MacBooks are known for their reliability against malware and other cybersecurity threats. However, you are still likely to encounter these problems, and not knowing how to deal with and prevent them could lead to sudden reboots, a frozen screen, annoying pop-ups, random extensions on a browser, and even personal information exposure.
If you were to follow this link to an article about fixing a slow MacBook, you would find various troubleshooting solutions. However, it is still better not to risk and create a proper cybersecurity strategy.
Getting Rid of Malware
Let’s start with ways to remove malware from the computer. Even minor viruses can cause significant issues. And the longer these viruses remain on your Mac, the more trouble they will create.
A simple and fast way to get rid of potential threats is to install reliable antivirus software. It will detect applications and other files that were corrupted or are malware themselves.
For apps, you will likely need to force-quit those in the Activity Monitor first before removing them from the computer. Afterward, drag the infected files in the Trash Bin and empty the Bin.
Startup items may also be one of the causes. You can disable Login Items in the System Preferences. Access your profile, and you will see an application list. Uncheck boxes next to applications you no longer want to see in the startup item list.
For suspicious browser extensions, you will need to remove them from a browser manually. In case you struggle, reinstall the browser or remove your current one and use an alternative option.
You could also use old data from Time Machine in case you backed up the files before they became infected.
Lastly, you have the option to reinstall the OS or get in touch with technical support and ask for a professional’s help.
Preventing Malware on a MacBook
Once the MacBook is malware-free, you should look to create a strategy to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future.
The following suggestions will prevent malware attacks and improve your online security, so be sure to implement them.
1. Install reliable antivirus software
Like previously mentioned in the first part, you should get reliable antivirus software. XProtect, a default built-in macOS tool, is not enough to protect the system from all threats.
If you are not sure what antivirus software is the best, ask for some recommendations online or from someone you know personally. Tech-savvy people should provide you with a few options.
Once you install the antivirus, have it run in the background when the computer is active. A good anti-malware tool will detect and eliminate potential threats before they snowball and start causing problems to your MacBook.
2. Enable the Firewall
The Firewall requires some MacBook resources, but you should still enable it for the sake of security. The purpose of the Firewall is to block incoming requests that could potentially cause performance problems for your MacBook.
3. Invest in a VPN
A good virtual private network costs a few dollars per month. An investment like that should not be a problem if you are looking to protect yourself and the MacBook.
VPNs encrypt data and make it difficult to trace your browsing history. Besides, most virtual private networks come with security protocols that come in handy when you need to join public Wi-Fi.
The internet at hotels, cafes, or libraries is not that secure. If anything, it is likely that there is a hacker waiting for their next victim. Once someone joins the network without taking the necessary precautions (in this case, enabling a VPN), they may expose the MacBook to malicious attacks.
4. Avoid shady websites
Shady websites are another source that could attract unwanted threats to your MacBook. If you encounter a suspiciously-looking URL, ignore it.
Another problem with some sites is how they have an aggressive ad policy. You may click on an advertisement accidentally and get redirected to a landing page that will bombard your computer with viruses. And what about another person who might use your Mac? They might not be aware of potential threats and click on an ad without realizing what it will do.
Installing an ad blocker browser extension is a solid option to prevent this problem from happening. You could also get a browser that comes with a built-in ad blocker, like Edge or Opera.
5. Prioritize macOS updates
The last piece of advice is about macOS updates. Besides improving the overall performance and bringing new features, some system upgrades also boost the laptop’s security.
The OS developers react to the latest threats and release updates to ensure that users do not run into potential problems. Even if updating macOS takes a while, you should still prioritize it given how many benefits a macOS update provides.