13 Free Essential Security Apps for Your Mac

Your Mac device is already pretty secure with built-in security protections such as Gatekeeper and app notarization, significantly strengthening your online defenses. However, you should consider adding other handy security apps to your defense toolbox.

Mac devices are subjected to an evolving landscape of security threats and vulnerabilities.

Here are some of the general trends and statistics:

  • In 2023, the number of new macOS malware specimens rose by approximately 100% compared to the previous year.
  • Two main trends persisting into 2024 are Mac stealers and ransomware gangs.
  • The primary goal of Mac stealers is to gather private data, including certificates, cookies, passwords, and cryptocurrency wallets.
  • These threats primarily target data not safeguarded by macOS’s transparency, consent, and control (TCC) framework, which includes browser data such as history and cookies.

Essential Features in Mac Security Apps

The following are some crucial security features you should take into account when selecting the security app for your Mac device:

  • Antivirus Protection: Real-time scanning and protection against viruses, malware, spyware, and other harmful software are provided by Mac security applications.
  • Firewall: A firewall monitors all network traffic, both incoming and outgoing, and also stops threats and illegal access.
  • Safe Browsing: These security apps include safe browsing features that alert you if you land on potentially harmful websites and phishing attempts.
  • Anti-Phishing: Security applications with anti-phishing features identify and prevent phishing attempts, which are fraudulent attempts to gain private data like credit card numbers, usernames, and passwords.

With that in mind, we’ve highlighted some of the best security apps that can shield your Mac device from any malicious software that may arise.

Best Free Security Apps for Mac

Here’s my list of the best freemium security applications to keep your macOS beyond the grasp of viruses and malware.

1 . Avast Security

You can easily detect vulnerabilities in software, files, and apps by running smart scans with Avast Security. You can also analyze suspicious data stored in the cloud, receive threat warnings, and do much more with this tool.

Other additional features that Avast Security provides include the following:

  • Security for your Wi-Fi network: It guards against potential vulnerabilities in your network.
  • Protection against ransomware: Avast aids in thwarting ransomware attacks.
  • Alerts on data leaks: Should any data leaks be found, you’ll be notified.

To unlock unlimited features, you can upgrade to Avast Premium Security to access advanced security features.

Avast Antivirus Software
Avast Antivirus Software

2. AVG Antivirus

AVG AntiVirus is a comprehensive security solution that is trusted by 435 million users worldwide.

With AVG Antivirus, you can protect your files against ransomware, verify Wi-Fi network security, avoid fake and unsafe websites, and prevent webcam hijacking.

AVG Antivirus also offers Webcam Protection, which ensures no one can use your built-in camera without permission. In addition, AVG Antivirus comes in variants designed for diverse platforms and demands, making it suitable for both personal and business use.

Depending on the degree of security and extra features needed, you can select between paid and free versions.

AVG Antivirus
AVG Antivirus

3. Avira Free Security Suite

Avira Free Security is a robust application that incorporates performance, privacy, and protection. Avira’s free security offers threat protection against malware and vulnerabilities.

This security app blocks spyware, adware, and ransomware. It also offers real-time protection with cloud-based monitoring. Besides that, you can browse anonymously, encrypt web traffic, prevent data collection by companies, and secure your passwords using this security solution.

In addition, Avira Free Security provides automatic software and driver updates and alerts you if your data is leaked in a security breach.

Avira Security
Avira Security

4. Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is an all-in-one cybersecurity solution that offers protection against malware, spyware, ransomware, and other security threats.

Malwarebytes also offers privacy and identity protection. In the event of any hacks, you are notified instantly, and it assists you in recovering your identity.

With Malwarebytes Premium, you get advanced features beyond the free version, including multiple layers of malware-crushing technology, privacy protection with web traffic encryption, and automatic software and driver updates for optimal performance.


5. Sophos Home Free

Sophos Home Free is a version of the Sophos Home cybersecurity solution that offers basic protection for personal devices such as PCs and smartphones.

This free version provides the following features:

  • On-demand malware Scan
  • On-access Malware Scan
  • Malicious URL blocking
  • Phishing protection
  • Behavior-based detection

For individuals or businesses looking to improve their online security without having to pay for a premium subscription, Sophos Home Free is the ideal choice.


6. ClamAV

ClamAV is an open-source antivirus toolkit for detecting malware, viruses, trojans, and other security threats.

ClamAV comes with command-line tools for on-demand file scanning, an automated signature updater, and a multi-threaded scanner daemon.

Besides that, it supports unpacking files and archives, as well as a variety of formats and signature languages.

Feature highlights of ClamAV include:

  • Free and open-source
  • High performance
  • Support for multiple file formats
  • Multiple signature languages
  • Supports file archiving and unpacking
ClamAV for Mac
ClamAV for Mac

7. MacPass

MacPass is an open-source robust password manager designed for Mac devices. MacPass offers a secure way to store and manage your passwords.

