Are Mac computers immune to viruses? Some may make you believe that, and to some extent we wouldn’t blame you if you thought so too.
This is because there is a much larger number of Windows computers, especially those used in businesses and the financial industry, which means that it makes more sense for hackers to create viruses that target Windows computers instead. of Mac.
This does not mean that Mac viruses do not exist. In fact, some of the Mac viruses we’ve come across over the years can be more devastating compared to their Windows counterparts.
That being said, practicing good and safe online habits can prevent infection, but in the event that you think your Mac might have been infected, what can you do? How do you check it?
How to know if your Mac is infected
On the surface, your computer may appear to be working fine, but it could have become infected without your knowledge. There are a few signs you can watch out for, including:
- Browser extensions that have been installed without your knowledge
- Your browser’s home page has been changed to another
- You are getting a lot more pop-ups and ads than ever before.
- You’re seeing more frequent macOS security alerts
- Some of your files are no longer accessible
In some cases, some of these incidents are not that important. Adware is annoying but it won’t ruin your computer, but when you can’t access certain files anymore, it could be a sign of a more serious ransomware attack.
How to scan your Mac for viruses
When it comes to scanning your Mac for viruses, there are several different applications that you can use. Some of the popular options for Mac virus detection include Avast, CleanMyMac X Y Clario, Just to name a few. You can take a look at any of the apps to see if the features are what you are looking for.
Other than that, Apple has antivirus software built into macOS. This was introduced in 2009 as XProtect which scans applications and files against a database of known threats. It can block downloads and notify users if it detects that something is wrong. There is also the Malware Removal Tool that can help remove viruses that somehow escape from XProtect.
While the built-in tools may suffice for some, having an extra pair of eyes and a second or third opinion may not be a bad idea, especially if you have sensitive files on your computer that you would rather not have been stolen by malware. or record your keystrokes.
How to protect your Mac against viruses
There are some general rules that you can follow to stay safe online and not to accidentally get infected. This includes:
- Don’t open or download suspicious email attachments
- Don’t download files from untrusted websites
- If your browser is warning you not to load a website, you should probably listen
Apple has also shared some tips on how to protect your Mac from malware, which includes making sure your apps are downloaded and installed from trusted sources. Apple has also built in features into macOS that you can enable that will essentially block software downloads and installations from untrusted sources.
- On your Mac, click on the Apple logo and select System Preferences
- Select Security and privacy
- Click on General
- If the lock icon at the bottom left is locked, click it to unlock
- You can now choose the sources from which you will allow the software to install. You can choose App Store and App Store and identified developers. According to Apple:
- App Store: Allow apps only from the Mac App Store. This is the most secure configuration. Apple identifies all application developers in the Mac App Store, and each application is reviewed before it is accepted. macOS checks the app before it is first opened to make sure it hasn’t been modified since the developer shipped it. If there is ever a problem with an app, Apple removes it from the Mac App Store.
- App Store and Named Developers – Allows apps from the Mac App Store and apps from Named Developers. Identified developers are registered with Apple and can optionally upload their applications to Apple for a security check. If problems occur with an app, Apple may revoke your authorization. macOS checks the app before it is first opened to make sure it hasn’t been modified since the developer shipped it.
Filed in. Read more about Hack, macOS, Malware, Privacy and Security.