How ToTips & Tweaks

Keep your Apple computer safe from Mac Defender malware

The malevolent program offers to remove the non-existent virus for a small fee, payable by credit card. But the scam doesn’t end there; the unauthorized third party can now wreak havoc using the stolen financial information.


Apple has acknowledged the threat is real, and the company is reportedly hard at work on an update that will remove the software. Until then, the Mac makers have posted a handy removal guide for those who prefer to take matters into their own hands. Follow the steps below.

  • Move or close the Scan Window
    Go to the Utilities folder in the Applications folder and launch Activity Monitor
    Choose All Processes from the pop up menu in the upper right corner of the window
    Under the Process Name column, look for the name of the app and click to select it;     common app names include: MacDefender, MacSecurity or MacProtector
    Click the Quit Process button in the upper left corner of the window and select Quit
    Quit Activity Monitor application
    Open the Applications folder
    Locate the app ex. MacDefender, MacSecurity, MacProtector or other name
    Drag to Trash, and empty Trash
    Open System Preferences, select Accounts, then Login Items
    Select the name of the app you removed in the steps above ex. MacDefender, MacSecurity,     MacProtector
    Click the minus button

Upon completing these steps, your Mac should be completely free of the offending program, but it’s still crucial to keep your computer up to date on all suggested software updates.

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Matthew is a technology blogger for

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