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How to Prevent Mac from Malware – Guide
If you think your Mac is protected from malware and other computer viruses, you are wrong. For the first time, Malwarebytes said it detected more threats targeting Macs than Windows computers. In its 2020 State of Malware report, the prominent anti-malware company claims to have detected almost twice as many Mac-specific threats as threats targeting Windows users. If you want to keep your data safe, here’s how to whether your Mac contains malware and how to prevent your Mac from being infected.
Scareware window? Use safe mode to loosen up
Some of these infections begin as a Safari ad that won’t go away until you click on a link or call a special number. The window may claim that you are being watched by the FBI, such as the PC Ransomware. Some of these ads will start talking to you. Don’t fall for this scam. To get Safari in order, you first need to force Safari to quit.
Hold down Command + Option + Esc at the same time. This brings up the Force Exit menu. Select Safari and then Force Quit. Sometimes the Safari window is locked and the Force Quit option does not work. In this case, press control + option and click Safari on the dock and select Force Quit. This stops the annoying ad on Safari. The same steps work for Firefox and other browsers on the Mac.
Some browsers are configured to reopen the last window that was active before closing, so you will face the same problem again. To fix this in Safari, hold down the shift key while opening up Safari. This prevents any previous window from reaching up.
With Firefox, holding down the option key opens in safe mode and disables the home screen. With Chrome, you need to start in incognito mode, but you may need a program to help with that. You can then move on to removal.
Download Adware Medic to remove infections
When you have a working browser, the best program to remove adware from your Mac is Adware Medic. It was designed to remove browser plug-ins that redirect search results and inject ads. The program is free. Requires Mac OS X Lion 10.7 or higher.
Users of 10.6.8 Snow Leopard or below will need to perform a manual removal. The Adware Medic website has a great guide for manual removal. For Snow Leopard, Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition does a good job of removing malware and is also free.
Prevent future infections with smart browsing
Mac infections usually do not come from the same sources as PC infections. They are unlikely to be attached to an email or embedded in a PDF. They will be part of what appears to be a legitimate download or otherwise trick a user downloads the payload with an ad. Software that is installed automatically just by accessing a website is very rare.
The most popular trick I see that it is an ad that convinces the user that the Adobe Flash Player is out of date. I almost fell for it trick one time. My Mac warned me before installing it.
If you need to download software for your Mac that is not available on the App store, navigate directly to the manufacturer’s website. Avoid searching for the product name, as this can bring up Ads. Look for the manufacturer and find the product on its website. For example, instead of searching for Adobe Flash Player, search for Adobe.
Apple’s antivirus is integrated: Apple’s Xprotect prevents your Mac from being infected most of the time. It updates itself when Apple updates macOS.
Install blocking software
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