With different kinds of viruses getting more intelligent and sneaky by the day, everyone is bound to experience an attack at some point in their lives. Malware is one of the most common that Mac users experience due to how easy it is to be introduced with it yet difficult to notice its existence. Don’t worry – we are here to give you the best tips on how to recognise when your device may have been hacked as well as how to remove malware from Mac laptops. Click this link for more detailed explanations.
What is Malware?
Before we get into the removal process of malware, it is important to first of all understand what it is and how it works. Malware is a malicious software that has been designed to illegally enter your device and cause disruption to it. This is typically done to gain some kind of benefit out of your personal data, such as leaking private information as blackmail, using your banking details for financial gains, getting unauthorised access to your systems or simply showing you unwanted adverts.
There are different types of malware too, the most common ones being adware, worms, viruses, spyware, ransomware, Trojan horses and scareware. Each of them work in a similar way and are used for the same malicious reasons.
How to Recognise it?
With malware being so sneaky it can be incredibly difficult to recognise, which is why many Mac users go months without noticing any suspicious behaviour on their laptops. However, there are a few symptoms you may look out for that indicate potential malware on your device. These include:
- Your Mac is slower and more sluggish than usually
- Seeing large amounts of unwanted / inappropriate ads pop up while browsing
- You keep being redirected to unwanted web pages / unwanted apps keep launching
- Noticing apps / activities that you never installed and don’t recognise
- Getting fake updates or software recommendations
- Any other activity that feels weird / unusual on your Mac
How to remove malware from Mac
Now that you have a better understanding of what malware is and when to be suspicious that your device may be infected, here are 4 key tips on how to safely remove it from your Mac.
Remove all suspicious apps from your Mac
Malware is typically located somewhere in your laptop processes, as an application or a software that is sneakily running in the background. To get rid of it, you must locate any suspicious apps and delete them. This can be done by using the Activity Monitor feature on Mac. To access by clicking Applications → Utilities → Activity Monitor. It may be a good idea to turn off your internet before doing this, in case the malware on your laptop has an ongoing connection with the hacker.
Once you have your Activity Monitor table empty, look for any activities that are using up suspicious amounts of your laptop’s CPU and memory. If you see any apps or software that you don’t recognise, immediately uninstall and delete it. Don’t forget to remove it from your trash bin afterwards too.
Remove suspicious browser extensions
Adware, also known as browser hijackers, is also one of the most common types of malware that come in the form of disruptive browser extensions. Therefore, you must do the same here – locate any suspicious, unwanted extensions and get rid of them as soon as possible.
The process to do this may be slightly different on various browsers. On Google Chrome, click on the three dots at the top right corner of the page, then click Settings → Extensions. In Safari, Click on Safari in the menu → Preferences → Extensions.
Clear up your login items
The Mac login items are concerned with all apps or other activity that automatically launches every time you log onto your laptop. These are typically apps that you use regularly and need to have easy access to.
Some types of malware are made to sneak in as a login item, which therefore becomes enabled every time you turn your laptop on. To get rid of it, on your menu bar click on the Apple logo → System Preferences → Users & Groups → click on the lock icon on the bottom left corner → login items. Have a look through all items and disable / delete anything that looks suspicious or unwanted.
Use antivirus software
While possible to do it manually, it is highly recommended to use a good antivirus software on your Mac at all times. These softwares are designed to regularly scan your devices, monitor any suspicious activity and get rid of any potential malware. Using it will ensure that the malware is taken care of before it even has a chance to do any damage on your Mac. Protecting your Mac manually is much trickier, as you may not notice the malware until it is too late.