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It’s Time To Add Antivirus Software To Protect Your Mac

July 6, 2018


(Silver Spring, Md.)  It’s been a long time coming, but it is now time for you to seriously consider adding antivirus software for your Mac.

The reason is actually very simple. Our Macs have been around for a long time, grown in popularity and numbers and hackers have taken notice. Over the past few years, there have been increasing reports of vulnerabilities in the Mac OS (that Apple may or may not fix), security issues, ransomware and much more.

So we’re at a point here at MacRecycleClinic where we’ve decided to add a free version of Avast (rated as the best free antivirus software for the Mac by MacWorld) to every machine we refurbish for donation.  I would strongly recommend you read their article (or search online – there are many more) and make a decision for yourself. As you’ll see, the best paid programs offer everything from malware protection to ransomware monitoring and much more.

Macworld author Glenn Fleishman notes that “antivirus software should be able to neutralize a threat before it can begin wreaking havoc. That means preventing the download, installation, or execution of malicious software.”

For our purposes, Avast will do a fine job as freeware on our refurbished Macs. If the user (the person or family to whom we donate a machine) wants more protection, they can either move to the paid version of Avast or try one of the other companies that sell antivirus software (Avast Pro is $59.99 per year.)

I will note that the U.S. Government has banned one company selling antivirus software – Kaspersky Labs – because of “fears of Russian intelligence.”

AVAST Antivirus Software

MacWorld notes that in its tests, Avast detected “99.9 percent of macOS malware and 100 percent of Windows malware.” That is a great place to start when adding additional protection for your Mac.

On the Avast website, the company says, “Avast is one of the largest security companies in the world using next-gen technologies to fight cyber attacks in real time. We differ from other next-gen companies in that we have an immense cloud-based machine learning engine that receives a constant stream of data from our hundreds of millions of users, which facilitates learning at unprecedented speeds and makes our artificial intelligence engine smarter and faster than anyone else’s.”

The company has offices all over the world but lists its HQ in the Czech Republic.

Installing the Software

You’ll want to download the Mac version of the software to start, of course. You can do that here.  Once you’ve hit the “Download” button, you’ll see this page in your browser:

Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 2.40.39 PM

As you can see (the box I’ve placed at the bottom of this graphic), your Mac will ask you to open the avast_security_online.dmg file. Click “Save File” and it should open to the first installation screen (the actual .dmg file is in your Downloads folder). Note that there’s an option to UNINSTALL Avast – a good reason to KEEP the .dmg file if you decide you don’t like the program.

By the way – you’ll see at the bottom of this page some info about cookies used by the company. You can ignore it and move on to the install.


The installer will take care of some housekeeping and will get you ready to move forward:

Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 2.52.33 PM

Next step is to agree to the terms of the software license agreement. You’ll need to click “Agree” (or “Read License” first) and then “Continue” to install the program.

Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 2.55.26 PM

You have more decisions to make here – some additional protections offered by the company including one that checks “best prices and coupons” to save you money online. You can add these later if you want so unclick them all (they are clicked by default) and click “Continue.”

It takes 31 MB of hard drive space on your computer to install this program – a pittance compared to the protection it will provide. Click “Continue” (unless you want to install the program somewhere else).

At this point, if you have Firefox running, you’ll have to close it. I tried to see if I got the same message if Chrome was running but Firefox appears to be the only browser you’ll need to close.

It turns out, that the Avast package must go out to the Internet to download its install files, so it will take a little time to download and then begin the installation process.


When the installation is complete – “You are protected” will pop up inside your new Avast Security App.


If also adds an icon to your Apple menu so you can get information and open the App easily.


And that’s pretty much it. The App itself offers a number of options to scan your Mac, upgrade the program, etc. You should also create you own account to make sure you get the latest information and updates. For the most part, it works in the background to protect your computer.


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If you’ve installed Avast, or any other antivirus software, we’d love to hear about it and get your impressions. Of particular interest if whether the program slows down your machine and if you think the paid versions are worth the cost to you.

Note that Avast and other companies are also offering antivirus software for your iPhone and iPad (Android devices too) – something you’ll likely need to consider going forward.


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