Apple products are so high-quality that their electronics essentially market themselves.
Mac computers, in particular, are renowned for their ease of use and ergonomic features, making them a popular option for professionals, creatives, college students, etc.
Unfortunately, though, this doesn’t mean that Macs are immune to viruses, and it can be difficult to tell if your machine has been infected.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to check if your Mac has a virus.
1. Poor Performance
Poor performance is one of the most notable telltale signs that your Mac is infected with a virus. You should keep in mind, though, that network issues should be ruled out before you assume that your computer is suffering from malware.
In general, you’ll experience the following forms of performance problems when your computer is infected:
- Simple processes operate slowly or not at all
- Your computer takes a concerning amount of time to turn on or shut down
- Normally-fast behavior (such as opening a web browser) is much slower than usual
While there’s a handful of factors that could be to blame for the slowdown, you may be dealing with a virus. So, it’s always worth running a comprehensive virus scan if your computer hasn’t been up to speed lately.
2. Unwanted Ads
Adware exists solely to flood the victim’s machine with unwanted advertisements. These often include ads of various different types and industries, making many of them irrelevant to the user.
While it’s normal to encounter ads while browsing online, having ads appear during general computer use is a red flag that needs to be investigated.
More often than not, these can be traced to a malicious program that’s installed itself on your computer. Left unchecked, your computer may become so saturated with ads that general use could be next to impossible.
3. Heavy CPU Usage
It’s not too uncommon For you to experience the occasional spike and CPU usage. This is most often due to an application or process that isn’t running correctly.
In general, it’s likely resolved by reloading the program in question.
If you experience consistent increases in CPU usage, though, it could be a sign of an underlying problem.
There are many types of viruses that aim to use the victim’s machine as a power source. This is especially true when it comes to mining data for cryptocurrency.
Others take control of a computer to use in widescale attacks or process, becoming a part of something known as a ‘botnet.’
Other than increased energy usage, these programs may show no other signs that they’re present on your machine. So, it’s important to keep an eye on how your computer’s running (especially if it frequently gets hot during general use).
When a computer crashes, it’s due to an error in either your computer’s software or hardware. If your machine is in good shape and All your software is updated, the crash could be the result of the virus on your computer.
Many times, this is due to the virus itself not functioning properly or interfering with critical processes that your computer needs to operate.
If you experience this symptom, it’s more than likely a virus if your computer freezes or crashes randomly. In other scenarios, your computer would only crash when certain software is opened or run.
In severe cases, you may need to reinstall your operating system. You can learn how to reinstall Mac OS here.
5. A Sudden Lack of Storage Space
A computer virus was given its name due to the similarities it has with an actual viral disease. One of the most notable is the ability to replicate on its own.
While not all computer viruses exhibit this behavior, the ones that due tend to multiply rapidly. This directly leads to a decrease in storage space as the malicious files take up more and more room on your machine.
Others intentionally take up storage space in order to make navigating through your computer as slow as possible, which can complicate the virus removal process. A lack of storage space combined with high energy usage can make it nearly impossible to use your computer at all.
6. Missing Files
Occasionally, a virus infection will have the secondary effect of deleting or moving your files in a seemingly random manner. Other types of infections (such as ransomware) are far more organized in their efforts.
For example, a business owner may log into his computer one day to find that all of his essential data has been encrypted. This is often accompanied by a message that threatens the deletion of the data if a certain amount is not paid by a given deadline.
This ‘ransom’ is also frequently demanded in cryptocurrency, making it impossible to trace the attacker.
It’s important to note, though, that the FBI declares that ransoms should never be paid during these circumstances. The money you give to the hacker will then be used to facilitate other attacks in the future.
Knowing How to Check If Your Mac Has a Virus Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about how to check if your Mac has a virus in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward keeping your machine running as smoothly as possible.
Want to learn more technology tips that can help you out in the future? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog.