The app called Advanced Mac Cleaner is one of the oldest samples from this category that has additionally spawned spinoffs, such as Mac Tonic and Mac Auto Fixer. All of them claim to detect numerous security and system performance issues and then ask for money to fix them.
Macs don’t get viruses, right? Wrong, sadly. Your Mac may be safer from malware than the average Windows PC, thanks to its Unix core and Apple’s default security settings in the OS, but it’s not immune. All it takes is one thoughtless click on a link in an email or on a website, and your Mac could be infected.
The good news is that performing a Mac virus scan is very easy and if it finds anything, getting rid of the virus is very straightforward, too.
How to check your Mac for a virus
Virus Scanner App For Mac
There are a number of tell-tale signs that your Mac has a virus. If it’s not displaying any of those, there’s probably nothing to worry about. So, before you scan your Mac for a virus, here are a few things to check.
1. Is your Mac behaving erratically?
This could include applications crashing, web browsers loading pages you didn’t ask for, and unusually high traffic on your network.
2. Has it started running very slowly all of a sudden?
Some viruses run processes that hog CPU cycles and leave little capacity for the tasks you want to carry out.
How To Find Virus On Mac
3. Are you seeing adverts or pop-ups for things you would never normally see?
Adware viruses are designed specifically to show adverts in the hope that you’ll click on them.
4. Have you noticed software appear on your Mac that you didn’t deliberately install?
Some viruses appear in the form of browser extensions, others run in the background, but some may appear as applications in your Applications folder.
If any of the above are true, it’s possible that your Mac has a virus, but don’t panic, it may be relatively easy to remove.
How to get rid of suspicious apps
If you find an application that you didn’t intend to install, you should get rid of it. But don’t just drag it from your Applications folder to the Trash, that won’t remove every trace of it from your Mac. Applications store files in a number of different places in your Mac’s Library folders. You could hunt them down and remove them manually, but it’s quicker and easier to use a dedicated uninstaller like CleanMyMac X. That way, you can be sure you will remove every trace of the application and no stray files will be left behind.
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- Download CleanMyMac for free here.
- Launch it from your Applications folder.
- In the Utilities section, click on Uninstaller.
- Look through the list of applications until you see the one you want to get rid of.
- Check the box next to it.
- Press the Uninstall button.
How to run a malware scanner on Mac
There are several Mac virus scanners that allow you to scan your system. However, it’s very important that you don’t just google ‘free Mac antivirus software.’ Many sites that claim to offer free antivirus tools in fact host viruses themselves. So, you go to the site looking for a solution and end up making the problem worse. It’s important to use a reputable tool. We recommend using CleanMyMac X.
CleanMyMac X detects thousands of malware threats, including adware, spyware, worms, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, and if it finds something suspicious, it offers immediate removal. Here’s how to scan your Mac for malware:
- Download CleanMyMac X (free download) and launch the app.
- Click on the Malware Removal tab.
- Click Scan.
- Click Remove.
Malware Monitor is another thing I love about CleanMyMac X. And it works in real-time. Whenever an adware attempts to enter some protected areas on your Mac, you’ll get instantly notified.
How to prevent your Mac from getting a virus
Prevention is always better than cure. So, if you want to make sure that every virus scan returns a clean bill of health, here’s what to do.
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- Never click a link in an email unless you’re 100% sure where the email has come from and where the link will take you. Reputable companies and banks won’t ask you to click a link to log into an account, for example.
- Never download anything unless you’re certain what it is. That includes movie files, software updates, games, and anything else you’re not absolutely certain about.
- Keep your Mac updated with the latest version of macOS. That doesn’t mean you have to be running the very latest OS, but if you’re running, say, Sierra, make sure you install the latest updates when they become available.
Scanning your Mac for threats is very easy. Get CleanMyMac X to make your Mac as safe as new. With its help, you get rid of any applications you didn’t intend to download, and scan your whole system for malware very quick and easy. Give it a go.
