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This Mac Is Not Secure POP-UP Scam (Mac)

Also Known As: "This Mac is Not Secure" virus
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "This Mac is Not Secure"?

"This Mac is Not Secure" is a fake alert message indicating that the Mac computer is not secure and is infected with spyware (a form of malicious software).

Typically, these fake alerts are displayed on untrustworthy and deceptive websites that users visit unintentionally - they are redirected to them by installed potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) that deliver intrusive advertisements and record data relating to browsing habits and other details.

This Mac is Not Secure scam

Scammers who designed "This Mac is Not Secure" claim that the computer (Mac) is infected with malicious software that steals personal and financial information. They state that this has happened due to a 'security breach' ("misconfigured connection") or an "attacker" that has compromised the user's internet connection.

Scammers claim to be "Apple Help Desk" and urge visitors to this deceptive website to contact a free helpline (telephone number: "+1-800-307-2412"). They also give the impression that leaving this deceptive website and not contacting them might result in further computer damage, data/financial loss, and so on.

Note that Apple and its support team has nothing to do with this. Scammers who design these fake virus alert messages often use the names of well-known companies to trick people into believing that their scams are legitimate and that the people behind them can be trusted.

When contacted, they try to trick users into purchasing software that will supposedly fix computer problems, clean viruses, and so on. They might also encourage users to pay for remote technical guidance/services. "This Mac is Not Secure" and other similar fake alert message should never be trusted.

The best thing to do in these cases is to simply ignore them by closing the deceptive website. If it prevents you from closing it, use the Activity Monitor and force-quit the entire browser process. Do not restore the closed session, since this will return you to the same deceptive website, or the website that led you there in the first place.

Users often arrive at these deceptive websites due potentially unwanted apps that they have install unintentionally. PUAs cause redirects to untrustworthy websites, deliver intrusive advertisements, and gather browsing-related (and other) data. Intrusive ads are often coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on.

PUAs display them by employing tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, they conceal underlying content of any visited website and, if clicked, redirect users to deceptive/untrustworthy websites or even execute scripts designed to download/install unwanted apps, possibly malware.

PUAs also gather browsing-related data such as keystrokes, search queries, URLs of visited websites, IP addresses, etc. The collected data might also include personal/sensitive details.

Developers of these information tracking PUAs share all recorded data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. These actions put users at risk of privacy/browsing safety issues or even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name "This Mac is Not Secure" virus
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Symptoms Your Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

The internet is full of deceptive websites of this type (that display fake virus, errors, and other messages). Some examples include Your MacOS 10.12 Sierra Is Infected With 3 Viruses, Spyware Were Found On Your Mac, and Error FXX000. Typically, scammers behind these fake virus alert and other websites attempt to trick people into contacting them and purchasing products and services that are unnecessary.

All PUAs are very similar and promoted as 'useful' apps, however, they provide none of the functionality promised. Developers often trick people into downloading and installing them simply to generate revenue.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Potentially unwanted apps often have official websites from which users can find and download them, however, most are installed by users inadvertently when developers use a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" or through intrusive ads.

Bundling is used to trick users into stealth installation of unwanted apps together with regular software (often ad-supportive or free). Developers hide these bundled/unwanted apps in "Custom", "Advanced" and other options/settings of the installation or download set-ups.

In summary, information about bundled apps is not properly disclosed and, thus, users who skip download/installation steps and leave settings unchanged, inadvertently install unwanted apps.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Avoid using third party software downloaders/installers, peer-to-peer networks, and other similar sources to download software. You are advised to download software using official and trustworthy sources only. Never skip installation (or download) steps without first checking "Custom/Advanced" settings.

Deselect offers to download or install additional apps and only then finish the procedure. Furthermore, avoid clicking untrustworthy ads, especially when visiting suspicious web pages. Many ads redirect users to dubious websites (gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.).

If you notice ads of this type or redirects to untrustworthy websites caused by them, check your browser for unknown/unwanted extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons, and remove all unknown or suspicious entries.

The same applies to programs installed on your computer. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of "This Mac is Not Secure" scam (GIF):

Appearance of This Mac is Not Secure scam (GIF)

Text presented in a deceptive website that promotes "This Mac is Not Secure" scam:

Call Apple Help Desk: +1-800-307-2412
This Mac is Not Secure
This Spyware may be impersonating "Administrator" to steal your personal or financial information. You should contact to Apple Certified Technicians at Toll Free Helpline: +1-800-307-2412 You should go back to the previous page.
Safari warns you when a Spyware cause security breach. This may happen if the connection is misconfigured or an attacker has compromised your connection.
To learn more, you can visit this website. If you understand the risk involved, you should call Toll Free Helpline: !-800-307-2412

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Mac malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner for Mac By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

How to identify a pop-up scam?

Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.

While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.

Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:

  • Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
  • Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
  • Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
  • Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
  • Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.

Example of a pop-up scam:

Example of a pop-up scam

How do pop-up scams work?

Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.

Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.

How to remove fake pop-ups?

In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.

In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.

How to prevent fake pop-ups?

To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.

To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS.

What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?

This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.

  • If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
  • If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
  • If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
  • Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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