For the most part, adware-type programs have been pestering Windows users with unwanted pop-up and targeted advertisements. The Windows adware usually bundles with free third-party downloads. They deliver advertisements in a variety of forms, including in-text hyperlinks, banner and skyscraper ads and other commercial material. But now many Mac OS users have become bombarded with pop-up advertisements too. Safety is no longer a thing of the past.
How can you tell if your Mac computer is infected with adware? One of the most obvious signs that your Mac is infected with adware are pop-up advertisements, but Mac users may also notice programs they do not remember installing. Sometimes Mac adware avoided by selecting “Block pop-up windows” in Safari browser preferences, but this might fail to help you if you are dealing with a nasty piece of adware or adware on another internet browser such as Google Chrome. In this case, annoying ads can start bombarding you as soon as you open a new browser window and they will continue to reappear no matter what type of website, retail or not, you visit while browsing the web.
Pop-up advertisements on Mac OS X are designed for unknown parties to generate revenue, by getting users to visit sponsored webpages, purchase sponsored products, download sponsored products, and more, but can also be used for a different commercial purposes. Other purposes for Mac adware is to gather personal user data, such as home addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses for different marketing campaigns and possible scams.
Mac OS X users who are infected with adware may also notice browser redirects, which may be the result of a pop-under advertisements or altered internet setting. Our security experts warn Mac users that adware on their machine might have the capability to change existing internet browser settings of multiple internet browsers, including Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox. Changed settings may include the homepage or start page and the internal search engine, also called the default, managed, or provided search engine. This may cause internet browser to redirect to unknown webpages and search engines when users boot their browser, open a new browser tab, and search the web using the browser address or omni bar. These are usually called browser hijackers as opposed to adware, but they are essentially both commercial programs.
Fortunately, reputable software developers have started developing programs to remove adware from Mac computers. Two different applications that have revealed great results when detecting and eliminating these nasty programs include, AdwareMedic (a free tool that was designed for adware removal only) and Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus (a well known versatile application that can be used to remove malware from PC and Mac Operating Systems).