What are the signs of a malware attack on Mac?

With a famous advertisement featured during the 1984 Super Bowl, Macintosh (commonly shortened as Mac) computers first acquired popularity among consumers. The series is still popular today, with new variants dubbed iMac for desktop computers and MacBook for laptops.

While Macs are more secure than PCs, they are nevertheless and always have been vulnerable to viruses. The Mac operating system is designed to be more secure against viruses and malware, but there are still many ways for malware to get in. Another factor that protects Macs is their lower popularity than PCs; yet, this does not prevent some hackers from targeting Macs. Despite this, some tech commentators continue to advise avoiding even the most basic security measures, such as installing a cybersecurity application.

Does Mac Need an Antivirus?

While there has been a misconception among Mac users that Macs are immune to viruses and malware, Apple revealed in 2021 that Macs do catch malware. So, do you require antivirus or anti-malware software? Ransomware, which locks up your device and demands a payment, and spyware, which allows someone to spy on your computer, are examples of today's risks (like logging in to your accounts). A free antivirus application will provide some protection, but a commercial anti-malware program, such as Malwarebytes for Mac, can identify and prevent malware from entering your Mac.

Signs of Malware Infestation on Mac

  • When you land on a webpage you've chosen, advertising banners begin to obstruct your view.

  • You notice a hyperlink in the middle of some random webpage text.

  • Browser pop-ups scream at you, urging you to install false updates or other phoney applications.

  • Other undesirable adware apps that you didn't allow or that were installed without your awareness become apparent.

  • For no apparent reason, your Mac crashes, heats up, or uses its fan quicker than usual.

  • Your Mac slows down and becomes unresponsive.

  • Your Mac regularly crashes and restarts.

  • Your Mac's applications regularly crash.

  • The storage on your Mac machine is unavailable or corrupted.

  • On your Mac, you see strange error messages.

How to Protect Your Mac?

First and foremost, don't believe the hype. Except for the rarity of attacks compared to Windows, there's nothing intrinsically safer about a Mac. Most Mac users are unprepared for the growing danger landscape and continue to believe they are protected just because they use a Mac. As a result, Mac users are at a higher risk of contracting a virus.

Second, keep in mind the "if it seems too good to be true" criterion. Put on your suspicious look, and don't press that mouse if you get a cheerful pop-up promising something for free. This is common on dangerous websites, so stay away from them. If you glance at the status bar at the bottom of your browser, you can generally see the real URL of the site you'll be visiting if you click the link you're mousing over (without clicking). Pay special attention if the domain finishes in a strange combination of letters, such as com, org, edu, or biz, to mention a few. This might imply that it's a malware viper's nest.

Also, make sure your software is updated frequently, whether it's your operating system, browser, or any other application you use regularly. You'll prevent malware that tries to exploit any faults in the code this way.

Keep in mind that you are your first line of defence, so be cautious. Unsolicited email attachments and software from dubious websites or peer-to-peer file transfer networks should be avoided.

Finally, from a reliable provider, install a Mac cybersecurity or antimalware tool. This will safeguard you against malware that manages to get past your strong cybersecurity practices.

Updated on: 07-Feb-2022


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