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F-Secure SAFE Review

F-Secure SAFE does a good job of recognizing and removing Windows viruses on Mac devices so you don’t accidentally pass them along to your PC-using friends and family through email or file sharing

Our Verdict

F-Secure SAFE is a good antivirus program because it recognizes and protects your Apple computer from both Mac and Windows malware and has other useful features like parental controls and safe banking tools.


  • This Mac antivirus program comes with parental controls.


  • It struggles to recognize some Mac malware.
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F-Secure SAFE does a good job of recognizing and removing Windows viruses on Mac devices so you don’t accidentally pass them along to your PC-using friends and family through email or file sharing. But it struggled a bit in our independent tests of Mac antivirus software protecting against some of the Mac malware samples.

During our tests, F-Secure stopped 144 of the 165 threat samples, which is 87 percent of all malware. Half of these were immediately deleted, and the others were placed in the trash bin for us to manually remove since F-Secure doesn’t have a quarantine folder. As malware files downloaded, F-Secure displayed pop-up messages letting us know it had found and protected us from a threat. We could see more details about the threat in the infection report.

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For the few threats that snuck by, we used the F-Secure virus scan to find them. SAFE told us these threats, all riskware, were found, but didn’t tell us where on our computer they were hiding so we could remove them ourselves. Because we knew each of the malware samples used in our tests and where they downloaded, we knew where to find them. But unless you’re a little tech savvy, finding and removing malware manually will be a tricky task with F-Secure.

This software scans incoming email messages to ensure they don’t contain malware that can harm your computer or that can be forwarded on to another user. SAFE also scans USB drives for any viruses attached to files you may be sharing between computers. However, it doesn’t scan for system vulnerabilities such as out-of-date software. This is an important tool that strengthens weak points in your system where ransomware and hackers can break in and attack your computer. If you need this feature, Norton Security is a good Mac antivirus program that includes a vulnerability scan.

As part of our testing, we enabled the browser extensions and attempted to visit sites we knew had either a malicious link or virus download on them. F-Secure did an excellent job blocking these sites and displayed a warning message each time we tried. And when we used a search engine, the software marked each search result so we knew which pages were safe to visit and which to avoid. We also, with the browser extensions enabled, attempted to download Windows malware to our Mac computers. The program recognized and blocked each one.

F-Secure SAFE is a full internet security suite, not just a simple antivirus program. Its parental controls let you block dangerous online content with a good list of preset filter categories so your children can’t access it. And it has banking tools that keep your account, personal and financial information secure from identity thieves while you bank and shop online. SAFE works on both Mac and Windows computers, and on cellphones, and it comes with a minimum of three user licenses, so you can protect several of your devices at once.

F-Secure SAFE has a lot of great features, including ransomware protection and parental controls, and it keeps your computer safe from both Mac and Windows malware, though it does struggle to protect against all Mac malware. Its safe banking features protect you from identity thieves, and you can use its three licenses to protect both computers and cellphones.