Sophos has announced the launch of free anti-virus software for the Mac platform.

Based on its security software, it said that Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition for Mac has been released in response to growing concern about Mac malware.

According to Sophos, the software provides automatic on-access detection that runs in the background, which means Mac users do not need to run any manual scans to be protected against the millions of viruses, worms, spyware and Trojans in existence. It also said that strong disinfection capabilities make it easy to clean up an infection should malware already be in place.

A recent Sophos survey into attitudes about Mac security questioned 645 people and found that 95 per cent expect Macs to be increasingly targeted by malware in the future.

Chris Kraft, product management vice president at Sophos, said: “While most businesses recognise the importance of protecting their Mac computers from malware threats, most home users do not. By offering free industrial-strength security to home users, we aim to protect Mac users against today's and tomorrow's Mac threats.  Everyone knows that Macs are beautiful computers - Sophos wants to lend a hand to keep them that way.”