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We design Mac hardware and software with advanced technologies that work together to run apps more securely, protect your data, and help keep you safe on the web. And with macOS Catalina available as a free upgrade, it’s easy to get the most secure version of macOS for your Mac.*
Apple T2 chip.
The next generation of security.
The Apple T2 Security Chip — included with many newer Mac models — keeps your Mac safer than ever. The Secure Enclave coprocessor in the Apple T2 chip provides the foundation for Touch ID, secure boot, and encrypted storage capabilities. Touch ID gives you a seamless way to use your fingerprint to unlock your Mac, fill passwords in Safari, and make purchases with Apple Pay. Secure boot helps ensure that you are running trusted operating system software from Apple, while the Apple T2 chip automatically encrypts the data on your Mac. So you can be confident knowing that security has been designed right into the architecture of your Mac, from the ground up.
Apple helps you keep your Mac secure with software updates.
The best way to keep your Mac secure is to run the latest software. When new updates are available, macOS sends you a notification — or you can opt in to have updates installed automatically when your Mac is not in use. macOS checks for new updates every day, so it’s easy to always have the latest and safest version.
Protection starts at the core.
The technically sophisticated runtime protections in macOS work at the very core of your Mac to keep your system safe from malware. This starts with state-of-the-art antivirus software built in to block and remove malware. Technologies like XD (execute disable), ASLR (address space layout randomization), and SIP (system integrity protection) make it difficult for malware to do harm, and they ensure that processes with root permission cannot change critical system files.
Download apps safely from the Mac App Store. And the internet.
Now apps from both the App Store and the internet can be installed worry-free. App Review makes sure each app in the App Store is reviewed before it’s accepted. Gatekeeper on your Mac ensures that all apps from the internet have already been checked by Apple for known malicious code — before you run them the first time. If there’s ever a problem with an app, Apple can quickly stop new installations and even block the app from launching again.
Stay in control of what data apps can access.
Virus Checking App Or Mac Os
Apps need your permission to access files in your Documents, Downloads, and Desktop folders as well as in iCloud Drive and external volumes. And you’ll be prompted before any app can access the camera or mic, capture keyboard activity, or take a photo or video of your screen.
FileVault 2 encrypts your data.
With FileVault 2, your data is safe and secure — even if your Mac falls into the wrong hands. FileVault 2 encrypts the entire drive on your Mac, protecting your data with XTS-AES 128 encryption. And on Mac systems with an Apple T2 Security Chip, FileVault 2 keys are created and protected by the Secure Enclave for even more security.
Designed to protect your privacy.
The most secure browser for your Mac is the one that comes with your Mac. Built-in privacy features in Safari, like Intelligent Tracking Prevention, help keep your browsing your business. Automatic strong passwords make it easy to create and use unique passwords for all the sites you visit. And iCloud Keychain syncs those passwords securely across all your devices, so you don’t have to remember them. You can also easily find and upgrade any weak passwords you’ve previously used (and reused and reused and reused).
Automatic protections from harmful sites.
Safari also helps safeguard you against fraudulent websites and those that harbor malware — before you visit them. If a website seems suspicious, Safari prevents it from loading and notifies you. And when connecting to unencrypted sites, Safari will warn you. So everything you need to browse without worry is right at your fingertips.
Find your missing Mac with Find My.
The Find My app combines Find My iPhone and Find My Friends into a single, easy-to-use app on Mac, iPad, and iPhone. Find My can help you locate a missing Mac — even if it’s offline or sleeping — by sending out Bluetooth signals that can be detected by nearby Apple devices. These devices then relay the detected location of your Mac to iCloud so you can locate it in the Find My app. It’s all anonymous and encrypted end-to-end so no one — including Apple — knows the identity of any reporting device or the location of your Mac. And it all happens silently using tiny bits of data that piggyback on existing network traffic. So there’s no need to worry about your battery life, your data usage, or your privacy being compromised.
Keep your Mac safe.
Even if it’s in the wrong hands.
All Mac models with the Apple T2 Security Chip support Activation Lock — just like your iPhone or iPad. So if your Mac is ever misplaced or lost, the only person who can erase and reactivate it is you.