19 January 2023
F-Secure Safe is a suite of antivirus and internet security tools that promise to protect your Mac against viruses, trojans, ransomware, and other online threats that have become all too common in the modern world. It is incredibly effective at what it does, winning awards and acclaim for its protection capabilities, and it offers several useful extras that other security suites miss out on.
|Real-time antivirus protection||More expensive than some antivirus and internet security alternatives|
|Complete online protection for browsing, banking, and more||Parental controls are a little basic|
|Customer support included at no extra cost|
|30-day money back guarantee|
Apple goes to great lengths to ensure its macOS operating system is as secure as it can be right out of the box (so to speak). But the sad truth is that, just like Windows PCs, Macs are susceptible to picking up viruses and targeted by online attackers. To ensure your safety online, then, it’s a good idea to bolster your system security with a third-party antivirus and internet security option.
F-Secure has become one of the most trusted names in security, so much so that it is employed by some of the biggest banks around the world — including three of the top five in the United States and every one of the top five in the United Kingdom. F-Secure Safe is one of several security products from the Finnish firm, offering both antivirus and internet threat protection.
In addition to all the tools you would expect from a paid security product — such as real-time system monitoring with the ability to stop malicious software in its tracks — F-Secure Safe automatically protects your online banking activities and prevents you from inadvertently visiting harmful websites. It also has parental controls built in as standard.
One of F-Secure Safe’s most important features is its multi-layered antivirus tool, which scans your Mac for malware, trojans, viruses, and other malicious software in real-time. When a threat is detected, F-Secure Safe blocks it immediately — before it has a chance to do any damage to your system — and any existing threats can be safely removed from your machine in just a few clicks.
After first installing the application, you can use it to scan your entire system for any software that shouldn’t be there. In our testing, F-Secure Safe was able to detect all the malicious files we put onto a dusty old MacBook Air. And those results are corroborated by the independent antivirus testing site AV-Test, which gives F-Secure Safe a 100% rating for threat detection.
As well as full system scans, F-Secure Safe lets you manually scan individual files and folders, and exclude certain files and folders.
Another significant part of F-Secure Safe, which other, more basic antivirus solutions miss out on, is its internet security suite. Thanks to a simple browser extension, the application can help keep you safe online — whether you’re downloading files, internet banking, and more. It can also block harmful websites, which could try to steal login information or credit card details, before they load.
Furthermore, F-Secure Safe checks out your search results and lets you know which ones are safe to click on. This will help ensure that when you’re digging around for information and other resources online, you don’t inadvertently end up on a website that has been set up to scam you. You can also block websites manually within F-Secure Safe if you want to.
Finally, F-Secure Safe is one of only a small number of antivirus products that also includes parental controls as standard. To set these up, you’ll need to add a child’s device to your account before specifying what they can and cannot access.
Sadly, the parental controls are very basic, essentially allowing you to block individual websites and little more. And they can only be used on device’s that are specified for children, which isn’t ideal if your whole family shares one machine. Some parents may find the parental controls useful, but others may want to look elsewhere for more comprehensive options.
F-Secure Safe has become one of the biggest, most trusted antivirus and internet security solutions for Mac, and it’s easy to see why. When it comes to protecting your most sensitive data, the application does a terrific job, with a 100% threat detection rating for all known malware, trojans, viruses, and other malicious software. It also monitors your system in real-time.
Although F-Secure Safe’s parental controls are basic and leave a lot to be desired, some parents will find them useful. Other, more affordable security solutions are available on macOS, but if you’re looking for a brand you can rely on, F-Secure is up there with the best.
Content Manager for the MacUpdate blog
Ruslana is a passionate Mac admirer and tech writer with 5+ years of experience in Mac support.