Apple products, especially Mac laptops and computers, are some of the safest in terms of malware attacks. Yet some malware seems to have cracked the Mac security code, like the Shlayer Trojan, a virus that is accountable for almost 30% of infected Mac products.
The problem is that some malware makes it extremely hard to detect that it has infected your Mac. It may be siphoning your data or corrupting your files without your knowledge for weeks at a time.
There are, however, signs your Mac may be infected that you should never ignore, especially if they pop up out of nowhere.
Read on to learn more about 5 distinct signs that you have an infected Mac so that you can set to work removing the problem software.
How Do Macs Become Infected and What Can You Do About It?
If all of the software programs you download are created by Apple, it is unlikely that you’ll ever experience a problem with malware. However, odds are good that at some point, you’ll want to download third-party software or even video files that could open up your computer to a variety of infections.
The best thing to do is to make sure you research any programs or websites you use to download files that aren’t related to Apple. Have other Mac users reported any issues in relation to these programs or websites? In addition, make sure that you’re taking precautions before mindlessly clicking the “Download” buttons, as you may download malware in disguise if you’re not careful.
As for getting rid of any malware you already have.
Signs of an Infected Mac
Not every virus will present itself to you and some of it may even slip past your virus scanner’s radar. However, they will always leave some trace, usually in the form of computer malfunction. Read on to learn more about the 5 signs that your Mac is infected.
Your Mac Is Slow or Unresponsive
It’s an open secret that Apple products have a shelf life. If your Mac is becoming slow or unresponsive after five or more years, it may be a sign that the software is outdated and it’s time for a new model.
However, if your Mac is new or this change in speed and responsiveness seems to come out of the blue, you may have an infection. For example, if applications take minutes to open or webpages don’t want to load, check to see if your Mac has malware.
This applies to both your Mac as a whole and individual programs. If you’re using your Mac and experience several forced restarts in a row, you may have an infection.
It’s worth noting that in some cases, what appears to be a forced restart is actually an update in action. Tons of programs prompt you to select a time to perform an update and if you ignore them long enough, they’ll schedule one without your explicit permission. However, when this occurs, you should see some evidence that an update was completed after the Mac or program restarts and this should not happen often.
Corrupted or Inaccessible Storage
Are you having trouble accessing your stored files and programs? This may be because all of your files have moved to an unknown location in your Mac or because they are behind a new password-protected wall. In some cases, you may get an error message every time you try to open a file or a notification that the file has been deleted.
Some infections come in and wipe out all of your storage. Backing up your data to a cloud or external hard drive can mitigate some of the issues that arise when this occurs. In some cases, ridding your Mac of the infection will lead your Mac to restore your storage on its own.
Pop-Ups or Strange Error Messages
Apple products have built-in pop-up blockers that should prevent you from getting slammed with pop-ups and new windows every time you go online. If you start getting redirected to strange websites or getting trapped behind a wall of pop-ups, you may have an infection.
In addition, you might start to notice strange error messages when you’re trying to perform routine functions. The problem with this is that many infections mimic internal software and these error messages and prompts look like they’re coming from Apple. In reality, following the prompts on these error messages could lead to a larger problem as you unknowingly accept more downloads of infectious files.
Virus Scanner Detection
The most obvious sign that your Mac has an infection is when your virus scanner detects one. If any of these other signs apply to your Mac, consider running a manual scan with your virus detection software.
If it catches any corrupt or suspicious files, see if the scanner can resolve the issue. If it can’t, you will have to take further action to resolve the issue manually or with the assistance of third-party software.
Keep Your Mac Virus-Free
Although we like to believe that Apple products are immune to infections, there are infections that are designed to infiltrate a Mac computer’s protective walls. If you notice any signs of an infected Mac, do your best to resolve the issue as soon as possible. The less time it has to wreak havoc, the less damage you’ll have to deal with.
Do you love free software but hate the idea of exposing your devices to potential malware? Check out the rest of our website to learn more about free software that is safe and easy to use.