How to Identify That Your Mac Is Infected and What to Do About It

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If you think that you can’t get a virus on your Mac, think again. Although Macs are more protected against malware than Windows computers due to their built-in defense features, they are not virus-proof, and infections do happen. 

Malicious software targeting Macs comes in different forms, such as PUPs, adware, Trojans, spyware. But all of them have one thing in common – they can infect your machine only through processes outside the App Store. They can get on Macs through free downloads, email attachments, browser extensions, fake services, etc.

Keep reading to find out how to notice the signs of malware on your Mac computer and how to scan your system to find it.

How to Tell That Your Mac Has Malware

There are some signs that indicate you might have a problem:

  • Your Mac runs slower than usual and often crashes for no reason.
  • You start seeing unexpected ads and annoying pop-ups in the places where they didn’t previously show up.
  • Your web browser starts directing you to websites that you don’t want to go to.
  • Your web browser’s homepage has mysteriously changed.
  • You notice new software programs that you didn’t install yourself.
  • You receive security alerts recommending you install something.

It doesn’t mean that your computer will show every sign, but you’ll see at least a few of them.

How to Scan Your Mac for Malware

So now you suspect that your Mac has malware, but what can you do to troubleshoot and hopefully resolve the problem? First, you should immediately disconnect from the internet to ensure that your system won’t send any data to the malware server. Then you need to make sure that your fears about viruses are correct and take reactive steps to protect your Mac.

A smart way to detect any potential infection is to use a special malware detection tool. For example, you can use CleanMyMac X that has a malware removal module. It can scan your Mac, identify potential threats, and remove them too. But you can also do a malware scan manually. 

Get Rid of Unknown Apps

First of all, you should look inside the Applications folder that you can access from Finder. You should look for unknown titles of apps that you don’t remember installing. If you find something, you need to delete these apps. Drag them into Trash, and then right-click and select the Delete Trash option. You should also look for files related to a malicious app in the Application Support folder and remove them to Trash.

Check Downloads

Here your system stores files downloaded from the internet. There could be a chance that malware may be hiding among other downloaded files. So it’s quite reasonable to examine files in this folder and delete those ones that you don’t longer need. Move them to trash and don’t forget to empty it.

Remove Suspicious Browser Extensions

Check your browsers for adware extensions and hijackers. Go to Safari and Choose Preferences from the menu bar. First, select the General tab and check the HomePage URL. Is it correct or is it a website that you didn’t add? If needed, change the HomePage.

Then click on Extensions and make sure you recognize installing each of them. If you notice the extensions that don’t look right, you need to delete them. 

Now you know how to recognize some signs of potential malware infection on your Mac and how to deal with it. But you should remember that prevention is always better for digital safety than cure, so you should always be vigilant to prevent further infections and fight malware threats. Never click any links unless you trust the source and regularly scan your system for malware.

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