Have you heard the claim that Mac systems don’t get viruses? The powerful macOS security tools have inspired the statement. However, unfortunately, no operating system is impenetrable. Also, cybercriminals and hackers are getting smarter by the day, using the latest technologies to infect systems. So, Mac malware does exist, and you must be careful not to fall victim.
Before checking your system for malware and viruses, you must be aware of the different viruses that can affect your Mac system.
• Trojan horses – Trojan horses are quite common on Windows PCs and Macs. It is a type of malware disguised as a legitimate program, and cyber criminals trick users into downloading the program to their computers.
You might have received an email from your cable provider or bank. The message might come with a link asking you to click on it to renew your service or prevent your bank account from closing. The malware will be installed on your device as soon as you click on the link. You must be careful of clicking on unknown links because this malware can be dangerous and steal your personal data.
• Adware – Adware can bombard you with advertising pop-ups. These ads might be intrusive, and sometimes they might work with spyware. Spyware is a program that records your online activities, and therefore, cybercriminals can get access to your passwords, banking details, etc. You must be careful never to click on unknown ads because they might lead to malicious websites.
• Ransomware – Hackers use ransomware to lock computers with a virus. Then, ransom notes are sent to the users demanding money. Ransomware attacks have been launched on individuals and businesses. It is important to install antivirus software on your computer to prevent ransomware attacks.
Besides these, browser hijackers (redirect) virus is quite common on Macs. These are typically promoted from bundle download packages, and while their nature is not particularly malicious, they can be frustrating to deal with. For instance, if Google keeps redirecting to Bing, it might mean your computer is infected with the Bing Redirect virus.
Other popular browser hijackers include SEarch Mine, Yahoo Redirect, Search Baron, Trovi, etc. The problem with browser hijackers becomes serious when they come with spyware and start recording your online activities to steal your personal information.
Warning Signs Your System Might Be Infected
Before you get worried that your system is infected with malware and viruses, you need to stay alert to these common signs:
• There’s an automatic change in the browser homepage.
• The system’s performance has become extremely slow and sluggish.
• There are frequent restarts, and your system freezes quite often.
• There are too many browser redirects.
• You are noticing an increased slew of pop-up ads and a host of other intrusive ads that are ruining your browsing experience.
If you notice these signs, you have to perform the following checks.
Checks To Ascertain Whether Your Mac Is Infected With Malware
• Check The Activity Monitor
The Activity Monitor is one of the best places to look if you think your Mac is infected with malware. You can see all the background processes and applications that are running here.
You have to open Activity Monitor by going to Applications and clicking Utilities. Then, go to the CPU tab and click the % CPU column. You need to look for high CPU use. If you notice any suspicious process, you can do a Google search to get more information to confirm whether it is malware.
• Keep An Eye Out For Unwanted Or Suspicious Apps
Since malware wants to remain hidden, the Applications folder may not be the best place to look for viruses. However, it is still worth checking. There might be legitimate-looking applications that are loaded with viruses.
Navigate to the Applications folder and search for applications that you don’t remember installing or you don’t recognize. If they appear suspicious, uninstall them and empty the Trash.
• Scan Your Device Using An Antivirus Software
Manually trying to find malware might be a losing game. You need to install antivirus software designed to find and remove viruses easily. After installing such software, you need to scan your system and let the program detect malware on your behalf.
Ideally, there are two types of protection you must use. Real-time protection and antivirus scans. Carry out the scans to search your entire system or choose folders where you suspect malware might be. Ensure to always switch on real-time protection so that whenever you download a file or click on a link, the program will scan it and let you know if it is safe.
It is important to safeguard your system against malware, and you must be alert to see the signs and take immediate action. Viruses can infect your computer, steal your data and prevent you from having a smooth working experience.