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Mac Malware, Viruses and Adware

Can Malware infect your Mac? Simply – Yes.

Follow us as we give you a crash course in the Malware, adware and Viruses. If you are concerned you may have a virus, contact Mac Repair Cambridge now on 08445 899 565

1) What is spyware?

These nasty little rogue programs have become so widespread and so infectious, their volume far outstrips spam and regular viruses. The spyware problem has grown so huge, we cannot even agree on what to call it.

Forget viruses, spam and hacker attacks… “spyware” is now the single largest problem facing internet users today.

2) Spyware IS Malware

That name comes from the 1990′s where nasty little programs secretly observed and logged your web surfing habits. The spyware problem, however, has now grown into dozens of other malicious formats, including sneakware, adware, keyloggers, browser hijackers, porn servers, trojans and worms. Most people historically call these rogue programs “spyware”.

Because the spyware problem has mutated so much, we now describe spyware as part of a much larger category of rogue software called “malware” (malicious software programs)

Malware can log your keystrokes, steal your passwords, observe your browsing, create pop-up windows, send you malicious email, redirect your browser to phishing scams, relay your personal information to offshore servers, and even spam you with pornography. Malware will often operate invisibly, without displaying itself in your Task Manager. Worse yet, malware usually refuses to be uninstalled through conventional means, and requires special tools to delete them from your hard drive. At the most basic level, malware is when insidious little software programs covertly install themselves on your computer, and then perform operations without your permission. Once infected, the malware programs on your machine may do hundreds, even thousands of nasty things to your computer. Yes, this is a direct relative of the virus family, but with a broader portfolio of wicked intentions.

3) What does spyware/malware do to my computer?

Malware will perform any variety of malicious actions, ranging from simple advertising spam all the way to complex identity-theft and password-stealing. New functions are created every week, every day, even every hour by malware programmers, but the most common malware functions are:

Malware steals your personal information (identity theft and keystroke-logging).

Malware floods your browser with pop-up advertising.

Malware hijacks your browser and redirects you to an advertising or a phishing-con web page.

Malware uses your computer as a secret server to broadcast pornography files.

Malware slows down or crashes your computer.

Malware spams your inbox with advertising email.

Malware slows down your connection.

 

 

4) How do computers get infected?

Spyware/malware programs are authored by clever programmers, and then delivered to your computer through covert Internet installs. It is possible to get malware instaleld physically via portable media, however this is no longer very common in most scenarios. Usually, malware will piggyback on innocent-looking web page components and otherwise-benign software such as game demos, MP3 players, search toolbars, software, free subscriptions, and other things you download from the web. Subscribing to online services is especially bad for getting malware. In particular, whenever you sign up for a so-called “free” service or install new software, you must accept an “end user license agreement” (EULA). The fine print of the EULA will often include the phrase “the vendor is allowed to install third-party software on your computer”. Since most users don’t bother to read this EULA fine print, they naively click “accept”, and install malware out of sheer ignorance. This is where you should be considering mac malware repair.

5) What kind of personal information does spyware/malware steal?

This varies from the non-confidential to personal. Trivial attacks such as theft of your music listening habbits, or which websites you shop on. More serious Malware may also harvest your email address book. At its very worst, malware will steal your banking PIN, your eBay login, and your Paypal information (aka Keylogging). Yes, spyware/malware is a very serious Internet problem that threatens your personal privacy, and network administrators everywhere are deeply concerned.

How Do I Protect Myself from Spyware/Malware?

The short answer? You can’t be 100% safe.

Even the most technically sound, safety conscious users are not immune to Malware. For every new tool designed to keep you safe, another ten mutations of malware will emerge.

However, there is always ways to minimize this risk. Simple things such as installing a trusted anti-malware solution, using a popup blocker and never opening suspicious emails all help. Ultimately the best way to avoid Malware is to be especially cautious with how you browse the internet and which programs you install and run.

How do I know if I have malware?

Many malware scanners will give false positives to sell you a paid version of their program. On the flip side, many scanners will not detect legitimate and serious infections. For this reason it’s impossible to give a definitive guide for detecting Malware. However there are a few key things to assess:

1) Is your computer performing slower than usual?

2) Is your internet connection slower than usual?

3) Are you getting lots of popups and advertisements on your Mac

4)Has your browser become plagued with searchbars and other addons?

5)Has your homepage / default search engine changed?

If you have these or any other issues that seem unusal do not waste time hesitating and allowing the infection to spread and take on a more malicious form. Head over to http://www.macrepaircambridge.co.uk and contact us for a FREE DIAGNOSIS.

Precautions you SHOULD take:

Save your data, and backup often! As much as it sounds like broken-record preaching, backing-up is the best form of defense for a huge number of Mac problems. Backing up means: keep your original software CDs, constantly save copies of your important work files on CD or separate drives, and presume you will actually need them one day. It is also highly recommended to have a complete carbon copy of your internal Hard Drive cloned to an external device, so should the worst ever happen you have a complete backup. For further information on backing up your Mac or for assistance with setting up your backup contact the guys over at http://www.macrepaircambridge.co.uk for FREE ADVICE immediately. We can assist with your mac malware repair.

I hope you have found the information useful and will take the warnings seriously. We have thousands of people come through our doors every year with the war scars of a life battling the every increasing waves of Malware out there. Be smart, be safe and backup! If you have any issues you can always seek free advice from us.

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