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I think I might have some kind of virus or malware on my Macbook.....

(28 Posts)
orangina Sun 06-Sep-15 22:03:45

..... any idea what I should do to check? I don't just want to throw myself at the mercy of google, any recommendations would be very gratefully received.....

Thank you!

QueenFrusso Sun 06-Sep-15 22:06:02

Do you not have security on it?

orangina Sun 06-Sep-15 22:08:04

Er, I don't think so. Everyone said I didn't need anti virus software as it was a Mac (my first one after a series of irritating laptops that I made sure were well armed with anti virus software....). I think I need to scan my Mac first, and then load software on it if necessary.

Lalsy Sun 06-Sep-15 22:10:08

What makes you think you have a virus or malware?

orangina Sun 06-Sep-15 22:12:22

It has all gone a bit slow and sticky. I just LOVED having a Mac after the major irritation of the various laptops I had owned previously.... it was so fast and sweet and smooth..... but it feels a bit under the weather. I can't really explain it more than that. That's why I was wondering whether it might need a scan.

I have also been downloading tv series through torrents

QueenFrusso Sun 06-Sep-15 22:16:24

I think that's a lack of understanding by whoever told you you didn't need it.
The only case when you wouldn't need security would be if you weren't accessing the internet or using any external drives.
It's harder for macs to get viruses but not impossible.

orangina Sun 06-Sep-15 22:20:43

Ok, so I have been foolish. ANy recommendations for what I should do? Am about to download ClamXav on recommendation of article I have just read.....

QueenFrusso Sun 06-Sep-15 22:23:23

If you have an iPhone it may be worth putting antivirus on there too.

bloodyteenagers Sun 06-Sep-15 22:26:26

Avg, avast and other known virus protection companies do free scans for macs.
Bitdefender, housecall and others do online scams if you are nervous about downloading anything.

The reviews for clam the last time I read weren't that good. They could have improved over the past year though.

bloodyteenagers Sun 06-Sep-15 22:27:52

Some banks as well also do free security that is compatible with iOS.

Lalsy Sun 06-Sep-15 22:28:20

OP, my mac often slows down a lot, but it has never had a virus FWIW - are there viruses that have that effect?. There are some good articles out there about how to keep your Mac running sweet. I think many Mac owners don't run AV software and some experts say the risk is low (no expert myself so I won't comment but I don't think you have been more stupid than most of us!).

Lalsy Sun 06-Sep-15 22:30:40

I am sure we all should though - just meant don't beat yourself up [off to google Mac AV software!].

tribpot Sun 06-Sep-15 22:31:49

It'll run like a git if you are running out of disk space, it likes a good chunk of free disk space, at least 20% if not 25%.

If it's Chrome that's running slowly, you need to clear out the history.

My Macbook is 5 years old and I have only formatted it once, after it just ground to a halt. So occasionally that's a good thing to do, too.

This doesn't sound like a virus problem. How much free disk space do you have?

DoreenLethal Sun 06-Sep-15 22:32:32

I have had two imacs and a macbook, plus ipads and never ever had a virus.

Scan first to see what is going on.

orangina Sun 06-Sep-15 22:40:32

I don't use chrome, I'll see if I can find out what disk space is free, and I am intending to scan only at this stage. I only think I have been silly because of the downloading I have been doing. Otherwise, I am a very pedestrian user of my computer and there should be no reason to get a virus......

orangina Sun 06-Sep-15 22:41:37

Apparently I have 31gb free on my HD. Does that sound reasonable?

tribpot Sun 06-Sep-15 23:31:09

Depends on the size of the hard disk! Like I said, it likes about 20%. I'd also do the dreaded 'turn it off and turn it back on again' - Mac people hate doing that because it shouldn't be necessary but some applications are memory hogs. Are you using Safari? That runs like a dog all the time in my experience, I would definitely delete history.

If you've been downloading torrents, presumably you've left the torrent client open? You're meant to upload as much as you download (I seem to recall from memory) so if that's uploading in the background that will also slow you down.

cdtaylornats Mon 07-Sep-15 08:12:07

If it's being slow on internet access you should check your download/upload usage, if you've transferred a lot then your ISP may have throttled you.

securitylecturer Mon 07-Sep-15 09:27:49

Macs are well-nigh universal in the security research work, and in academic computer science more generally. No-one runs any form of "security" software. It may be that we have a better sense of how to keep ourselves safe, of course.

I've yet to see a description of a security vulnerability in OSX which would have been blocked by add-on security software and would not have required you to repeatedly click "yes, I would like my machine messed up, and here's my password to make it easier for you". If you are in the habit of reflexively clicking "OK" to the most hair-raising of warnings then I guess security software might help, but then, wouldn't you click "OK" to its hair-raising warnings as well?

Lalsy Mon 07-Sep-15 12:30:52

OP, definitely turn it off and on again. I occasionally settle down to those "ten tips to make your mac run faster" articles, switch it off and on and then give up, so good are the results grin.

Pneumometer Mon 07-Sep-15 12:44:54

OP, definitely turn it off and on again.

Or, less violently, Apple Symbol->"Restart...".

orangina Mon 07-Sep-15 21:57:42

Thank you all, I hit the hay last night and left you all giving me fine advice. Am scanning now, and will go for the 'turn off turn on' when that is done.....

Thank you!

HappydaysArehere Sat 03-Oct-15 09:07:46

I asked Apple support recently, as I had a new Macbook, which extra security I needed. You do not need it, I was told. Apple has its own firewall. I could hear the disbelief that I should even ask. When pressed she said that Apple recommend a free download called Adware Medic. I was told to just press it whenever I felt I must! I would add that my daughter has a friend who used to work for Apple and he said that they work relentlessly on their security. Also within the shop I was told that added security was definitely not needed.

RomComPhooey Sat 03-Oct-15 10:46:40

When my Macbook Air got sluggish turning it off and on again did the trick, even though I felt like a numpty for following the standard IT Crowd mantra.

memolokrystle Fri 06-Nov-15 11:35:15

Malware usually gets on your computer when you install unknown and unsafe software. There are other ways that malware can intrude OS X systems, but those known methods are widely announced and have been mended. You can run an antivirus on your Mac for detecting and removing known and unknown threats. Many antivirus companies now offer antivirus program for Apple Mac and MacBook.

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