Why do we use a Mac vs. a traditional Windows PC? “How do I love thee, oh Mac? Let me count the ways.” Alright, I’ll save us both a bit of time and not recount all the ways. You know why you use a Mac, right?
We Mac users love the Mac because it’s better for us. Along with that choice comes a certain amount of evangelism, especially as we see our PC cousins struggle with the indelicacies of managing Windows, malware, cheap and flimsy PCs, and so on. But what happens when we convert a Windows user to a Mac?
That was the case with a neighbor from down the street, a Windows sufferer for a couple of decades who read somewhere that the best Windows notebook was a Mac, and that Macs didn’t have the malware afflictions that her Windows PCs had; ipso facto, era vu, and Voila! She’s a Mac user now.
This past weekend her Mac began acting strange. Hey, it happens. Not often enough to be a habit, but when it does it’s news, and she filled me in on the news with a sob story. What happened? She installed MacKeeper on her Mac. And after visiting some websites for free software, advertising took over Safari and Chrome and pop up windows threatened her very online existence.
What to do?
As any new Mac user would do, she went to the source of her discomfort. Me. ‘Am I my Mac sister’s keeper?‘ That’s the problem with evangelizing one platform over another. Customer support. Thinking she was doing well by adding MacKeeper to her Mac, she did the opposite and couldn’t get rid of it or the growing menace of browser pop ups spawned from unscrupulous websites which tempt Mac users into installing malware.
What to do?
It took awhile but we dug around– on my Mac– to find a solution. In this case it was free. DetectX is one of the few Mac apps which can remove MacKeeper, find and delete keyloggers, and even rid your Mac of the pop up advertising scourge that haunts those Mac users who thought they found Nirvana but ended up in Sin City.
DetectX works. And it’s free for home use.
What it does is straightforward. DetectX finds MacKeeper and makes sure it gets segregated to the Trash can. It also checks your Mac for other malware, including a few notorious keyloggers (not something you run into much, but still…), and advertising malware which seems to be on the increase. The Detector View finds and trashes malware files. The History View keeps a log of everything the Inspector runs when you run it. For many Mac users it may be safe enough to run at login, but that’s not what I recommend. If you need it, you probably know it.
The problem with allowing any Mac app to find and remove what it thinks are malicious files is that you need to be able to identify what’s malicious and what is not, and that’s not always easy, and not exactly an exact science for Mac newbies.
In this case DetectX detected what was expected. Malware. And once cleaned of MacKeeper and other nameless malware, my neighbor’s Mac was back to normal, and we both had learned a lesson. She learned not to trust sites that push free videos, free software, free games, and I learned that free evangelism comes with a price.