A guest post by David Smith
With technology being more prevalent in our world than ever, viruses and malware are now more prevalent than ever. Hackers are always scrounging the cyber world for a way to access your passwords, social media profiles, and financial information.
Shopping and other activities have become more computerized, therefore we now put more personal information on our computers. Between online shopping, online banking, and online bill pay features, the amount information we put out there is quite high. Typically, we will look for a site that has been marked safe, but that does not mean that it is impossible for it to be hacked.
Viruses and malware are the most common ways a hacker will access your information. It could simply be a spam email you receive that looks completely normal, but when you click the link you unknowingly infect your computer with a virus. Not only does this allow access to your information and files, it also damages your computer. It will cause popups and other spam, slowing the speed of your computer and potentially causing it to crash.
Just like credit card manufacturers have added more security to our credit cards with the chip, more companies are adding safety software for your computer. Today, there are many anti-virus software’s and things you can download to help keep your computer safe, but in the instance that your computer does contract a virus or become a victim of malware, there are ways for you to remove it.
Macs have become especially advanced in their safety from viruses and malware, however, no computer can be completely resistant to viruses and malware.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid malware when a threat arises:
- If you get a notification for a virus, malicious software or a “problem detected” notification, quit the web browser you are in.
- Go to your Downloads folder and drag any recently installed files, or files you don’t recognize, into the trash section.
- Empty your trash.
However, if you do not catch it this early, below are a few ways to rid your Mac of malware and viruses.
MalwareBytes is a software that will automatically search through your computer to see what has been installed. If it notices something unusual that could be malware, it will quickly uninstall it for you. The software will continually run in the background;therefore, you do not have to manually monitor it all the time.
If you feel comfortable removing the malware yourself, follow these simple steps. This will save you money, but if you find it difficult, it might not save you time. However, it is a good trick to know for future reference.
- Close the app you suspect is malware or a virus.
- Open the Utilities folder.
- Open Activity Monitor.
- Choose “All Processes”.
- Go back to the Utilities folder and launch Activity Monitor.
- Look for MacDefender, MacProtector or MacSecurity.
- Click “Quit Process” and then select “Quit”.
- Quit the Activity Monitor.
- Open the Applications Folder and locate MacDefender, MacProtector or MacSecurity.
- Drag the unwanted app to the trash, then empty the trash.
The best way to avoid malware or viruses is to always be cautious of the websites you visit and what you click on. If something looks even slightly suspicious, try finding out more information about it before you continue. Your personal and financial information is very important and it could be very dangerous if that information is accessed by the wrong person.
Always take extra precautions when visiting a new site or when putting your information into a site. But, if you do come across malware or a virus, rid your computer of it as soon as possible. If you think your information has been accessed, keep a close eye on your profiles and your personal and financial information.
It is much better to be safe and extra cautious about what you download on your computer, rather than have your computer and your information compromised. You do not want to be left cleaning up the mess from a hacker, or even having to get an entirely new computer.