Different kinds of Mac viruses are getting smarter and sneakier by the day and so none of us are completely safe from being exposed to one. This is especially common for those not making use of any Mac antivirus software. We all understand that viruses are to be avoided, however, what exactly are they and what to do if you think your device has been infected with one? Let’s find out.
What is a virus?
A Mac virus is essentially a type program or a code that has been maliciously programmed to disrupt the processes in your device. Most often, this is done so a hacker can gain certain benefits from it, such as gaining access to your personal data, log in information, financial details and so on.
Many people get confused with the terms malware and virus – you may have seen those used interchangeably. However, malware is the umbrella term for a number of different types of malicious software, whereas a virus is just one type of malware. Viruses are perhaps one of the most common types of malware that Mac users get, though.
How to spot a virus?
Viruses are often created in a way where they sneak into your Mac without you even noticing and hide somewhere within your systems, apps or browser extensions. While it can be difficult to notice, there are certain “symptoms” you may pick up on. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Unknown applications or software that you don’t recall installing is starting up on your laptop;
- Your laptop feels much slower than usual, you experience more crashes;
- There’s changes that you never made, such as a different browser homepage, changed passwords, etc.;
- You are frequently getting unusual adverts and pop-up windows everywhere;
- Other unusual activity;
If you notice one or more of these things on your Mac, it may be a good idea to check for viruses and handle them immediately, if you detect it.
Ways to remove viruses
The absolute easiest way to deal with viruses as well as prevent your Mac from getting them to begin with is by using antivirus software. These apps are designed to regularly scan your Mac for any suspicious activity, detect any types of malware and flag them for you. Once something suspicious has been found, you can remove it within a few mouse clicks.
If third-party antivirus software is not your thing, however, you can also do it yourself, manually. This will take a bit of time, as you will have to look through a number of areas in your laptop before you find where the virus is located. The main things to look at and clean out are the following:
- Look through your browser extensions and delete any suspicious / unwanted ones;
- Search for suspicious applications and uninstall anything you don’t recognise;
- Clear out your login items from anything that doesn’t look right – only leave the items you recognise and regularly use;
- If none of the above fixes the issues, you may want to create a new user profile, transfer all important data and delete the old profile.
It is also recommended to disconnect your laptop from the internet before attempting to remove the virus, as a lot of the time hackers use your internet connection to control the viruses.