Are you seeing a “Shield for Mac” update in your Safari browser, and wondering whether it is legitimate?
“Shield for Safari” Fake Update “Virus”
“Shield for Mac” is a fake update that appears in the Safari browser, interrupting the regular browser session of the user. Both macOS and iOS could be affected. The pop-up could be part of a tech-support scam or could have been triggered by a potentially unwanted application (PUA).
The display of such pop-ups is mostly associated with tech-support scams which attempt to trick the user into performing certain actions in order to solve an issue. However, you may have an adware or potentially unwanted app triggering the pop-up. To determine the cause of the issue, you may need to scan your operating system.
|Name||"Shield for Safari"|
|Short Description||A scam message claiming that “unwanted pop-ups have been detected” on your Mac.|
|Symptoms||A nagging pop-up that says ““Dear Apple Mac OS X Customer. We Detected Unwanted Pop-Ups on Your Mac.”.”|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installers, Suspicious Sites|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss "Shield for Safari".|
Why Do I see the “Shield for Safari” Pop-Up?
Tech support scams and browser-based scams such as Shield for Safari originate from various suspicious domains. Do you recall visiting a website that falls into the suspicious category?
Keep in mind that usually there are many suspicious domains rotating these scams. It is also possible that the pop-up message is triggered by a potentially unwanted program (PUA), that sneaked into your system without your knowledge.
If you visited a suspicious website, you could also be witnessing fake alert messages about viruses and other issues detected on your Mac. In this case, the “Shield for Safari” pop-up will not be the only one flooding your browser.
As to why scammers are spreading such fake pop-ups, messages of this kind are often promoting rogue security software.
If you have such a rogue product silently installed on your Mac, you may have become a “victim” of the so-called bundling method. This method means that legitimate software is installed together with third-party utilities, usually classified as PUAs. The bundling of software is done for monetization purposes, and is mostly popular among developers of adware (ad-supported software).
In this relation, the PUA that may be causing the “Shield for Safari” pop-up is most likely ad-supported as well. Adware, which can be anything from a browser add-on or extension to a PUA, compromises commonly used web browsers by tweaking their settings to display plenty of advertisements and collect user data.
To determine the cause of the “Shield for Safari”, check out the last paragraph of this article for instructions and a possible solution.
Remove “Shield for Safari” Fake Update Pop-Up
In order to remove “Shield for Safari” scam message and all files that are causing it to appear in your Safari browser, it is advisable to complete the steps described in the guide below the article. These steps provide both manual and automatic removal instructions that should be able to fix the issue for you.
About the "Shield for Safari" Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this "Shield for Safari" how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific macOS issue.
How did we conduct the research on "Shield for Safari"?
Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of Mac threats, especially adware and potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).
Furthermore, the research behind the "Shield for Safari" threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1. macOS More Susceptible to Adware and PUPs than Windows
2. XLoader Malware-as-a-Service Now Available for macOS for Only $49
3. XCSSET Mac Malware Targets Apple’s M1-Based Macs and macOS 11
4. macOS Backdoor Malware Linked to OceanLotus Hackers
5. The State of Apple’s Privacy So Far in 2021
Before starting to follow the steps below, be advised that you should first do the following preparations:
- Backup your files in case the worst happens.
- Make sure to have a device with these instructions on standy.
- Arm yourself with patience.
Step 1: Uninstall "Shield for Safari" and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:
3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to "Shield for Safari":
4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.
5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to "Shield for Safari". If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.
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 "Shield for Safari". Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.
7. Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- 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.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove "Shield for Safari" via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
1. Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:
2. Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:
3. Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as "Shield for Safari". If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Remove "Shield for Safari" – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove "Shield for Safari" files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as "Shield for Safari", the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Quick and Easy Mac Malware Video Removal Guide
Step 4: How to Make Your Mac Run Faster?
Mac machines maintain probably the fastest operating system out there. Still, Macs do become slow and sluggish sometimes. The video guide below examines all of the possible problems that may lead to your Mac being slower than usual as well as all of the steps that can help you to speed up your Mac.
"Shield for Safari" FAQ
What is "Shield for Safari" on your Mac?
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your Mac to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your MacOS.
Can my Mac get a virus?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get viruses. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a virus:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What are the symptoms of "Shield for Safari" on your Mac?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also most Mac threats in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your Mac may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Mac's Activity Monitor.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your Mac for viruses.
What types of Mac threats are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently infect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Adware and hijackers.
- Trojan horses and other spyware.
- Ransomware and screen-lockers.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware.
What to do if I have a Mac virus, like "Shield for Safari"?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many Mac anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter for Mac is one of the reccomended Mac anti-malware apps, that can scan for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps plus take care of them quickly. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to secure my passwords and other data from "Shield for Safari"?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and Apple devices will become significantly more safe against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our MacOS Virus section, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.