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5 Terrifying Signs That Your Mac's Been Hit By Malware

Macs were previously renowned for being top-end machines that only designers and hipsters used, but nowadays more and more people, especially young professionals, are opting for the world of the Apple machine. Not only are they great pieces of tech, powerful and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but the user experience is one that is enjoyed by most adopters.

Macs were also previously known for being virus free, before a Trojan forced Apple to revoke this claim. Since then, users have become more aware that Macs are also vulnerable, and if you are not protected, you may be working in a minefield of malicious software, as scripts, websites and java applets can contain malware. Here are a few signs that you may be affected:

Installed apps are acting ‘strange’

Ever open your browser, surfed for a few minutes and for some reason you are redirected to some random site asking to download some sort of software to protect yourself from whatever new form of malware there is? This goes for any applications you may use on a daily basis, and for no reason are crashing. Chances are you may have malware.

Malware can mimic and also affect applications that have been installed, meaning your existing apps you use on a daily basis just do not seem to be working as they should. If opening your web browser is taking you to the deepest darkest holes of the internet, you may be infected.

This new app does not seem to work

Finding new apps and installing them on your Mac are great, especially when you find an app that you love and use on a daily basis. Sometimes though, we get lemons. Have you ever installed an application, and then nothing happens when trying to load the application? Chances are you may have installed malware. This can happen to the best of us, but just make sure in future you get your application installs from trustworthy locations.

Unnecessary processing power and memory usage

Standard users can tell when their machines are running a bit “harder” than usual; the hardware fans kick in a bit, making the sound of a helicopter preparing for take-off. On inspection of open applications, you see that only your text editor is running, but using quite a large amount of memory and processor power. If this is the case, you may have a Trojan program which is running in the background, using resources to perform whatever task it was designed to do. So when your Mac kicks into processor and memory usage overdrive, and it is not for a valid reason, chances are you may be infected.

“This app is from an unidentified developer”

Prior to Apple enforcing stringent reviews of the applications that went into their stores, developers were able to release apps that may have contained malicious code. Opening these apps nowadays, you usually receive a prompt saying that the application is from an unidentified developer. We have all opened apps like this, just thinking that this was just a bit of good old Apple paranoia, but these apps have the potential to have malware embedded in them that become active when the app is installed or used. If you are not sure of the source of an app, then I suggest not installing it, and if you get this message, it means Apple has not done its stringent reviewing of the app, so better be safe than sorry.

Everything is going too well

Just because everything is running super smooth, your Mac seems to be performing at top performance and everything seems A-Okay, it does not mean you are not infected. Malware is tricky, and has the ability to camouflage itself and become embedded deep into your system, working seamlessly in the background. Now you’re aware of the dangers, it’s a good idea to download an antivirus for Mac to help in detecting any files which may have malware associated with them.

Just remember to be safe and use common sense, and you will not be heading out to the n

By Sam Wright

Sam Wright is a journalist based in Norwich, UK.

Image License: Creative Commons image source

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