MacPass packs the following functionalities out of the box:

  • MacPass can read and write both KDB Legacy files and the most recent KDBX Format because it is compatible with KeePass.
  • It provides customizable features such as drag and drop, autosave, undo/redo, and tabs.
  • Any text-based input, including web forms and authentication dialogs in applications, can get authentication credentials from MacPass. Autotype can even be accessed from any location with a system-wide shortcut.
  • Customize your entries and groups by selecting from a variety of icons.
  • Generate robust passwords using the built-in generator. Adjust the method to adhere to any restrictions you might encounter.
  • Set expiration dates for passwords. MacPass marks expired passwords with a unique icon for easy identification.
  • You can integrate database changes done outside of MacPass to make sure no data is lost. Even random files can be combined into a single database.
MacPass Password Manager for Mac
MacPass Password Manager for Mac

8. Encrypto

Encrypto is a powerful tool that makes sure your files are secure before you share them. Encrypto employs AES-256 encryption, which is a robust and extensively recognized encryption standard.

When you drop a file into Encrypto, it wraps it up in this protective layer, ensuring that only authorized users can access it.

In addition, Encrypto allows you to share files and save them to your own disk. To get started, choose your files, run them through Encrypto, and they’re protected

Its main features include:

  • Beautiful user interface
  • AES-256 encryption
  • Password hints
  • Share files securely via Dropbox, AirDrop, Messages, USB, etc.
Encrypto Encrypt Files in Mac
Encrypto Encrypt Files in Mac

9. Objective-See

Objective-See addresses gaps in macOS security by creating simple yet effective security tools. These tools are designed to improve the security posture of macOS devices.

Among the security tools that Objective-See offers include:

  • KnockKnock and BlockBlock, are security tools that fish out software that repeatedly tries to install itself.
  • KnockKnock and BlockBlock, are security tools that fish out software that repeatedly tries to install itself.
  • Dylib Hijack Scanner is a probing tool that checks vulnerable system files to confirm compromise.
  • Ransomware?, a crypto tool for monitoring encrypted files in order to alert users of suspicious activity.
  • Lulu, a network tool that prevents intruding malware from remote servers.
  • Lockdown, is a lightweight audit tool for scanning and fixing Mac OSX configurations.
  • Do Not Disturb prevents unwanted notifications during presentations or important tasks
Objective-See Foundation
Objective-See Foundation

10. Syncthing

Syncthing is a robust file synchronization solution that ensures your data remains private, secure, and under your control.

Syncthing allows real-time file synchronization across multiple devices. Whether you’re collaborating with friends or managing your files, Syncthing has you covered.

Unlike other cloud services, it stores your data only on your computers. Besides that, it secures all communication using TLS.

In addition, it identifies each device using a strong cryptographic certificate. Only explicitly allowed devices can connect.

Syncthing - Cloud Storage
Syncthing – Cloud Storage

11. Norton 360

Norton 360 is an all-inclusive suite of security tools developed to safeguard your devices. With this security solution, you get real-time protection against ransomware, viruses, spyware, malware, and other online threats.

In addition, Norton 360 features a firewall that monitors network traffic and helps block unauthorized access to your computer or network.

Besides that, it provides a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service to encrypt your internet connection and protect your online connections, especially when using public Wi-Fi networks.


12. TotalAV

TotalAV is a robust security solution that aids in safeguarding your devices against malware and other harmful threats.

TotalAV offers the following features:

  • Real-Time Malware Protection: It constantly scans your devices to locate and block viruses, ransomware, malware, and other harmful threats.
  • Safe Browsing: It alerts you if you land on any harmful websites.
  • Protection Against Data Breaches: It monitors the dark web for leakages of your data.
  • Ad Blocker: It gets rid of annoying online advertisements.
  • Block Tracking Cookies: It removes all web browser tracking cookies, clearing any trace of your browsing activity.
TotalAV for Mac
TotalAV for Mac

13. Surfshark Antivirus

Surfshark antivirus is a robust digital security tool that protects your devices from malware and viruses. It comes as part of the Surfshark One bundle, which includes additional features like VPN, Alternative ID, Alert, and Search.

Surfshark Antivirus offers the following features:

  • Webcam Protection: If an app or website tries to access your webcam without authorization, it locks your camera and notifies you.
  • Customizable Security: You can personalize this security app to your needs by excluding files, scheduling scans, and selecting between full or quick scans.
  • Spyware and Malware Shield: It scans apps and files in real time during downloads, installations, and usage.
  • 24/7 Malware Protection: It constantly guards against new viruses as you download or browse the web.
Surfshark - Internet Privacy
Surfshark – Internet Privacy

Macs come with built-in security protections, but these are rarely used, leaving users’ data and personal information vulnerable to theft.

To keep your Mac fully protected from the latest malware and other cybersecurity threats, more is required, even after you have enabled all of Apple’s security safeguards.

For this reason, it’s critical to take into account and utilize the security apps mentioned above.

Divine Okoi is a cybersecurity postgrad with a passion for the open-source community. With 700+ articles covering different topics in IT, you can always trust him to inform you about the coolest tech.

Each tutorial at GeeksMint is created by a team of experienced writers so that it meets our high-quality writing standards.

4 thoughts on “13 Free Essential Security Apps for Your Mac”

  1. syncthing is definitely a very cool and useful tool.

    For antivirus, I’d probably recommend the Sophos or Malwarebytes, although they each have different strengths.

  2. Nice article! Though I was missing a VPN option in here as well. I’d say that privacy goes along with security (you can’t be secure if you have no privacy imo) and some options like Atlas VPN or Proton VPN would definitely fit the topic


Got Something to Say? Join the Discussion...