Mac Ads – How to Remove Them (Update March 2019)
THREAT REMOVAL

Mac Ads – How to Remove Them

What are Mac ads? Why are you seeing unwanted advertisements on your Mac? What can you do to remove Mac ads?

This article has been created to show you how you can detect adware on your Mac and how to remove any adware components that may currently be in your Mac.

Аdware for Mac has dramatically increased lately and the trend is evolving. Such Mac ads are becoming more diverse and also harder to detect by victims since they often come as legitimate programs.

Update March 2019. A recently detected unwanted program plaguing Macs is called DataTransportation.

DataTransportation.

DataTransportation is an adware program that could infiltrate your Mac device without your knowledge. Once installed on your device, it could affect the settings of your preferred web browser and then start displaying intrusive ads during your browsing sessions.

In this article we will explain how you can detect and remove unwanted Mac programs such as DataTransporation, and how you can protect yourself and your private information.

How Do Mac Ads Programs Spread?

Identifying Mac Ads programs can be done by simply looking at the symptoms based on the type of ad-supported programs lurking in the wild:

  • Mac Adware programs.
  • Browser Hijackers for Mac.
  • Push notifications “viruses” for Mac.

Adware programs may appear on your Mac using the following methods:

  • By pretending the program is a legitimate app.
  • By adding it automatically after visiting a website.
  • By getting the user to accept some sort of Push Notifications on a news website.
  • By slithering the unwanted app in the installer of another app and advertising it “as a free extra” or “an optional offer”, a method known as bundling.

How to Detect Adware on Your Mac?

Based on the methods of distribution we have shown you above, unwanted programs that generate Mac ads will lead to the following symptoms:

1st Symptom – Slow Performance of Your Mac

The main symptom of having an ad-supported program on your Mac is by experiencing performance slow-downs which are usually not typical. In general, macOS is a well-optimized operating system and should not lag in performance. In case your Mac’s performance is not as optimized as it usually is, this may be a sign of a virus or an ad-supported program that is using your CPU and other resources.

2nd Symptom: Different Types of Ads Randomly Appearing

If you are seeing aggressive Mac ads that take over your pages space and also randomly appear, then it is highly you have Mac adware. In some forms of adware, the ads can even be shown as search results. In this case, the unwanted program has browser hijacking capabilities, and has changed the default search engine of the affected Mac to a hoax one. So, instead of Google or some other legitimate search engine, you see a bogus engine, that shows you suspicious ads instead of results.

Another form of ads are the so-called Tech Support scam ads, whose primary purpose is to convince you that there is a serious problem with your Mac and you should either call a fake tech support number or download a fake antivirus or optimizer that will “fix your Mac”.

These fake optimizing programs, like

Mac Auto Fixer, only want to drain money from your account by finding different fake errors and asking you to pay a lot of money to buy their licensed version in order to fix your performance problems.

Mac ads can be:

  • Pop-ups.
  • Ad-supported search results.
  • Highlighted text ads.
  • Banners on the sites you visit.
  • Highlighted text ads.

3rd Symptom: Having Suspicious Programs Installed on Your Mac

Here are some examples of programs that generate Mac ads:

Secure Mac TuneUp;

Mac Purifier;

Smart Mac Care PUP;

Smart Mac Care PUP.

These types of programs aim to convince you to pay for their full versions, which usually end up costing hundreds of dollars to show you pop-ups that your system is at risk. More so, a lot of users have complained for some of these programs to start automatically with the booting of their Macs and to run automatic scans that detect hundreds of errors each time, which is not likely to be true.

4th Symptom: You Have Unfamiliar Browser Extensions

One of the main methods used by adware on your Mac is by being automatically added as an add-on or a browser extension that seems to pretend it is useful. Most adware programs tend to imitate:

  • Toolbars.
  • Weather extensions.
  • Ad-blockers.
  • Movie streamers.
  • Geo-restriction unlockers.
  • News on-the-go.
  • File converters.
  • Page translators.

5th Symptom: Suspicious processes running in Activity Monitor

This symptom is also a key to detecting Mac adware components, because most ads come from such processes and they may still remain even after you manually delete the suspicious program. They often mean that the adware runs with administrative permissions and may even conduct other activities that may be unauthorized on your machine.

How to Protect Your Mac from Data Collection?

Most browser hijackers and adware use tracking technologies on the affected Macs, that collect information during your online browsing and are difficult to detect. These technologies may be cookies; Locally Shared Objects (Flash cookies; pixels; tags; geo-locators; search cookies; session cookies.

These information trackers may collect the following information from your Mac:

  • Browsing history.
  • What you type online.
  • Your search history.
  • Your online clicks.
  • Your bookmarks.

In order to protect your privacy online you will need to mask your identity and hide your traffic with encryption. The only capable service to do that is VPN software for Mac.

How to Remove Mac Ads?

There are several steps you need to go through to remove these unwanted applications from your Mac, starting with securing it and then going through removing all of the adware components, manually or automatically.

Manual Removal of Mac Ads

Step 1: Disconnect from the web and try to stay offline for as long as possible and when possible while you fix the issues.

Step 2: Change all of your passwords from a safe machine and do not type any passwords on your Mac, since some adware programs may use cookies to obtain information about them.

Step 3: Stop the adware and delete it by following the sub-steps below:

1. Uninstall Mac Ads software and remove related files and objects

Step 1: Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:

Step 2: Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:

Step 3: In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Mac Ads Viruses:

To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.

Step 4: Click on the “Go” button again, but this time select Applications. Other ways is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.

Step 5: In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Mac Ads Viruses. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.

Step 6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Mac Ads Viruses. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (““) icon to hide it.

Step 7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

1.Go to Finder.
2.In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
3.Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
4.If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

2. Remove Adware extensions from your Mac’s browsers

Remove Mac Ads Viruses – related extensions from your Mac’s browsers.

Remove a toolbar from Mozilla FirefoxRemove a toolbar from Google Chrome Remove an extension from Safari and reset it.
Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window

Select the “Add-ons” icon from the menu.

Select the Extension and click “Remove

After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.

Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu

  • Move the cursor over “Tools” and then from the extended menu choose “Extensions
  • From the opened “Extensions” menu locate the add-on and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.
  • After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.
  • Step 1: Remove Safari extensions

    Start Safari

    Open the drop menu by clicking on the sprocket icon in the top right corner.
    uninstall-fig13

    From the drop menu select ‘Preferences’
    In the new window select ‘Extensions’
    Click once on the extension you want removed.
    Click ‘Uninstall’

    uninstall-fig14

    A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select ‘Uninstall’ again, and the Mac Ads Viruses will be removed.

    Step 2: Reset Safari

    IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

    Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

    Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.

    Automatic Removal of Mac Ads

    When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted programs that generate ads, the recommended way of eliminating this risk is to take advantage of an anti-malware tool. One such tool is Combo Cleaner, that features advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s health and protect it in the future.


    Download

    Combo Cleaner

    Keep in mind, that Combo Cleaner needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check Combo Cleaner’s EULA and Privacy Policy.

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    Ventsislav Krastev

    Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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