An Overview of 10 Useful Mac OS X Security Apps

This is a guest post by James Adams.

Macs are gaining more market share in the personal computing world and therefore attracting more attention to virus makers, spammers, keyloggers and thieves. The same threats (keyloggers, malware, spyware, spam and identity thieves) that the PC has been combating for ages have now stepped into the Macintosh world.

Fortunately, Mac users have many programs at their fingertips to fight this unrepentant scourge. Here’s a list of ten of the most useful Macintosh security applications on the market today.

Apple Mac Pro 12-Core
Photo by larsomat

1. iAlertU (Physical Security) – iAlertU is a great piece of software. The motion sensor and iSight camera work in tandem to create a physical alarm system for the computer. When the alarm is triggered, the screen flashes and the mute button is overridden. The iSight camera takes a picture of the robber for later identification. This tool acts as a deterrent to would-be thieves.

2. McAfee Virex for Macintosh (Anti Virus) – McAfee’s Virex provides the Mac user with the same great virus protection as the PC. It offers protection against malware, threats, and viruses using its constantly updated virus definition database. McAfee Virex protects both personal computers and networks.

3. PGP Desktop Home 9.7 (File Encryption) – PGP provides comprehensive encryption and protection for the files on your Mac. From full disks to single files, this program will do it all. It is compatible with Apple FileVault protection and can be deployed and managed through your server.

4. Intego Antispam (Spam Protection) – Intego’s Personal Antispam, like their other offerings, is incredibly easy to use. It filters phishing emails, compares addresses to known spammers and learns from the spam and non-spam messages that it receives. Personal Antispam is a great choice for any Mac user who wants to reduce the incidence of spam.

5. 1Password (Password Protection) – 1Password has been given high marks by most of the prominent Mac focused magazines. The program creates strong passwords that are stored on your browser instead of on your own computer. By storing your internet passwords elsewhere, your data is more secure and manageable. You do not have to remember your passwords, because 1Password will do it for you.

6. MacScan (Anti Spyware) – MacScan was created to find spyware and other programs that might not be directly categorized as malware like DNS poisoning tools, remote access and keylogging. It also examines incoming cookies and compares them to a blacklist of known cookies. This is more of a ‘companion’ program, meant to work in tandem with your computer’s security.

7. Intego VirusBarrier (Anti Virus) – VirusBarrier, NetBarrier and Personal Antispam are all neatly packaged in Intego’s Internet Security Barrier X6 suite. This is the best security software that money can buy for the Macintosh. A primary reason for this is that Intego writes FOR Macintosh systems, rather than merely porting their products over from the PC. VirusBarrier offers total virus protection for the latest Mac viruses.

8. Mac OS X’s Built-in Firewall (Firewall) – Leopard came with a firewall that is simple for Mac users to work with. The passive users will be able to allow or deny incoming connections. The more advanced users can use the command line to access more in-depth options. This is a great basic firewall solution.

9. Norton Internet Security Suite (Security Suite) – Protects your computer with the same technology that Symantec built its reputation on. It offers thorough security protection, calling on its extensive database to identify and remove threats to your machine.

10. Intego’s NetBarrier (Firewall) – An easy to use program, contained within Internet Security Barrier X6. Configuration and customization to prevent known threats are easy enough so that even the most novice of users can set it up. If you are unsure of the configuration that you desire, Intego’s NetBarrier offers default setups that provide the best in protection for the Macintosh.

There are many options out there for handling the security of your Macintosh. Even if you choose none of these applications for your Mac security, you still have to have some protection.

James Adams is a product manager working for a UK based supplier of printer ink where he reviews products such as the HP 339 ink cartridge. He also helps out on their design blog at where he writes about design and art.

#antivirus#Apple#Guest post#Mac#security


  1. Shiva - May 25, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

    Even though I do not use a Mac (adhering to the fact that its is too costly for me), I know most of the major players in the computer security field have now started bringing out Apps for the Mac as they are coming to know about the growth of Mac usage. Pretty soon all of the companies will be taking out a Mac version of their application. This is a pretty good list. Thanks for sharing
    .-= (Shiva´s blog – Adsense Finally Reveals Revenue Shared with Publishers) =-.

  2. Anish K.S @ Technics - May 27, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

    Me too Shiva, i don’t know the abcd of apple pc.
    .-= (Anish K.S @ Technics´s blog – NDTV Announces the Winners of Tech Life Awards 2010) =-.

  3. Hamza - May 27, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

    Thanks for taking your time and telling us about these great security apps….I will soon try 1 or 2 of them…!!!!
    .-= (Hamza´s blog – Graphics: 40 Free Social Media Icon Sets) =-.

  4. Kirstie Alley - June 29, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

    I am using Mac system from nearly about one year i come to know that Mac is very fast and secure than windows.There are good applications available in the market for Mac users like recently i used a program to recover my deleted files from my Mac system.The program called Stellar Phoenix Mac which is very easy and efficient in recovering Mac hard drive data and files.Overall when you switch from windows to Mac you will see the difference by your own..
    .-= (Kirstie Alley´s blog – Mac Data Recovery Software Recover Crashed Hard Drive- Memory cards- Ipod-Stellar Products) =-.

  5. Andrea - July 30, 2010 @ 8:31 am

    Wow that first app, the alarm system, is super cool! I bought the PC I am currently using 4 years ago, and I’m secretly excited for it to crash so I can buy a mac! I’ll make sure to bookmark this post so that I can protect my beautiful mac when I do finally get it.
    Thanks alot!

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