Malicious software or viruses on MacBook and iMac are quite rare, but still not impossible. Sometimes, users of devices running on macOS are unlucky to pick up some unpleasant “companions” during their Internet surfing sessions. And it is quite challenging to get such a not welcomed guest out of the system.
For instance, if a variety of viruses and programs of unknown origin on Windows are already considered something ordinary, then for macOS users, it always causes quite a big fuss. One of the most unpleasant acquaintances for Mac users is the well-known KeRanger, which is regarded as the very first ransomware on the macOS platform. Before that, ransomware was considered a big problem for Microsoft Windows users, not for the MacBook or iMac appreciators, which tend to find all the necessary applications and programs on the Mac App Store.
One of the programs that are particularly popular with Mac owners is CleanMyMac. This tool not only helps to remove malware but also clean macOS from unnecessary files and monitor performance in general. CleanMyMac is officially authorized by Apple and is legally sold on the official site of MacPaw.
Apple is quite adept at its software updates that are used to continually patch holes in the protection of the operating system, in which various viruses and malicious programs are so fond of taking advantage of it. However, many Apple lovers have already learned to cope with such problems on macOS by themselves.
How to Distinguish Malware and Viruses on macOS
First, you should know that harmful programs differ significantly from viruses.
Malicious software does not attempt to enter your operating system without your consent, unlike a virus. Instead, it tries to disguise itself as real, useful software. It seems to entice you to install it on your MacBook or iMac, just like any other application from the App Store. Still, when it is installed, it will systematically start collecting information about you. In most cases, malware will want to gather information about your credit card or bank account, and when it gets these details, it sends this vital data to cyber fraudsters.
It is quite interesting that most of the malicious software on macOS disguises itself as programs designed to get rid of viruses and malware. In most cases, these “unbidden visitors” are camouflaged as antivirus or anti-malware applications, which is quite ironic.
Although there is no exact list of all potentially threatening software and viruses on macOS yet, here are three names that you should watch out for and avoid at all costs:
How does it work? Hackers, who are behind all this, take you from a real site to a fake one that asks you to check your MacBook or iMac for malicious software. Then you download the program to test the system, enter your Apple ID and password to install it.
For some time, this fake antivirus pretends to check your device and appears to find specific issues. To solve them, of course, it will ask you to enter your credit card details. If you enter your data, it will be sent straight to the attackers, who immediately use this crucial information to steal all money from your account.
How to Remove Viruses and Malware from Your Mac
Bear in mind one thing: you should never pay to get rid of malicious programs or viruses. As you might have guessed, never give or enter your financial details anywhere, whether it is applications or websites. Many proven antivirus software providers render services to protect your device completely free of charge.
So, what should you do if you log in to a specific site and receive a report about malware or virus detection on your Mac? Here’s a short guide for you to follow:
1. If you use Safari or any other browser, and you receive a warning about malicious software, a virus, or any other issue, then log out of the browser right away. In case you cannot exit the browser, close the application forcefully.
2. Then go to the Downloads folder, find all the installation files or any suspicious files and delete them.
3. If, instead of removing a file, you prefer to simply drag it to Trash, then be sure to empty Trash afterward.
Advanced Protection of Your Mac from Viruses and Ransomware
If you were able to dispose of a harmful program or a virus, then you will probably want to defend yourself against such unwelcome encounters in the future. Here are some tips that you can use to protect your data and your macOS:
Make sure your MacBook/iMac is updated. Open the App Store, go to the “Updates” tab, and click on “Update All.”
Enable automatic updates. Open “System Preferences,” hit the App Store button, and select “Automatically check for updates.”
Make sure that only programs from trusted developers can be installed on your Mac. You can activate this feature in “System Preferences” – “Security and Privacy” and “General.”
You can find more tips on removing ransomware or viruses on the official Apple Support site. In case you are not sure that you have entirely removed the malware, you can consult with technical specialists in the nearest Apple store.