SearchTopic Mac Malware
What is SearchTopic Mac Malware
SearchTopic Mac Malware refers an adware program that targets Mac computers. SearchTopic is technically not malware but many users refer to it as such because of its behaviour. It installs via fake program updates (usually Adobe Flash) or freeware bundles, hijacks the browser and changes the settings, starts redirecting users to weird websites, alters search results and shows questionable ads. Its behaviour is very annoying because your browsing will be interrupted by constant ads. However, SearchTopic could also allow other infections to enter your computer, meaning it’s not only annoying but also potentially dangerous. We strongly suggest that you remove SearchTopic Mac Malware if you notice it installed on your computer, and the sooner you do it, the better.
Infections like SearchTopic usually enter computers because users do not have good browsing/installation habits. More minor infections like adware, browser hijackers and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) often come attached to free software as extra offers. If users do not notice them attached and install the freeware, they end up installing the added offers as well. Furthermore, these infections are also often pushed via fake update notifications. We will explain this in more detail in the following section of the report.
Is SearchTopic Mac Malware dangerous
As soon as it attaches itself to your browser, whether it’s Safari, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, its settings will be changed. The infection will set you a different homepage and search engine. Every time you open your browser, you’d be redirected to the adware’s promoted site, and if you perform a search via your browser’s address bar, you’d be shown altered search results with sponsored content inserted.
The adware will also bombard your screen with ads as you browse. This is particularly annoying because you’d be unable to browse normally with so many ads appearing left and right. However, the biggest issue is the pop-ups and redirects. The adware will constantly redirect you to highly questionable sites, which could expose you to serious malware and scams.
The adware will also collect information about you and your browsing activities. This is typical adware behaviour, they usually track what users search for, what sites they visit, content they interact with, and their IP address. It’s not uncommon for this information to be shared with unfamiliar third-parties.
How does SearchTopic Mac Malware enter the computer
Infections like SearchTopic try to enter computers via freeware bundling and fake updates. Freeware often comes with additional offers attached. Those offers are usually adware, browser hijackers and PUPs. They’re technically optional but are hidden and preselected to install alongside. So unless users manually prevent them from doing so, the offers will install alongside the freeware. Fortunately, it’s very easy to prevent these unwanted offers from installing. When installing programs, always opt for Advanced (Custom) settings instead of Default. Advanced will make all offers visible and allow you to deselect everything. Only after you uncheck all offers should you continue installing the program.
Adware is also often spread via fake updates. Certain sites, usually ones hosting pornography and pirated copyrighted content have quite questionable ads. One of those ads is a fake “You need to install an update” notification. Those fake notifications often claim you need to download a critical update for Adobe Flash Player, and by not updating you’re supposedly putting your computer at risk. However, if you do download the fake update, you’d end up with some kind of malware. Know that legitimate update notifications will never appear in your browser. Most programs update automatically, and if a program did need to updated manually, you’d need to get the update from the official website, not a random ad.
SearchTopic Mac Malware removal
Because manual SearchTopic Mac Malware removal may be complicated, we would suggest you use anti-spyware software. The program would find/remove SearchTopic Mac Malware and any related files, which would prevent the adware from recovering in the future. You should be able to delete SearchTopic Mac Malware manually as well, but you will need to find all related files yourself. Once the infection is no longer present, your browsing will go back to normal.