How to remove Apple Security Alert scam
As Apple computers have become more popular, cybercriminals started investing more time and effort into designing new ways to make money off Apple users. One of these ways is legit-looking but scary browser-based pop-ups, such as the Apple Security Alert scam. In this article, we’ll explain what it is, what its signs are, and, more importantly, how to get rid of Apple Security Alert scam and other malware.
What is Apple Security Alert?
Apple Security Alert is a fake pop-up that is sent by a potentially unwanted application installed on your Mac. This deceptive pop-up tells you your computer has been compromised or hacked. Then, it gives you a phone number to call to fix this issue. The problem is when you call the number, you’re connected with a bad actor who will charge you money to “get rid of the virus.” But as they’re removing the virus, the technician will pretend to find other issues and charge you more money.
Is the Apple Security Alert a virus?
The quick answer is no. The fake Apple Security alerts you’re seeing on your Mac are technically not a virus. But it is considered malware. That’s why even if you have an antivirus app on your Mac, these alerts will still go undetected.
Signs of Apple Security Alert scam virus
The first obvious sign of having your Mac infected with the Apple Security Alert scam virus is seeing a pop-up telling you that your Mac has been compromised or hacked. Still, there are some other signs that may indicate it, just like it happens with any different malware:
- Seeing unwanted pop-ups when you won’t expect them
- Mac performance drops or your computer suddenly freezes
- Web browser redirects to untrusted websites
- Receiving fake emails from cyber criminals claiming to be Apple
How to remove the Apple Security Alert scam manually
The instructions for getting rid of the Apple Security Alerts will depend entirely on what browsers you have installed on your Mac. Even if you’re only getting these pop-ups in one specific browser, it’s still good to follow these steps for any browser you have installed. The reason is that there’s a good chance that when the malware installed itself, it did so for every browser you have. Not just the one you primarily use.
Being the browser that comes with macOS by default, you’ll want to check for any nefarious Safari extensions. Just follow these steps:
- Open Safari.
- Click Safari > Settings.
- Open the Extensions tab.
- Select anything that looks suspicious in the sidebar.
- Then, click Uninstall
The steps for Chrome will be the easiest of the batch of browsers. Here’s all you need to do:
- Open Google Chrome.
- Go to More Tools > Extensions.
- If you see anything odd, click Remove.
- Then, click Remove again to confirm.
If you have Firefox installed, then you’ll want to follow these steps:
- Open Firefox.
- Click the menu icon (three horizontal lines) > Settings > Add-ons and themes.
- Find any suspicious extensions.
- Then, click … > Remove.
After you finish removing extensions from any of these browsers, it’s always a good idea to quit and reopen them. Just to make sure every bit of the malicious extensions has been removed.
Delete other malware from your Mac automatically
Maybe you’ve gotten rid of the Apple Security Alerts on your computer, but now you’re worried about other malware that could be lurking on your hard drive. That’s where CleanMyMac X can give you peace of mind.
Yes, it’s an app that’s designed to optimize the speed and performance of your Mac. But it can also scan for malware and other potentially unwanted apps. After you download CleanMyMac X for free, just follow these instructions:
- In Finder, go to your Applications folder.
- Open CleanMyMac X.
- Then, click Malware Removal > Scan.
- When it’s finished scanning, click on any malware app found and click Remove.
That’s seriously all there is to it. It is really that easy to look for and remove any malware hiding on your computer.
Remove other unneeded files
While you’re in the mood for cleaning up your Mac, you can also use CleanMyMac X to get rid of any junk files you might have. Things like system cache files, old support files for apps, or other miscellaneous temporary files. This is all you have to do:
- Open CleanMyMac X.
- Click System Junk > Scan.
- Then, after the scan is done, you can click Review Details or Clean.
The first time you see the Apple Security Alert, it can be a little alarming. You’re not sure if you can trust it, but you also want to ensure you’re taking care of it if there really is a problem. But the silver lining is that now you know what to do if this happens on your Mac. And hopefully, after reading this article, you’re feeling a little more empowered to take care of it.
How did the Apple Security Alert pop-up get on my computer?
Probably you clicked on a misleading ad, or the potentially unwanted app sending this fake pop-up sneaked onto your Mac with a software bundle. The latter is common if you install apps from untrusted websites instead of the App Store or the official developer’s website or download files via torrents.
How to report internet security alert to Apple?
Apple has a procedure for reporting internet security alerts — you just have to send details about the incident, including all screenshots, to [email protected].
How do I know if an Apple security alert is legitimate?
The most important thing to remember is that Apple alerts or threat notifications never demand immediate action from you. Specifically, they do not ask you to open files, click links, provide personal information, or dial any phone numbers. Additionally, if you receive an alert, you may close it and sign in to appleid.apple.com. Any genuine threat notification will be there.