Malware or malicious software refers to any software or program that has been created explicitly to cause issues in a normally-functioning computer. There are numerous varieties of malware, including the likes of spyware, trojans, computer viruses, etc. According to Forbes, malware poses one of the gravest threats to the digital world currently, especially to the business sector. Each type of malware’s primary objective is to sabotage a system and prevent it from functioning normally. Hence, malware significantly affects users’ workflow and prevents them from using their Mac or Windows PC efficiently. This article will shed light on how macOS and Windows users can remove malware from their respective devices and list down some of the most apparent effects of a malware-infected computer. Let us get started:
How to Remove Malware on macOS and Windows:
Both macOS and Windows offer numerous solutions following which users can get rid of the malware. Here is a detailed look at some of the most efficient tools using which users of both OSs can remove malware:
If you are a macOS user who wishes to remove malware from Mac, there are numerous Mac cleaner tools you can use to get the job done efficiently. For instance, CleanMyMac X is a great third-party Mac cleaning software whose smart scan feature instantly detects malware and gets rid of it by permanently removing it from the system. Besides this, it also facilitates users to get rid of obsolete files and programs. Another tool you can use to get rid of malware is macOS’s native Activity Monitor utility.
Windows also feature native tools that facilitate users to combat malware and delete them. Windows’s native Defender utility is a great tool that protects it from numerous threats, including malware. When it comes to third-party anti-malware tools, some of the most popular antivirus software include Kaspersky, Norton, McAfee, etc.
What Happens to a Malware-Infected Computer?
Both Macs and Windows PCs are susceptible to different varieties of malware. Once any computer gets affected by malware, numerous signs make it apparent that the system has become a victim of a malware attack. Here are some things that happen when malware affects any computer:
- The Device Starts Underperforming
One of the most common side effects of a malware-infected computer is a slow and laggy performance that prevents users from using the device to the best of its capabilities. If a computer becomes the victim of a malware attack, most of its native utilities and third-party applications start exhibiting lags and stutters. Moreover, they keep restarting abruptly. Furthermore, malicious files and programs consume a significant amount of the system’s computational power, which causes it to slow down. When this happens, it negatively impacts the users’ productivity and prevents them from working efficiently.
- Files Start Getting Corrupted and Deleted
Certain types of malware attack all the files and folders on a device. There are numerous instances when viruses corrupt important files, rendering them useless. Besides this, the malware also permanently deletes files, making it very hard for users to recover them.
- Sensitive Information is Compromised
Data breaches due to malware have become very common now, and data theft is one of its primary features. When malware variants such as spyware and trojans attack a computer, they not only slow the system’s performance and cause internal issues but also compromise sensitive information stolen on the computer. Hackers and notorious cybercriminals use malware to steal users’ information. Once they succeed in their attempts, they sell off users’ sensitive information, such as passwords, bank account details, card-related information, etc., on the dark web to earn money.
- Numerous Unnecessary Applications Get Installed Automatically
While using your Mac or Windows PC, if you see an unknown application installed on your device, it is a clear sign that your computer has become a victim of a malware attack. Malware automatically downloads and installs useless applications on your system without consent. These applications are generally harmful to your system as they may contain malicious elements. Besides this, they also slow down your computer and prevent you from using it smoothly.
- Tons of Pop-Ups Start Appearing on Your Screen
Advanced forms of malware generally hide behind legitimate apps and programs. Once you install them, the malicious files creep into the background and start causing issues. For instance, when adware, a well-known variant, attacks your device, numerous pop-up windows, alerts, and dialogs start appearing on your device’s screen. The majority of these pop-ups feature explicit and illegal content. Moreover, they usually appear in significant numbers, which makes it harder for users to close them immediately. Furthermore, it prevents the user from working with utmost focus and thus spoils their workflow.
Every user, irrespective of whether they own a Mac or Windows PC, should invest in a good anti-malware tool to ensure their device remains safe from malware. If you suspect your device has become a victim of a malware attack, refer to the indications mentioned above to confirm your suspicion.