Got malware on your Mac? Yes. Even if it isn’t some nefarious piece of software scouring your Mac for useful information to send back to China or Russia or that nerd Todd down the street, your Mac has malware of some kind.
That’s because I put malware into two categories. The aforementioned nefarious kind that gets all the attention, and the second kind which gets less attention but causes more problems and infects even more Macs.
In many ways advertising equals malware. Joseph Keller:
If your Mac is running slow or you’re seeing unusual advertisements within your web browser you might have accidentally installed malware at some point.
Many times you don’t even have to install such malware because visiting a website can do the same thing; especially with malware ads. First, let’s look at the definition.
Malware (a portmanteau for malicious software) is any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network.
How does advertising on websites fall into the malware category.
While most of us think of viruses, worms, or Trojan horse malware as the dangerous kind, even visiting a notorious website can get some code installed on your Mac.
Again, check out the definition.
Code is described as computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and scareware, among other terms.
All the standard bad guys are on the list, including a recently popular one– ransomeware. But so is spyware, adware, and scareware. You know the kind, right? Those popups that tell you to your Mac has been infected (it has) and the only way to get it fixed is to call a phone number.
Yet, there is another meaning that goes one level deeper and may cause Mac users (Windows PC users, too) problems that are not easily detected and definitely more difficult to fix.
Malware has a malicious intent, acting against the interest of the computer user—and so does not include software that causes unintentional harm due to some deficiency
There is the key. Malicious intent.
Generally speaking, anything that hits your Mac and causes a problem– from viruses to a Trojan horse to ads that pop up in Safari all the time– can be considered malicious and that makes it malware.
Yes, advertisers are part of the malware ring because they take information about you and then slice and dice and filter it in many ways so it can be used by marketers and politicians to persuade you to think in different ways.
How is that not malicious?
Such advertising malware is all over the internet and hiding behind most websites in the form of ad trackers, trackers, analytics trackers, and even cookies. That’s why we ensure that advertisers on the Villages websites have products that are completely Apple oriented, and there are no trackers.
Malware on the Mac is real.
What can you do if you suspect your Mac is infected (with anything beyond ad-related malware)? Keller has a great list of steps to identify and fix a corrupted Mac.