A popular Mac antivirus app just got a name change and it’s a good one. Trend Micro Antivirus is now Dr. Antivirus. That sounds more professional, no? You know what professional means, right? Subscription fees. That’s what Dr. Antivirus brings to your Mac life.
Search for antivirus on the Mac App Store and you’ll get plastered with antivirus and anti malware applications– some free, some outrageously expensive, but all with a promise to find and rid your Mac of viruses and other malware.
What viruses? What malware?
Dr. Antivirus has over 1,100 reviews and over 1,000 of those are four and five stars. I don’t mean to be offensive or presumptuous, but I have to ask, “What are those Mac users doing? What websites are they visiting that spawn malware in such volumes?”
I use an iMac at work, take a MacBook Pro on the road, and have an iMac at home and all are connected to the internet most of the time, and about the only extra security I’ve added is to turn on the built-in software firewall. Otherwise, no antivirus or malware apps. Until now.
Well, nothing. I grabbed Dr. Antivirus and a few others and installed and ran them and each one came up with… insert the famous drumroll here… nothing. Yeah, I know there is malware out there. I know many Mac users spell fishing wrong (it’s phishing) and don’t understand that downloading free applications from unknown websites is an invitation for trouble. I know that email can carry all sorts of malware in attachments. And I know that many Mac users came from the dark side of Microsoft’s Windows so they’re used to and expect malware on the Mac, too.
One of the advantages to trying out different and similar Mac applications is to see how they perform when compared to each other. Dig through the reviews of Dr. Antivirus on the Mac and you’ll be treated to a few interesting scenarios.
Here’s an example from reviewer jeffnailen:
The free version only scans for viruses, it does not clean them unless you buy an in-app upgrade. So I downloaded and did a ‘Quick Scan’ of my system. Trend Micro Antivirus told me I had 10 viruses on my Mac, many of them known Trojan Horses.
This is a common refrain. I keep an older iMac at home to test applications and it reverts to a clean state every day. Some of the tested antivirus and anti-malware apps ALWAYS show viruses and malware, even on a completely new and clean macOS High Sierra installation.
What’s with that?
I used a well-known highly rated virus scanner, Bitdefender’s Virus Scanner Plus, to confirm that I had 10 viruses. It showed none.
Does that mean there’s a need to confirm the confirmation? No. Just buy the cleaner app.
I thought perhaps Trend Micro Antivirus caught some malware that Bitdefender did not. So I bought the upgrade to clean those 10 viruses from my Mac. Lo and behold, the 10 viruses supposedly on my Mac miraculously disappeared which I scanned again after buying the upgrade.
Ipso facto and alakazam, something ain’t right here.
I know many, many Mac users in and around Manhattan, Brooklyn, and elsewhere in the Mac community. Not one of them uses a Mac antivirus or anti-malware utility. Not one. Where are the writers of those hundreds of four and five star reviews getting their viruses and malware?
Inquiring minds want to know.