As the popularity of macOS grows exponentially, the operating system has become highly lucrative to cyber attackers. Despite Apple’s security measures, Macs are not entirely immune to viruses and malware. This is a guide to help you understand the most prevalent Mac threats and how to stay safe.
Common Types of Mac Malware
Millions of user images, tax records, personal data, and embarrassing conversations by capturing webcam pictures and screenshots have been stolen by the Fruitfly malware. Since the nature of the malware remains unknown, there’s no preventative solution. However, Apple is working rigorously to find a way to detect and prevent this malware from creating problems.
Any Search and other browser hijackers
One of the most common types of malware on the Mac is browser hijackers. Whether you use Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or other popular web browsers, you are at risk of browser hijacking. Browser hijackers are a type of malware that assumes control of your browser and will change the homepage to a website the hacker wants you to see. Then, the hacker can monitor your activities, clicks, or searches. Any Search, for instance, is a browser hijack, and if your Mac is infected with this malware, you will see your browser displaying the Any Search website as the homepage. The malware bypasses Apple’s security to intercept Internet traffic and show incessant adverts. Check tips to stay protected against Any Search malware. Besides Any Search, other browser hijackers are CoolWebSearch, Ask Toolbar, Coupon Server, Search Baron, Search Pulse, Search Marquis, etc. The best way to stay protected against browser hijackers is always double-check browser extensions before downloading and installing them.
Adware.OperatorMac has been creating havoc since 2015. This adware reduces browser speeds and hampers the browsing experience. In addition, it automatically redirects Internet traffic to ads, and you may even see more web ads than usual.
The attacker might even use social engineering tactics to redirect you to malicious websites.
Effective Ways of Removing Malware & Viruses from Your Mac
Search, detect, and remove malicious programs/apps
Launch Finder > choose Applications and go through the application list to detect unknown or suspicious programs. Of course, knowing malware names will make the process simpler, but you can also manually browse the list. If you see any app name you don’t remember downloading or are unsure what it means, you must right-click on the app icon or folder and select Move to Trash or Uninstall. Then, empty the Trash and reboot your system.
Stop suspicious processes
If your Mac is running slower than usual or your system is getting frozen, you may consider the possibility that your device is infected with malware or a virus. Sometimes, infected processes and programs hog computing resources and impact system performance. Go to the Activity Monitor to single out the virus. If you come across suspicious programs, choose the cross symbol and confirm your selection. You can also click Quit to kill the processes.
Scan Your System for Malware
You can use in-built or third-party malware scanning tools to detect viruses or malware that might impact your device's performance. Typically, these tools will automatically let you fix the virus scare without facing too much damage.
Can You Protect Your Mac from Malware?
Apple has designed Macs, iPhones, and iPads to thwart malware, viruses, and other threats. However, the built-in security features are not always successful in keeping these threats out. Hence, it is always best to take precautions.
You can install antivirus programs and set them to scan your system automatically so your system is not exposed to the latest threats. Additionally, you can exercise caution before downloading extensions, apps, or files from the Internet. It is always best to double-check to ensure you are downloading from a verified source.
Contrary to popular belief, Macs aren’t immune to malware and other threats. Also, attackers are increasingly using more sophisticated methods to breach Apple’s security features. So you must stay cautious and take proper steps to prevent these threats from affecting your computer.