What is XProtect on Mac? Is it enough to protect your Mac?

XProtect, also known as “File Quarantine”, is the built-in anti-malware system for Mac OS operating systems. It’s actually Apple’s analogue of Microsoft’s Windows Defender suite. XProtect is a Mac’s primary defense against infection by malware such as viruses, Trojans, and spyware.

How does XProtect work?

XProtect is installed on a Mac by default and will also update automatically as part of a set routine. Unlike many other anti-malware programs, XProtect is very light on system resources and runs quietly in the background. A fundamental difference with other programs is that it does not constantly monitor the system (hence why it is light on the processor). Instead, it mainly comes into play only to analyze downloads. When an application initiates a download, XProtect checks the file and compares its contents to known virus definitions. If a potential threat is discovered, the user will be alerted.

Sample alert

Is XProtect secure enough

While Apple has made improvements to XProtect due to the changing threat environment, it’s still meant to offer basic protection – and not much more. Also, since it only focuses on the main types of malware, it arguably overlooks lesser-known grayware such as potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), crypto-mining software, and annoying adware.

That said, it’s also not invincible against traditional malware. Last year, for example, the AdLoad Trojan was reported to slip through XProtect’s defenses and infect Macs. Once a Mac is infected, AdLoad installs a Man-in-The-Middle (MiTM) web proxy to hijack search engine results, and also installs its own malicious LaunchAgents. At the same time, there are other threats capable of bypassing XProtect, such as Shlayer, which allegedly infected more than 10% of all Apple computers.

With the above in mind, it’s abundantly clear that while XProtect is better than no protection, it’s not enough to fully protect your Mac against the backdrop of an ever-changing threat environment.

Introducing Trend Micro Antivirus One

What is XProtect on Mac__Is it enough to keep your Mac safe___2

Trend Micro Antivirus One is the best FREE anti-malware program for your Mac. Developed exclusively by the world’s largest antivirus lab here at Trend Micro, Antivirus One offers live monitoring to protect your Mac 24/7 against viruses, adware, ransomware, spyware and all kinds malware attacks. Additionally, it offers:

  • Privacy Cleaner: Hides your information to prevent others from identifying you, especially after visiting websites.
  • Safe Search: Reports security ratings for each Google search result.
  • Web Threat Protection: Prevents users from visiting phishing websites.

Download it for FREE today on the App Store! As always, we hope this article was an interesting and/or useful read. If yes, please do TO SHARE with your friends and family to help keep the online community informed and safe.

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