If you're a Mac user, you might think that viruses won't affect you. It is true that malware for Macs is much less prevalent than for PCs. However, such malware still exists, and it can harm both you and your machine. If you're wondering whether you're infected or not, your best bet is to get an antivirus program to be safe. Let's have a look at more specific things that tell you your computer might be infected, for those who want to be sure.
Crashes and freezes are normal, and they are bound to occur from time to time. However, if your computer is doing this frequently, it's a sign it might be infected. Both crashing and freezing tells you that a program stopped working properly. Though this can occur in an uninfected machine, if either of these takes place often you're probably infected.
There are few things that frustrate people more than a slow computer. This can happen if you have too many applications open, simply because there's too much information for your Mac to handle. However, if your machine is operating at a slow speed for no apparent reason, you've got yourself a red flag.
This can show itself in many ways. For starters, if your programs start disappearing, it's a definite red flag. However, there are more subtle things that could be going on. If a program starts itself without your input, it's not good. Also, programs might be trying to access the Internet without you having done anything. Lastly, some programs might simply be running a lot slower than usual. This last thing doesn't always mean your machine is infected, but it could be a sign.
Now that the general indicators of an infection are set aside, let's move on to the more specific steps you have to take. The first step is checking your browser. If you're a Safari user, go to the menu; from there, go to Preferences. In Preferences, you'll get a tab that says Extensions. Click on it, and check the list of extensions. If you see any that look strange or that you don't recognize, delete them. They might be malware that appears as a pop-up blocker.
For this one, you would have to check online for the names of specific malware so you'll know what to look for. As an example, take the malware "com.google.softwareUpdateAgent." To check if your Mac is infected by this, go to Applications, and from there to Utilities. Open up the Activity Monitor, and type in the name of the malware in the search box. If it appears, it means that it has infected your computer.
If your computer is infected, it's time you get yourself antivirus software. Even if you're lucky and don't have malware floating around in your Mac, antivirus software would still be helpful. With it, you can rest assured that your computer is safe from future invasions.