While macOS comes with a high level of security, the operating system isn’t entirely immune to viruses. Your Mac can potentially be attacked by a redirect virus, adware, and ransomware among others.
If your Mac behaves oddly, it may have been infected. In this post, we go over some tell-tale signs of Mac-targeted viruses.
You See Pop up Screens Everywhere
image via pcrisk.com
Recurring pop up screens of an advertising nature plaguing your screen are, without a doubt, a sign that your Mac is under attack. These are the symptoms of adware, and they can appear even when you’re not using a browser. Adware prompts you to download or update your software license. It’s usually bound with malicious software that, when installed, can display pop-ups in random places and even track your online behavior.
Your Mac hit a slowdown
Some Mac viruses can connect your computer to a bot network that will use its CPU power for cyber attacks or mining bitcoins. A slow Mac, even when it runs few programs, is a clear sign of infection. You can use Activity Monitor, a tool that lets you track all running processes so you can spot malicious programs that may have crept into the system without you noticing.
Your browser takes you to unwanted websites
This is a symptom of a redirect virus that has altered your browser’s custom settings without the admin’s consent. As a result of these changes, your browser takes you to malicious websites every time you start using it. Redirect viruses aim to amass traffic to a particular website and show the victim misleading ads on those webpages.
You can’t access your files
This is the case of ransomware, a form of malware that locks the user’s personal data and demands a ransom to unlock it. If you noticed that your files have odd extensions and you can’t access them, consider it bad news. The only way to rectify the situation is to wipe your disk and restore your files from your backup storage. After that, you’ll need to scan your Mac for malicious leftovers to ensure the virus can’t do more harm. To learn more about how to check your Mac for viruses, click for info.
There’s a ransom note in your browser
Image via Macworld UK
Browser locker viruses are much less harmful than their file locker counterparts. The sign you’ve been attacked with such a virus is having a ransom message in your browser that says you’ve been caught watching prohibited content and paying a ransom will help you avoid the court. To get rid of this virus form, all you need to do is to clear your browser cache.
Your browser is drowning in random ads
The flood of ads on every website you visit is a symptom of adware that alters your browser setting to incorporate an additional layer filled with ads on top of your usual browser content. As a result of this activity, you can hardly use your browser as it’s chock full of banners and screens offering all kinds of deals. Most of the time, the hackers behind it are aiming to trick the user into downloading malicious software. To remove adware, you need to locate the malicious extension in your browser and disable it. In some cases, you’ll need to reinstall your browser.
Although macOS comes with substantial security layers, additional steps are required to protect your Mac from viruses. These include:
- Install an antivirus solution;
- Enable a firewall;
- Never open links or files within emails from unknown senders;
- Avoid downloading apps outside the App Store;
- Run regular software updates;
- Use strong passwords.
If you stick to these rules, you shouldn’t be worried about Mac-targeted attacks.