It feels like your computer apps take a century to open. You keep getting a popup on your Mac telling you that it’s been infected with a virus, but that’s impossible. Macs are immune to them.
That is a common misconception. In truth, your Apple device can show the same signs of malware as a Windows PC.
A program that you’ve never even heard of before will show up and tell you to check for malware. Your system will slow down to a crawl and make it difficult to get your work done.
That are only two things that you’ve got to be on the lookout for. Check out this quick tech guide to learn more.
1. Slower System
Most malware programs work in the background. They take up space on your system and bog down your hardware without you even realizing it.
When a computer virus interacts with software on your Mac, it can disrupt its normal function and cause it to lag behind.
This being said, having a slower system doesn’t always point toward a malware infection.
You might have too many files on your Mac. Deleting a few videos or pictures off your hard drive could speed things up.
Check your computer for an update. If you have one that’s pending, go ahead and download it.
2. Strange Browser Behavior
Browser hackers can be annoying. They go behind your back and change your web settings. It can cause your browser to redirect you to a random website instead of the homepage that you’re used to.
Sometimes, it’s a site full of ads that are trying to sell you something. Other times, it’s a page of flashing text informing you that you have a virus.
Browser redirects aren’t the only strange activity that you should be on the lookout for.
Popups can be a huge problem. It means you’ve been infected with spyware. Its entire purpose is to try and get your passwords and bank account information.
Hackers can install a browser extension without your notice. If you spot one that you don’t remember adding, delete it right away.
3. Network Activity
Your computer isn’t hooked up to the internet right now, but when you look at your router, it’s still bustling with activity.
Your MacBook might be installing an update. You could have set something up to download and forget about it.
Most of the time, though, the surge of activity is one of the most obvious signs of malware.
4. System Crash
You’re working on an assignment when your word processing software crashes, and you get a blue screen of death on your Mac. You might be running a program that’s not compatible with your PC.
If that’s not the case, you’ve most likely got a malware infection on your hands. Running a quick virus scan will tell you which problem you’re working with.
5. Encrypted Files
You click on one of your files and get a popup telling you that the data is encrypted. You can’t gain access to it again unless you send a certain amount of cryptocurrency to the hacker.
Ransomeware is a much more common problem on Windows computers than on Mac, but it’s still something that you’ve got to worry about.
Many hackers don’t stop at encrypting your files. They’ll render your entire computer unusable.
It might be tempting to pay the fee so you can get your data back. We’re here to tell you to avoid that temptation. There’s no guarantee that the hacker will unlock your system after you give them what they want.
6. Disabled Anti-Virus
You open your computer antivirus to run a scan, and it won’t open. You try updating the software, but that doesn’t seem to do the trick either.
Cybercriminals are crafty. They’ll design programs that will attack your antivirus software directly.
Until you resolve the problem, your computer will be vulnerable. Restart your system and try to open your antivirus again.
If that doesn’t work, it’s time to dial your program’s customer support phone number.
7. Your Contacts Are Receiving Weird Messages
Over three of your Facebook friends have contacted you complaining about receiving a strange DM from you. It’s possible that your social media accounts have been hacked into by a cybercriminal.
Log out of all your social media accounts and change your passwords. As an extra layer of protection, set up two-step authentication. It will force you to put in a code on top of entering your username and password when you try to log in.
8. Unfamiliar Icons
Have you noticed any unfamiliar icons on your desktop? Don’t ignore them. There’s a chance that they’re dangerous unwanted programs that are using up valuable space on your machine.
They can also infect your entire system and do some serious damage unless you delete them. If uninstalling the programs doesn’t get rid of the icons, run a virus scan.
That’s it for us. If you’re looking for more ways to check your computer for malware, head to setapp.com.
Obvious Signs of Malware to Look For
- Is your computer running slow?
- Is your browser redirecting you to other web pages?
- Are your contacts receiving strange messages from you?
These are all signs of malware. Contrary to popular belief, MacBooks are as vulnerable to malicious programs as Windows PCs.
If you ignore the signs and don’t scan your system, you’ll leave all your sensitive data vulnerable to attack.
Are you looking for more pointers that will help you take care of your computer? Check out the Tips and Ticks section of our blog!