How to Know if Someone Is Spying on Your Mac

Spyware has been a constant threat to everyone’s online security for years, but as technology advances, more and more sensitive information is being stored online. Online security has further been compromised by real-world events, For example, 97% of organizations have reported an increase in cyberattacks since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. So, it’s more important than ever to keep yourself safe online.


It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Studies show that human error accounts for 76% of all data breaches, meaning that with healthy skepticism and some research, you can protect yourself and your family from being spied on online.


Before we start:


Hackers always target vulnerable Macs, as those with limited protection are easier to spy on. For this reason, to stay protected online, you should use a VPN. VPNs hide your IP address online, allowing you to surf the net confident that your personal info isn’t being harvested.


Here’s how you can use MacKeeper’s VPN Private Connect:

  1. Download MacKeeper.
  2. Select Private Connect from the menu.
  3. Click Turn On to connect to our VPN.
  4. For complete protection, tick the Connect Automatically when I start my Mac option.
To protect your Mac from being spied on, open MacKeeper and go select Private Connect. Then, click Turn On to connect to the VPN. Tick the connect automatically box for round the clock protection.
Open MacKeeper > VPN Private Connect > Turn on VPN

Can someone spy on your Mac

Yes, your Mac can be spied on if a hacker has managed to install spyware or keyloggers onto your device. These malicious viruses harvest sensitive information such as passwords or bank details.

How can you tell if someone is spying on your Mac

You might suspect your Mac is being spied on if your device is performing much slower than usual, or if apps or toolbars you don’t recognize and didn’t download appear on your computer.


Here’s how else you can detect spyware on Mac:

  1. You can see a new user on your MacBook
  2. You can see that your webcam light is on
  3. Your MacBook runs slower, and programs crash
  4. Your Mac uses more bandwidth
  5. Look for privacy icons in your menu bar
  6. Check your web browser’s history
  7. Inspect the Task Manager or Activity Log

1. You can see a new user on your MacBook

One simple way you can begin to look when checking if your Mac is to see if someone logged into your Mac. Hackers create additional users so that they can install spyware without you noticing that it’s installed. To check this, click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen, and select Log Out. Once logged out, you’ll be able to see if there are any user profiles you don’t recognize.

2. You can see that your webcam light is on

Hackers attempt to steal passwords and credit card info when installing spyware on a hacked MacBook, but as well, some hackers will use your webcam to spy on you at home or blackmail you. If your webcam is on, the LED light will be turned on next to it. So if you notice a light on your webcam when you’re not using it, you could be being spied on.

3. Your MacBook runs slower, and programs crash

As malware constantly runs on a hacked Mac, it eats up resources such as processing power or RAM and often causes a performance slowdown. If you find that your Mac is working a lot slower than usual, or apps are repeatedly crashing, it’s possible that a hacker has installed spyware on your device.

4. Your Mac uses more bandwidth

If your Mac is being spied on, you might notice your web browsing and download speed slowing down. This is because spyware is often bandwidth-intensive, as it’s constantly sending data to the hacker. You can check your bandwidth usage in Activity Monitor to look out for any suspicious locations your Mac is connected to.

5. Look for privacy icons in your menu bar

Many hackers will try to access your Mac’s microphone or the screen recording feature to steal personal info or to listen to your real-life conversations. You can check if your Mac’s microphone is being used by opening the Control Center, and a yellow icon will appear alongside the app that is using the mic.

6. Check your web browser's history

If a hacker has control of your Mac, they may be using your web browser to send information to themselves or to install additional malware. So, if you think you’re being spied on, you should check your browsing history and look carefully for any suspicious websites, or websites that you personally didn’t visit.

7. Inspect the Task Manager or Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor contains a record of all the processes and connections your Mac is currently dealing with. You can find it by opening Spotlight Search and typing in Activity Monitor. Here, identify and stop suspicious processes that you don’t recognize.

How to remove spyware on your Mac

Now you know how to find malware on Mac, the next step to protecting yourself from spying is to learn how to remove detected spyware. Here are the ways you can remove spyware on Mac:

  1. Get rid of malicious programs
  2. Update the operating system on your Mac
  3. Install security software
  4. Inspect your hardware
  5. Activate a firewall

1. Get rid of malicious programs

If you’ve spotted some suspect processes in Activity Monitor, or some new applications that you don’t remember installing, you may need to remove malware from Mac. These apps will typically appear in Launchpad, and require you to go to your Applications folder, so here’s how to get rid of spyware on Mac:

  1. Open Finder and select Applications from the side menu.
  2. Find and select the malicious app you’d like to delete.
  3. Drag the app to your Trash, and then empty your Trash to permanently remove it from your Mac.
To remove spyware on Mac, open Finder and go to Applications. Locate any malicious or dodgy software, right click on it and select Move to Trash. Then, empty your Trash.
To delete an app: Finder > Applications > right-click on App > select Move to Trash

Hint from our experts: 


The easiest and safest way to delete any unwanted or malicious apps is to use software such as MacKeeper, which includes a Smart Uninstaller feature. This lists all apps installed on your Mac, so it’s incredibly easy to spot dodgy software and delete it safely.


