Although a new Mac device should be completely free from viruses, certain hackers and developers have come up with a shifty way to take advantage of new users, by introducing a range of fake updates, false pieces of software and more. Once you’ve installed your new software, you’ll likely want to make sure that everything is official and that your habits won’t be at risk.
What is a Mac virus?
The simplest way to understand a virus is to get to know what it does. Most viruses can be categorised into specific sectors, i.e. malware, adware, spyware, trojans and hijacking tools. These pieces of software can vary in how dangerous they are, but they share one thing in common – they will have a negative impact on what you do on your device. This can range from harvesting data, to selling your information and even attempting to force a ransom payment to regain access to your Mac. It’s always a good idea to check these risks to see just how much trouble they could cause.
How to tell if your Mac has a virus
While there are different types of viruses, they will typically have similar effects on your Mac when they are present, such as slowing down the overall time normal functions take to process. In all cases, some viruses will have an immediate effect, whereas others will take a little longer to rear their ugly heads. With this in mind, here are the general signs you should be looking out for:
- l An increase in security alerts popping up, even when a scan isn’t in session
- l The appearance of new homepages or extensions that you haven’t added yourself
- l An increase in ads and pop-ups than you’ve noticed previously
- l Limited access to personal files
- l Contacts receiving spam from any of your accounts, such as email and even social media profiles
Keeping your Mac safe
The good news is that there is plenty of reputable antivirus software out there that can be of help when fighting against hackers and protecting your Mac from unwanted issues. The right one will depend on your needs, but be sure to consider factors like virus protection rates, security features, multi-device support, overall impact on device performance (as some may also slow processing times), the price you’re willing to pay for your software and even how well-appointed the customer support is, should you need assistance.
Remember, there may be times when a virus will be extremely aggressive and you could receive a warning note or even a ransom to regain access to your Mac. This will point to Trojan horse or ransomware and it can be extremely important to deal with this in the right way. The first thing to do is not pay the money asked, as hackers and scammers are not likely to be true to their word and reinstate your access/files and they will be encouraged to continue their efforts elsewhere. Instead, use the antivirus software running in the background of your Mac and follow the prompts to remove the issue at its source.