Virus? Or Scam?

Although there was a news story this week regarding a new Mac virus (read here), Apple products are usually not targeted for viruses or malware. Because less than 10% of all computers worldwide are Macs, there are greener pastures as far as troublemakers are concerned. But there are still scammers out there that prey on user’s insecurities and are able to try to make a few bucks by thinking we have a virus.

First of all, actual viruses on the Mac ARE rare. Although there are some out there, most of the time Mac users report an issue is one of two things; some malware on the computer (which usually is in the Preferences folder of a web browser) or a “pop-up” window (like the one pictured here) that informs the user that there’s trouble, and tries to extort money from them.

BTW – the graphic here is simply a web page that’s supposed to alarm you – not a real virus. Quitting your browser (Safari, in this case) will solve the problem in most instances.

First of all, as I’ve mentioned MANY times before, never let anybody you don’t know tell you there’s something wrong with your computer (even if there really is something fishy going on)! Chances are these guys are crooks, trying to get some money to “fix” your problem. They may not necessarily be trying to steal your identity, but simply trying to make a quick money grab. This also goes for unsolicited phone calls that are commonplace these days.

Bottom line – if you’re having an issue with your computer that you think is a virus, call a trusted Macintosh expert, or even make an appointment at Apple’s Genius Bar. Better get the opinion of somebody you can trust, rather than depend on strangers control your computer or claim to be able to solve your issues from afar.

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