3 Ways You Can Tell Mac has virus
Put simply: if you never install software from outside the Mac App Store, you don’t have anything to worry about. Sure, there are some browser-related exploits from time to time, and Java is an ongoing concern, but if your OS X and browsers are up-to-date such infections are pretty unlikely.
And if you do install software from outside the Mac App Store, but are careful to research software before installing it, you also don’t have anything to worry about.
On the other hand: if you’ve pirated Mac software, or installed plugins at the request of a site offering pirated movies, you might have problems. Let’s go over a few signs that your Mac might be infected, just to make sure.
Sign 1: Unexpected Ads and Pop-Ups
Adware is becoming an ever-bigger problem on the Mac platform. If you’re seeing ads in places they previously didn’t show up, there’s a good chance you’ve installed something you shouldn’t. This is particularly true if you get pop-up ads even when you’re not browsing the Internet.
Sign 2: Your Mac Is Slow For No Reason
As I said before: some Mac malware makes your Mac part of a botnet, which is a global network of computers used for all sorts of things. If your Mac is infected, it could be helping to DDoS a website, mine BitCoins or any number of things that take up CPU power.
If your Mac is constantly slow, even if you don’t have any programs open, this is a possibility.
Odds are malware isn’t your problem, though. You’re probably better off reading about how to speed up your Mac, but malware is worth looking into if none of those tips work.
3. A Malware Scanner Confirms Infection
Think your Mac might be infected? Make sure. Here are a few free programs you can use to scan your Mac and find out about any infections:
- BitDefender Virus Scanner for Mac is a free tool. It won’t delete infections for you, but it will point out where to delete them using the Finder. Note that the latest release has some issues, according to user reviews.
- AdwareMedicscans for and deletes a number of common Adware infections on your Mac. It’s a quick scan, so try it if you’re seeing way too many ads. Donations are requested, be sure to contribute if the program helps you.
- ClamXAVis the Mac version of ClamAV, a popular open source malware detection tool. It’s well worth a look.
If none of these tools come up with anything, it’s extremely unlikely that your Mac is infected. There are other such apps out there – if you know of something better, please let us know in the comments.