Here’s how to use it:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper.
  2. Select Smart Uninstaller in MacKeeper.
  3. Click Applications, and tick any software you’d like to remove. Then, select Remove Selected.
To remove spyware from your Mac, open MacKeeper and go to Smart Uninstaller. Then, select Applications and tick any malicious looking apps you'd like to remove. Then, click Remove Selected.
Open MacKeeper > Smart Uninstaller > Applications > tick Apps > Remove Selected

2. Update the operating system on your Mac

Apple ensures that all Macs come with surface-level virus protection. However, if you don’t keep your Mac up to date, hackers can exploit vulnerabilities on your system to install spyware. Even if your Mac isn’t receiving the latest version of macOS, Apple still provides regular security patches for older devices. Here’s how to update your operating system on Mac:

  1. Click the Apple logo in the top left of your screen.
  2. Select About this Mac.
  3. Click Software Update.
  4. Your Mac will then check for updates, and download them. Ensure the Automatically keep my Mac up to date box is ticked for maximum protection.
To stay protected from being spied on on Mac, ensure your Mac's operating system is on the latest version by clicking the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen and selecting About this Mac. Then, click Software Update.
Step 1. About this Mac > Software Update
To protect your Mac from being spied on, update your operating system by checking for updates. For maximum protection, turn on automatic updates by ticking the Automatically Keep My Mac Up To Date box.
Step 2. Check macOS is up to date > tick the automatic updates box

3. Install security software

Though this guide provides you with great ways to secure your laptop, by far the best way to stay safe online is to use antivirus software. Antiviruses automatically scan your Mac for threats in real-time, meaning you have 24/7, 365 protection. Here’s how to use MacKeeper’s Antivirus:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper.
  2. Choose Antivirus from the menu.
  3. Select Start Scan and scan your Mac for threats.
  4. Ensure Real-Time Protection is turned on to automatically protect against viruses as soon as they reach your Mac.
To protect your Mac from being spied on, open MacKeeper and select Antivirus. Then, enable real-time protection to stay constantly protected, and hit Start Scan.
Step 1. MacKeeper > select Antivirus > Click Enable > Start Scan
To scan your Mac for Spyware, wait a few moments for MacKeeper's Antivirus to scan your Mac for any threats.
Step 2. Wait a moment as MacKeeper scans your Mac
To delete spying software from Mac, allow MacKeeper's Antivirus scan to complete. If any threats are detected, MacKeeper will allow you to quarantine these so you are safe from harm.
Step 3. MacKeeper will identify and quarantine spyware if it is discovered

4. Inspect your hardware

If you’ve ever lost and recovered your MacBook, or left it unattended for an extended period of time, it’s possible that a hacker might have physically installed a keylogging device to your Mac. Here’s how you can check your MacBook to see if it has been tampered with:

  • Check the USB ports on your Mac. Ensure nothing is connected to them that you don’t recognize, and shine a torch inside each port to check for hidden tampers.
  • Turn your laptop upside down, and inspect the base for forced entry. Check if any screws are missing or loose, or if it looks like a non-professional has tried to open your device.
  • In the event that you do notice something, you must take your Mac to an Apple approved technician who can perform a physical security check on your device.

5. Activate a firewall

A firewall is a security system you can turn on to protect your Mac from incoming and outgoing traffic from untrusted, extraneous networks. Should your computer be hacked, a firewall can protect your data from being harvested by spyware. However, depending on the severity of a virus, some hackers will be able to disable it if they have full access to your Mac. Here’s how to activate your firewall and protect yourself:

  1. Click the Apple logo in the top left corner of your monitor, and select System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
  2. Select Security & Privacy in your settings.
  3. Head to the Firewall tab, and select Turn On Firewall.
To activate a firewall to protect against being spied on on Mac, click the Apple logo in the top left corner of your display. Then, select System Preferences from the drop down menu.
Step 1. Click the Apple logo in top left corner > select System Preferences
To enable a firewall to protect against spies on your Mac, select the Security & Privacy icon in your Mac's System Preferences.
Step 2. In System Preferences > Select Security & Privacy
To protect your Mac from being spied on, in the Security & Privacy menu, go to the Firewall tab. Then, click Turn on Firewall to enable it.
Step 3. Navigate to Firewall tab > hit Turn On Firewall

Get the round-the-clock protection with MacKeeper

Though we’ve been through how you can detect and delete malware if someone is spying on your computer Mac, the best way to stay protected in real-time and neutralize any threat immediately is to use MacKeeper’s Antivirus.


What’s more, MacKeeper offers additional performance and security features, such as the built-in VPN Private Connect. This allows you to browse the net in complete privacy, preventing you from being monitored online.

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