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How to protect your Mac from malware and what to do if it caught a virus

In most cases, you can scan your Mac, detect malware, and delete it without professional help.

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Image: KnowTechie

In 2019, the number of attacks on Mac computers increased by 400%. To protect your device from viruses and malware, you should install an antivirus and an inbound firewall, uninstall the Flash Player and follow a few more simple rules. This article will help you keep your Mac protected 24/7 without paying too much or seeking professional help.

Apple computers are safe and reliable devices. When compared to a Windows PC, Macs are less likely to get hacked or get infected by viruses. However, according to statistics from Malwarebytes, the number of threats to Mac computers has increased by 400% in 2019. The positive news is that by following a few simple steps you can protect your Mac against cyberattacks.

How to protect your Mac from viruses and malware

There are a few easy steps to enhance your protection. First, update all of your apps regularly. An outdated app becomes a security breach even if you don’t use it.

To protect yourself from phishing attacks, start using a password manager. It will generate long and complicated passwords automatically every time you try to register on a new site and will store all passwords in its database.

Instead of an inbound firewall, switch to a two-way one. Inbound firewalls are built in your device, but you shouldn’t think it’s a panacea for all sorts of attacks. Outbound firewalls are much more efficient against malware. For example, you might download some software that you didn’t think would be connecting to the Internet. In case it tries to connect, an outbound firewall will send you an alert.

You should stop using the standalone Flash Player. Adobe Flash is constantly asking for updates, and one day this might be a phishing attack.

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Image: Apple

It’s preferable to enable full disk encryption. This will provide an additional layer of protection to your files and folders. If your data isn’t 100% encrypted, a hacker may get hold of it.

It’s advisable to switch off Spotlight Suggestions. These suggestions might leak your personal information to third parties unless you change their default settings. These “third parties” would be normally Apple and some search engines, but it’s better to play safe.

When you need to share files, avoid peer-to-peer platforms. It’s extremely easy to download malware from such a platform, and then it will expose your private data to anyone who would be interested in seeing it. If there are several devices in your house, all connected by the same network, you might infect them all in just a few minutes with the malware downloaded on your device.

Use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi. The Virtual Private Network will encrypt your data so that your important information won’t get stolen.

To maximize your security level, you should install efficient and reliable software that will keep you protected — for example, MacKeeper. This solution provides multi-layered protection from online threats and optimizes the performance of your device. It includes antivirus, an ad cleaner, a memory cleaner, and an update tracker. Unnecessary pop-ups won’t bombard you, and viruses will be detected well before they attack you.

What to do if you Mac was hacked or caught a virus

If your device caught a virus, follow these steps:

  1. Remove all the questionable extensions. Open the list of the extensions in your browser and delete manually all of those that you didn’t install on purpose.
  2. Remove all the questionable apps. It’s not enough to remove just the icon of the app: you need to drag to the trash both the app and all the files related to it. Be careful, because if you accidentally remove the files of the useful apps, the device won’t function properly. Otherwise, you can delete the apps quicker and easier with MacKeeper.
  3. Create a new user profile. Viruses often attach to a particular user profile. But if you start a new profile and transfer all your important data to it, you’ll probably be safe.

Modern antiviruses are powerful and user-friendly. Scan your Mac once per month even if there are no visible threats, and run additional scans each time after you connect to a public Wi-Fi network.

In most cases, you can scan your Mac, detect malware, and delete it without professional help. However, remember to regularly update your antivirus and never switch it off.

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