Spyware is a type of malware that infects your Mac to gather data about you and send it to third parties. Read the article to learn how to get rid of it.
What Is Spyware and How to Remove It from Mac
Spyware is one of the most common threats to internet users. It’s malicious software that enters your computer, steals data about you, and sends it to a third party without your permission. Spyware works in the background and secretly records what you do on the computer. It captures your confidential information such as name, passwords, credit card details, email accounts, social media and monitors your online activity.
Spyware will always be a danger as long as you use internet-connected devices. You can unwittingly install it when you download freeware from an unreliable website or when you accept a pop-up without reading it first. While Macs are more secure than PCs, they are not immune to spyware and other malware and viruses, so it’s best to be proactive. Read to learn about different types of spyware and how to get rid of it on Mac. You can also find more tips here.
Types of Spyware
There are 4 main types of spyware, and each of them has unique tactics to spy on you.
- Adware monitors your online activity to sell this data to marketers who use it for aggressive advertising campaigns. Adware displays annoying ads and can slow down your Mac.
- Cookie trackers are similar to adware, but they are less harmful. They also monitor your browsing behavior and searches. This info is used later to show you pop-ups and banner ads.
- Trojans are disguised as movies or software updates and trick users into installing them. When they get access to Mac, they can delete files, allow other people to access user info, and encrypt your files for ransom.
- Keyloggers monitor computer system to track keystrokes, emails, websites you visit, and programs you run.
How to Get Rid of Spyware on Mac
Spyware can be very dangerous if your Mac has been infected, and the threats include annoying advertising, manipulations with search engine results, computer damages, and data theft. But luckily, this type of malware is rather easy to remove, especially if you scan your Mac with an antivirus program or a good cleaner app. This way, you will remove the detected spyware completely. But you can also try to get rid of spyware manually.
Remove Suspicious Applications
You’ll need to open the Applications folder and search for apps you don’t recognize. If you find any, you need to uninstall them. If you just move them to Trash, they may potentially leave some harmful files behind. So it’s better to use a good Mac cleaner app for this purpose.
Update macOS to the latest version
Mac operating system comes with built-in tools that protect it and remove all known malicious software. But you need to keep your Mac continually updated to benefit from security updates. Check out if the latest version of your operating system is available. Click on About This Mac in the Apple menu. Check the Apple store by clicking Software Update. If you see that the latest update is waiting for you, install it by clicking on Update. Then restart your Mac.
Remove Browser Extensions
Some malicious spyware programs can be installed in the form of browser extensions. They provide additional features to such browsers like Chrome and Safari.
If you want to get rid of extensions in Safari, you should launch the browser. Then open the Safari menu and select Preferences. After that, you should click on Extensions and examine the list. If you notice a plugin that you don’t remember installing or don’t need it anymore, you should click on this item and press Uninstall. You’ll need to repeat these steps with every extension that seems suspicious to you.
Everyone is at risk of a spyware attack when surfing the internet. To avoid becoming a victim, you should always keep your system up to date and take measures to prevent unintentionally installing spyware yourself.