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If you keep your software up-to-date, use strong passwords and stay clear of phishing emails, you should be safe from malware. Even if you’ve taken the right steps, an antivirus program is still necessary to protect yourself in case of an error. Choosing the best antivirus depends on the operating system you are using and how many devices you have to protect and if you’d like additional features such as a password manager, VPN, dark web monitoring or family protection.

It is important to evaluate the performance of an antivirus during independent testing. A good antivirus should be compatible with your operating system, and should use minimal resources to not impact your computer performance. It is also important to look at how often the antivirus is updated, and if it works on multiple devices.

In tests conducted by Macworld, Intego Mac’s Internet Security X9 did well. It includes VirusBarrier, a top antivirus, and NetBarrier, an effective firewall. It was able to detect all their malware samples and warned them when uninvited programs were running on their Macs. It’s a good fit with macOS and unlike its competitors, looks and behaves like it is a genuine Mac program. It also lets you buy an online backup service, Android apps for mobile security, and a more sophisticated firewall.

The powerful engine of TotalAV, as well as a variety of features and an intuitive dashboard make it a great option for first-time users who are seeking something that is easy to grasp. The heuristic detection algorithm it uses detects viruses that aren’t in the database, and its behavior monitoring detects any changes in the behavior of a program. Sandboxing puts dangerous software in a private environment to keep them from damaging the system. In AV-Comparatives tests, it had one of the lowest false positive rates and its quick scan was very rapid.