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Tips to scan viruses on Mac

Although it has been around for years, malware is still an ever-increasing issue for both macOS and Windows users. There are many different types of malware too, such as adware, ransomware, trojan horses, worms and so on. Viruses are certainly one of the worst and most common malware types that Mac laptops are vulnerable to. It is, therefore, important to do regular scans and check-ups on your device to ensure that no malicious software has sneaked its way in without you noticing. Here’s some tips on how to scan for virus on Mac

Look out for certain “symptoms”

Before we get into the more technical ways to spot viruses on your Mac, it is important that you are aware of the common symptoms that an infected device will show. Knowing these can help you spot a virus while it’s newly entered your laptop and deal with it as soon as possible. It’s not necessarily something you need to look for actively but more so just be mindful of. Here are some things to look out for: 

  • Endless pop-up adverts that you never seen before (often inappropriate)
  • Unusually slow and slugging laptop performance
  • Lots of freezing-up and restarting 
  • Changes in browser home page and redirects to unknown websites
  • Other unusual activity

Scanning for viruses manually

There are a couple of different ways you can check for viruses manually. Below are some of the key tips. 

Check your Activity Monitor

The Mac Activity Monitor essentially shows every single process or software that is running on your device at that point in time. This makes it the best place to start looking for viruses, as you will be able to spot any activities that look suspicious. 

To access your Activity Monitor, go on your Applications and click Utilities. Once you have it open, click on the % CPU column and look for any processes that use up a lot of CPU. Keep in mind that just because you don’t recognise a process, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s suspicious – try to search the name online and see what comes up. 

Clear out suspicious apps

Many viruses tend to disguise themselves as applications on your Mac, which makes them quite difficult to spot. It may be a good idea to regularly look through the apps installed on your laptop and see if there is anything suspicious or simply apps that you don’t need or use. 

To do this, simply go to your Applications folder and look through everything there. Remove whatever you don’t need and don’t forget to empty your Trash after too. 

Scanning for viruses automatically

While the manual check-ups for viruses can help you find anything suspicious, it’s not necessarily the most fool-proof way to do it, as you solely rely on yourself spotting the virus on your Mac. Besides, some viruses hide deep inside your processes and can be much more difficult to notice. 

Therefore, in addition to these checks, it’s always recommended to have good antivirus software installed on your Mac. These softwares are designed to do regular and thorough scans in many different areas of your laptop as well as flag anything suspicious before it gets the chance of damaging your device.