Fight Mac Malware with Free ‘Avast!’ Antivirus Software

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It didn’t even take eight hours before malware makers bypassed Apple’s long-awaited security update intended to patch MacDefender. As we wrote yesterday, the update was good for fending off earlier variants, but it wasn’t without its flaws.

So if you’re keen on taking extra precaution, software developer Avast! — who have been offering free, non-commercial protection software to Windows users for ages — is giving away a beta version of its Mac antivirus program, which you can download for free here.

The download’s not bad (45 MB), and it offers a few nice safeguards: on-demand scanning, a file shield that scans applications as they start up, a web shield that monitors and filters HTTP traffic, e-mail protection and automatic updates. The application also uses Growl notification software, so it helps to have that installed beforehand.

TUAW is reporting that the software can bog down your page loading times, so take that into account as well.

You can read more about the update here.

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