Remove Malware From Your Mac
Gone are the days when Mac users could feel confident that their operating system is immune to malware. The number of active threats targeting the macOS system is increasing, and although Macs are better protected from attacks than PCs due to their in-built security features, they may get infected and they do.
Malware is short for malicious software designed to steal data and damage computer systems. It’s a broad term that refers to all unwanted intrusions, and common examples include viruses, Trojans, adware, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), spyware, keyloggers, botnets, and ransomware.
You may notice some signs of malware infection like a sudden drop in your system’s performance, frequent crashes, and freeze-ups, problems with web browsers, strange apps you don’t remember installing. If you notice any of these symptoms or any other strange behavior, you may have a malware infection on your Mac, so you should take measures to remove it manually or automatically, using special software. Here are a few basic steps you can take to fix this problem.
Take Your Mac Offline
It’s actually the first thing you need to do. Many of today’s malware programs work with software on an infected device that contacts a remote server and sends sensitive data. So this step will stop that communication. You should immediately pull out the Ethernet cable to prevent any remote server command and control. And if you use WiFi, you need to turn it off.
Enter Safe Mode
It’s a built-in function that allows you to start up your computer with only the minimum software and extensions it needs to boot. Malicious programs often run in login, and safe mode will prevent it from loading automatically, making it easier to remove. Here is how you can get into Safe Mode:
- Start your machine and immediately press Shift and hold it.
- You can release this key after the login window has popped up.
Check Activity Monitor
This tool shows everything that is running on your Mac and can help you find out what’s using your system’s resources. You should launch Activity Monitor and check it thoroughly to detect any processes that put excessive load on your CPU. If you notice any heavy processes that you don’t recognize, it might be malware that is running in the background. You should select the suspicious process and click on the X button to quit it. Then, you need to remove the malicious app from the Trash bin and empty it.
Remove Unknown Apps
Unwanted apps can be causing your Mac to slow down, and you should uninstall them to fix the problem. That’s why a good idea is to go through all the apps installed on your machine to check whether there are some you never use. When you discover any of them, do proper research on each app to learn what it’s used for. Oftentimes, a simple Google search will help understand whether a certain app is useful or serves as a cover for malware. If you can find any info about an app or it has bad reviews, it’s best to get rid of it.
Check Browser Extensions
Lots of adware and PUPs enter your computer system through your browser and may install some sort of extensions. So you should check all your browsers and delete all the suspicious extensions that may interfere with your system performance or steal your data.
Here is how you can do it in Safari, which is the default Mac browser.
- In the menu bar, choose Safari.
- Navigate to Preferences and click on Extensions.
- Choose extensions that you think are suspicious and disable them or uninstall.
You should perform similar steps in Firefox and Google Chrome.
Mustafa Al Mahmud is the Founder and CEO of Gizmo Concept and also a professional Blogger, SEO Professional as well as Entrepreneur. He loves to travel and enjoy his free moment with family members and friends.