A reader who was having issues with her Safari browser followed my advice to clear the cache but discovered she actually had another problem.
“Well, clearing the cache was only a temporary fix so I took it to my local repairman and much to my surprise my iMac had a virus! It kept trying to redirect my Safari to a false server and that is where my Mac was valiantly fighting. He cleared it out and recommended a free virus scan “sophos.” I would love to tell you the name or origin of the virus, but I do not know. Still, here is my story and I hope it will help others.”
If you find your browser keeps opening up to a homepage you did not select or using a search engine you didn’t pick, you may be the victim of a browser hijacking virus. (Yes, even if you use a Mac.)
Browser hijackers often hitchhike on the backs of legitimate downloads. Neglect to untick a box and you can find yourself with a different start page. That’s why it’s alway very important to read all of the fine print before downloading anything. The other way viruses end up on your device is through phishing links that trick you into clicking on them and direct you to malicious sites.
For a long time, Mac users tended to feel fairly safe from these types of attacks because crooks just didn’t target Mac computers all that often. It gave them a false sense of security. With the increase of popularity of iPhones, your Apple data and therefore your Mac has become a more popular target.
Macs may only be 10% of the home computer market, but that’s still a lot of people to target. So, it’s very important for Mac users to be just as careful as Windows users and to consider using antimalware software.