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This malicious program can harm your computer and steal data Pixabay

Removing malware from your Mac can look like an intimidating task, since it can compromise your data because of the infection. However, it need not be the case. With a little care and a quick response, you can easily get rid of any kind of malware program from your Mac and save precious data.

Modern malicious programs on Mac have become intelligent enough to escape the routine detection software that you may have installed. But fret not, there are software programs that you can depend on. One of the best ones out there is Macpaw’s CleanMyMac application that you can download and use with the steps mentioned in this post. Apple has itself certified the app as a preferred means of cleaning up your computer. It also holds a “Gold” level of virus detection by the security firm OPSWAT.

Before we delve deeper, let's discuss what malware is and how it can affect your Mac.

What is Malware and what are its symptoms?

Malware free Mac
Understanding Malware can help you defend against it Pixabay

Malware is a broad categorization of software programs that exist in various forms, including as viruses, spyware, backdoors, worms, adware, ransomware and trojans. Whatever the malware, the goal of this malicious program is to steal your personal information and make a profit out of the data by selling it to a third party. Your data can include your emails, bank accounts and other personal information such as social security numbers that you may have stored in your Mac. If you are a business owner, the data can even include confidential information from your customers.

Malicious programs can infect your computers in multiple ways, and therefore, being able to identify such threats on your device, and making sure you have dealt with them as soon as possible is of vital importance for your personal and business data.

You can accidentally download malware on your Mac by clicking on links disguised cleverly to resemble a harmless link to a known website. So, make sure you conduct yourself with caution online and do not click on unfamiliar links.

There are different kinds of malware Pixabay

Recently, a malicious software named Shlayer in the guise of an Adobe Flash Player update infected 10% of all Mac users across the world. A new malware, called Tarmac, is an identified threat to macOS users.

Many times, malware programs will attempt to hide on your computer. However, there are a few signs you can look out for in detecting this dangerous software. Look for sudden dips in performance or freezing of your Mac, especially when you run important programs such as word processors or video editors. Another way to identify malware is when unnecessary ads pop up whenever you visit a webpage, which never happened previously. These ads often obscure the page you are trying to visit. Malware also makes applications on your Mac reboot frequently and with no warning. Sometimes, they can cause your computer itself to reboot for no reason.

Now that you know what malware is, here are a few ways you can get rid of malware once it has infected your system.

Malware program
These malicious programs are designed to steal your data Pexels

1. Turn off your internet connection

This is the first step before doing anything else to remove malware on your Mac. Disconnecting from the internet helps you prevent the malware program from uploading any of your data on to its server or infecting any of the other devices on your network. Staying offline will keep the damage minimal. If you must go online for any reason, disconnect as soon as you have finished your work.

2. Disable browser extensions

Open your browser window and choose Extensions in your browser settings. This will show you a list of all the extensions installed on your browser. You must delete them all since the malware program may be hiding in any one of them. You can re-install your extensions once you have successfully cleaned your system of malware.

3. Avoid logging in to accounts

Since many forms of malware have a primary goal to steal your information, it would be advisable for you to avoid accessing any sensitive information or logging into your email till you remove the threat. Malware can access your passwords by scanning keystrokes and repositories too, so best avoid logging into them until you have cleaned up your system.

Free yourself from malware attacks
A few simple steps will help Pexels

4. Delete any temporary files and check your Activity Monitor

Malware can install temporary files on your computer. However, you can delete these files easily. Before you delete the files, close all applications, then select “Go” on your finder and click “Go To Folder.” In the box that opens, type “~/Library/” without the quotation marks. A folder will open in which you must click on “Cache”. Select all the files in the Cache folder, right click and select “Move To Trash”. After that, empty your Trash folder too.

Once you have deleted temporary files, look for any suspicious applications running in the Activity Monitor and stop them. The Activity Monitor lets you see all the applications and how much they affect your computer’s performance. You can stop any malicious software from running through the Activity Monitor. To do that, click “Applications” on your Finder and click “Utilities”. Click “Activity Monitor” to view all running applications. Once you find a suspicious app, double click on the app in the Activity Monitor and click “Quit”.

Stay safe
Download Macpaw's CleanMyMac for extra safety against malware Pixabay

5. Run a malware scanner such as CleanMyMac

After you have done all the steps above to protect your data, it is now time to remove the malicious software from your Mac. Running a malware scanner such as Macpaw’s CleanMyMac is enough to get rid of most malware infections. If you already had an anti-virus program installed on your Mac and it still got infected, remove that program immediately. It is evidently not capable of protecting your Mac completely.

You can download Macpaw’s CleanMyMac and set it to run in the background to protect from existing and future security threats. Programs such as Macpaw’s CleanMyMac update regularly and will help you for many years.