How to Tell if Your Mac Has Been Hacked

It’s believed that Mac devices are more immune to malware, unlike their Windows counterparts. There are several reasons why Macs are safer but not necessarily immune to infections. 

In some cases, it is simply impractical to target Mac owners. Why? Well, OS market share says it all. Approximately 70% of users choose Windows for their computers, while only about 15% go for macOS. Criminals, be they burglars or cyber attackers, care about profit, and they are more likely to choose a bigger pool of victims. However, while Mac devices used to get less attention from cybercriminals, tendencies are prone to shift. Now, even Apple enthusiasts are forced to become more vigilant. 

Are Macs Hacked? 

Yes, though not as frequently Windows PCs are, there still have been incidents of hackers compromising Macs. Such hacking can be various, from fake programs to vulnerability exploits. We give you a rundown on the more common forms of malware that are used to hack Macs. 

  • Spyware. It involves hackers trying to access your sensitive data, like your login details. A common method is to use keyloggers and record everything that you type. It helps the hackers eventually lay their hands on the necessary information to log into your accounts. 
  • Ransomware. Criminals use ransomware to force you into dishing out money. There was the Keranger hacking incident when hackers tried to encrypt files on Macs, and they planned to demand money to unencrypt them. It was the first ransomware against Macs, but experts highlighted that it certainly wouldn’t be the last. 
  • Port Exploits. Macs aren’t always hacked when malware is downloaded into them. There have been occasions when Macs have been hacked after something was plugged into a port. The Macs likely got hacked through the USB or by the Thunderbolt port. You should be very cautious about what you plug into your Mac and make it a point not to leave it unattended. 
  • Proof-of-concept. There are occasions when you don’t see any actual existence of the threat, but it does exist as a proof of concept exploiting any vulnerability in Apple’s code. While it’s not a pretty serious threat yet, there’s always the concern that criminals might take advantage of it if Apple doesn’t address this issue quickly enough. 

How Do You Know if Your Mac Has Been Hacked? 

Has your Mac slowed down recently? Is the internet connection interrupted, and you cannot reach certain websites? Are there any transactions in your bank statements you can’t recall having made yourself? We ask these questions as the answers to any of these being a yes indicates that something might be amiss in your Mac.

  • One way to check mac for viruses is to analyze for strange activity on the Activity Monitor. You should check network activity specifically. If you spot excessive network activity, a hacker may likely have gained access to your Mac.
  • Another way to check is to go and see the Sharing part in System Preferences. Notice if anyone suspicious has found access to anything and is sharing anything without your knowledge. 
  • A very effective way to see if your Mac has been hacked is to carry out a sweep on your system using security software. It’ll check if your Mac has been affected by any malware or virus infections. 
  • Bizarre behavior, unknown programs, or browser extensions appear on your device. The malicious infection may cause specific changes. For instance, you might notice unknown files or processes running in the background. 
  • Your internet connection is unstable, and you experience slower performance. The infection might not impact your Mac directly. In some cases, your network might be the one in danger. The chances are you connect your Mac to the internet. A compromised network could allow perpetrators to monitor your behavior and steal data. To protect yourself, you can download a VPN. It protects your network from interception and monitoring. How? It encrypts your connection and each data transmission you make. As a result, no one can monitor your actions, including hackers and even Internet Service Providers. 


It is essential to take necessary precautions to protect yourself from hackers. Macs are vulnerable to being hacked by malware attacks. Cybercriminals are using technology that’s evolving continuously and getting more advanced. Do take the time to check if your Mac has been hacked using the methods shared with you.