How to remove windows defender security warning scam
Is Windows Defender security warning a scam?
The Windows Defender security warning is a particular scam that is commonly referred to as a phishing scam. And what that means is that it tries to emulate an actual warning or error message to get the users to download something or contact a bad actor to continue the ruse.
But, the ironic thing about this particular scam is that it’s designed to look and act like a Windows error. So, if you’re seeing this message on your Mac, that should be the first sign that something is not right here.
If you get this error message as a pop-up once or twice, maybe consider what websites you’re browsing when they appear. Otherwise, just close and ignore them. However, if this is happening every time you use your browser, this could be symptomatic of malware that has been installed.
How did I end up with malware on my Mac?
Malware can be installed in a variety of ways. And yes, Macs can get malware. While macOS is a much more stable operating system than some of the other ones publicly available, as it’s grown in popularity, it has also been a more promising target for hackers and scammers.
The more common ways malware can be installed on your Mac is through sketchy downloads and torrents. It can also be bundled with free software. Or it can be installed through a phishing attempt like this one. You’ll see a pop-up on your computer that says you have a virus and need to install some magical software to get rid of it.
How to fix the Windows Defender security warning scam manually
Malware that’s typically associated with scams like the Windows Defender security warning and other browser redirects live as extensions or browser plugins.
The thing is, when malware is installed, it’s not usually just for your default browser. But it gets added to every browser you have on your Mac. That’s why it’s important you follow the instructions for each browser listed below, not just the one you primarily use.
As the default browser for macOSX, Apple has made it really easy to manage extensions. Once you have Safari open, just follow these steps:
- Click Safari > Preferences > Extensions.
- In the left panel, choose any plugin you don’t recognize.
- Then, click Uninstall.
Sometimes Safari extensions are part of apps that are installed in your Applications folder. If that’s the case with the one you’re trying to remove, Safari will prompt you to delete it from that folder first.
Chrome also makes it easy to manage your extensions. But, do keep in mind that you can sync your extensions across devices. So, if you remove an extension on your Mac, you’ll be removing it from those other devices too.
You can manage those browser extensions by following these instructions:
- Open Google Chrome.
- Click the Extension icon > Manage Extensions.
- Choose any extension you don’t recognize and click Remove.
- Then, click Remove again.
If you also have Firefox installed, open it and follow these three easy steps:
- In the top right, click the three lines > Settings > Extensions & Themes.
- Look for any malicious or strange extensions.
- Click … > Remove.
After you’ve removed all of the suspicious browser extensions, go ahead and restart your Mac. This makes sure that all of your software, including your browsers, can quit and start back up fresh.
Automatically remove malware from your Mac
Now that you’ve gotten rid of the Windows Defender scam from your Mac, it’s a good idea just to make sure there’s not any other malware installed.
Fortunately, you can download CleanMyMac X for free. And while it was designed to optimize your Mac’s performance, one of the ways it does that is by scanning your computer for any malicious apps and software. Here’s how you can quickly remove any malware from your computer:
- Open CleanMyMac X.
- Click Malware > Scan.
- Then, select any malware when the scan is complete and click Remove.
The Windows Defender security warnings could be a symptom of malware installed on your computer. And could be indicative of bigger things to be concerned about. While the scam itself won’t do any harm to your Mac, it’s the malware that could exploit your computer, or worse, leave it more vulnerable for future attacks.