PROS / It includes parental controls.
CONS / This software isn’t very effective at detecting Mac and Windows malware threats.
VERDICT / F-Secure SAFE is an internet security program that includes extra tools to keep you safe online. Unfortunately, it didn’t do so well at detecting malware threats in independent testing.
Editor’s Note: Top Ten Reviews uses test results from the independent laboratory AV-Test as part of our review process for the best antivirus software. AV-Test looks specifically at malware detection and loss of performance on Mac operating systems, and it performs these evaluations several times throughout the year. We use the most current AV-Test scores available at the time of our review. It is possible that new AV-Test scores will be released after our review goes live on our site. We will consider those scores during our next review of the best Mac antivirus software.
F-Secure SAFE is designed to work on both PC and Mac devices. It detects and blocks ransomware, as well as both Windows and Mac malware threats. However, this Mac virus scanner didn’t score as high in these areas as other programs in independent testing.
The AV-Test Laboratory looked at how well 12 different Mac antivirus solutions blocked newly discovered Mac malware and over 7,000 Windows threats. In its December 2016 results, AV-Test reported that F-Secure only detected Mac threats about 66 percent of the time and didn’t even mention how well it detects Windows malware because it performed so far below average.
Even though it didn’t detect as many threats as the best Mac antivirus software we reviewed, SAFE is still a good third-party application to protect your computer beyond its built-in defenses. It comes with three licenses you can use to protect multiple devices and has a mobile security program to keep your cell phone safe from threats. In addition, F-Secure comes with a bootable CD that is helpful if your computer is already infected. The CD cleans up existing threats and restores your device to its pre-attack condition.
SAFE also has a gamer mode, so you can play online games or watch videos without beginning interrupted by a scan that slows your system. This also ensures that pop-up reminders and alerts don’t take over your screen at the most inopportune times. You can also opt to adjust the preference settings and suspend or reschedule your scans to times that are more convenient.
This software scans incoming email messages to ensure they don’t contain threats that can harm your computer or potentially be forwarded on to another user. One feature SAFE doesn’t include is automatic USB drive scanning, which is a common way to transport Mac viruses between devices.
F-Secure is more than just a simple antivirus program – it is also a full internet security suite. The program includes some tools we didn’t specifically look for while reviewing Mac antivirus software such as parental controls and online banking protection. Both of these help you further protect yourself and your family while you interact with people and websites online.
If you need assistance with your F-Secure SAFE software, you can contact tech support during the work week. While weekend phone support isn’t available, weekday support hours extend until midnight. You can also talk to representatives over live chat through the F-Secure website.
While F-Secure SAFE has a lot of great features, including gamer mode and ransomware protection, it only detected 66 percent of the common malware threats AV-Test used in their independent analysis. Further, it didn’t score high enough to be mentioned as a top Mac product for Windows malware detection. Still, F-Secure includes additional security tools for families and when accessing banking information online.