It's become tougher than ever to find free high-quality antivirus apps for Mac & PC, as both Sophos and Bitdefender discontinued their free offerings at the turning of the year, and are now asking for payment to continue providing antivirus protection.
Sophos Home Antivirus in particular is an app that we have been recommending to clients due to its simplicity and effectiveness, but that protection now costs $60/yr (though it is often on sale). If you have previously installed the free version of Sophos, you can click on the shield icon in the menu bar at top of your screen (Mac) or in the lower-right corner of the taskbar (PC) to check your protection status. If you decide to say goodbye to Sophos, here are instructions on how to uninstall for both Mac and PC.
An alternative is the highly recommended Malwarebytes. Just keep in mind that while the free version gives you the ability press a button to scan for and remove malware that is already on your computer, active scanning to proactively protect your computer from viruses requires a paid license (typically $40/yr, though often on sale).
At this point, we do not have a recommendation for a free antivirus that provides active scanning capabilities on Mac. We used to recommend Avast, but their misleading sales tactics led us to withdraw the recommendation. For Windows users, the built-in Windows Defender provides a basic antivirus with active scanning capabilities.
We will continue evaluating the market so that we can provide quality advice on protecting your computer and personal information.
Jensen Gelfond is the Owner Asheville Digital Lifestyle, helps people use their technology more effectively and joyfully.