account, you still need to log in to that account. Embarrassing! But the remote configuration system means that the child can not only turn off parental control. Please note that if you have given administrative rights to an older child for your convenience, deadlines do not apply.
The content filter offers to block the same 15 categories, color coded red for dangerous, yellow too unstable and blue too innocent. The latest color code includes social networks, anonymous and unknown. The power of content filtering varies from platform. On Windows and macOS, F-Secure blocks inappropriate websites regardless of which browser is being used. On mobile devices, it only manages browsing using F-Secure's proprietary browser.
The local parental control system for Windows gives parents a choice of setting time limits for computer use; It's no longer an option to just check the internet time. A weekly grid allows parents to define when computer use is allowed, with an optional daily hood.
Under Safe this slightly changes. Parents can restrict all activity on an Android device except to call and send text. On an iOS device, borders are only for browsing with the built-in browser. For Mac and Windows devices, parents set restrictions on any use of the device; There is no alternative to just limiting time online.
Time limits work in two ways. Parents can set a total daily limit, up to eight hours, each for weekdays and weekends. Parents can also define bedtime for weekdays and weekends. Bedtime is a single span where access is not allowed, not the entire grid found in the Windows-only product. Also note that time constraints are not cumulative across platforms. If your child runs out of time on a device, she can just switch to another.
On Android, parents can exclude any app for deadlines, or completely ban it. F-Secure collects a list of all the apps on the child's device and allows parents to flag them in three ways. If you put an app Always allowed, it avoids the deadlines. Blocked means the child cannot use it at all. Standard, time limited, means that the time constraints affect the app. There is no alternative to setting different time limits for different apps.
This parental control system only switches the local function to F-Secure Internet Security. It is platform and configured externally, and at least Android includes a degree of application control on Android. However, it cannot be compared to the very full parental control systems of Bitdefender, Norton or Kaspersky.
A Good, Basic Antivirus
As with the Windows-based F-Secure Anti-Virus, F-Secure Safe (for Mac) focuses on the basic task of cleaning up malicious software and preventing future attacks. The one nod to the bonus features is a simple parental control system that works on multiple devices. With excellent laboratory test results, it's a good, basic Mac antivirus.
Symantec Norton 360 Deluxe (for Mac) is a full security suite and comes with a VPN that is not limited in features or bandwidth. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac is also a suite but with a different feature setting than Norton, and it is priced the same as many stand-alone Mac antivirus tools. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac also earned two lab certifications, scored high on phishing scams and included ransomware protection. These three are our Editors & # 39; Choice products for antivirus protection under macOS.