Are Macs Safe from Spyware?

Apr 23, 2021

Spyware is one of the most deceptive malware out there. Can it infect Mac? Yes, it’s a Mac cyber security threat. Do not allow cyber attackers or other dubious characters to spy on you. Get spyware removal for Mac immediately. Whether you want to remove the spyware manually or with a spyware tool, you should remove spyware from your Macintosh or Apple system as quickly as possible.

Can Macs Get Spyware?

While it has been a myth for a long time that Mac devices can’t get malware or viruses, this fallacy is not true. Although Apple machines and MacOS contain some built-in security features, Macs are susceptible to different types of malware, and spyware is one of the most common damaging forms of malicious software.

Mac spyware is dangerous. It can be in the form of keyloggers that record every information you type to get confidential information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details. Some spyware may access your Mac’s webcam and microphone. It can also take screenshots. 

Other Apple security threats in the form of spyware are similar to adware because it spams your Mac with adverts while spying on you. Regardless of the type of spyware you have, you must take quick action to destroy attacks against Mac devices.

How to Check for Spyware on a Mac

When it comes to finding malware, the best thing is to use dedicated software. Spyware is designed to hide and can evade detection. However, whether you want to do it manually or with a specialized tool, here is how to check your Mac for spyware.

How to Manually Check for Spyware on a Mac
  • Lots of Ads: If you are seeing tons of ads and pop-ups, it could be a spying app or an adware infection that also serves you ads.
  • Slow Performance: Most electronics gradually run slower with age. However, if your Mac speed suddenly takes a plunge, it could indicate malware.
  • Unfamiliar or Suspicious Apps: Any app that you don’t remember downloading is a red flag. 
  • Changed Settings: If you suddenly have a new homepage, you’re being redirected to spammy websites or different browser settings, malware or a virus may be the culprit.

Here is how to check your recent applications to see if anything questionable gets in. Open Finder and choose Applications on the left menu. Then, click the date icon and choose Date Added. This will sort your applications chronologically and show you what was recently added. Check to ensure all applications on your Mac are legitimate. 

Naturally, spyware won’t be called a name related to any spyware app. You should know that spyware is designed to evade detection. If you notice any unfamiliar application or an icon with a strange name, it could be a threat.

You may also check your Activity Monitor to see if any suspicious processes are running in the background. Open your Applications folder, click Utilities and choose Activity Monitor. In your Activity Monitor, choose Memory and then hit the down arrow to sort based on the most memory-intensive processes. Malware normally takes a major part of RAM.

Now you can check for any abnormal processes. Bear in mind that you may find many legitimate tasks here that have strange names. You may Google unfamiliar names to see if others have had issues with them. However, be careful not to remove anything legitimate in order to avoid getting rid of something that is valuable to your Mac system.

Many hackers are knowledgeable and clever to hide their spyware somewhere that’s more secretive than the applications folder. To find it, you can use a software tool.

How to Manually Remove Spyware on a Mac

You can take some steps to get rid of spyware, which includes removing recently added applications, updating your operating system and deleting malicious browser extensions. Spyware is sneaky, and these procedures may not remove the most concealed spies. However, they are a good place to start from to avoid Mac cyber attacks.

Update Your Mac Operating System (OS)

If you are not using the latest version of MacOS, update your operating system quickly. Apple has some built-in anti-malware protections and updates are most times issued to plug security holes. Updating may not solve your spyware issues. However, it will prevent hackers from hacking or exploiting other existing software vulnerabilities. How to update your Mac operating system:

  1. Click the Apple symbol in the top-left corner of your screen and select About This Mac.
  2. Select Software Update.
  3. If an update is available, follow the steps to install it. Ensure you choose automatically keep my Mac up-to-date so you never miss another update.
  4. Restart your computer and see if that fixes your malware problem.
How to Stop Your Mac from Getting Spyware
  • Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks: Unsecured networks, such as those in airports or cafes, leave your internet open to hackers trying to take a peek. Avoid shopping, online banking or anything else which involves confidential data except you are using a VPN.
  • Download Apps And Files From Trusted Sources: The Apple App Store scrutinizes applications for security before making them available for download. Exercise caution if you ever download applications from another source. And don’t pirate music or movies from peer-to-peer sharing services.
  • Always Use A Discerning Eye: Be careful when clicking on attachments and links. Don’t click on anything unless you trust the source. Be wary of phishing scams, in which hackers pose as companies or friends to try to trick you into revealing your personal data or downloading malware.
  • Use Strong Antivirus Software: Regardless of how careful you’re online, you can never be sure what deceitful activity hackers might be able to do—especially when it comes to spyware. That is why robust antivirus software is the best line of defense online. 
  • Get An Ad Blocker: Malvertising inserts malicious code into internet ads. If you click on these ads they can infect your computer. A good ad blocker will prevent these ads from loading.


If you need a cybersecurity tool that can make your Mac safe from spyware or you want to avoid Mac cyber security threats, then choose Vicarius. Vicarius is a vulnerability management software that targets cybersecurity officers as well as IT managers and operators from the U.S. market.

 

Photo by Niv Singer on Unsplash

Written by

Kent Weigle

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