Launched at this year's Macworld, SecureMac's MacScan 2.6 is designed to 'detect, isolate and remove spyware from your system'.

It won't protect you from viruses, but it will target malicious software such as keystroke loggers, Trojans and so-called 'backdoors' that allow hackers to gain access to your computer. It also removes blacklisted cookies without touching legitimate items storing your passwords and user names.

To date, more than 8,000 rogue cookies are listed in MacScan's database, and it even detects OS 9 threats for those running Classic Mode under OS X.

Anti-virus options

Options include a Quick Scan of your Home folder, a Full Scan checking every file on your start-up disc or a Custom Scan specifying files, folders or drives. You can also clear your browser of its cookies, history, downloaded files list and cache files with a single click.

MacScan doesn't run in the background as an 'always-on' application, but as well as launching manually, you can schedule it to run at a time of your choosing. It's best to leave your Mac on overnight at least once a week and schedule a Full Scan (which can take a while). It detected a Trojan we deliberately put on our machine perfectly.

SecureMac should be saluted for keeping the system requirements low here. Unlike iAntiVirus, MacScan runs on Intel and PowerPC-based Macs and on any version of OS X after 10.2.8. It's easy to use, too, and at £23 with no additional subscriptions to buy, it's reasonably priced.

Less welcome are the absence of a background mode providing real-time protection when you need it, and the lack of a Full Scan option that reads all drives instead of just the boot. Yet overall, MacScan is a great defence against the Mac's significant malware threat.