Your Downloads folder collects all of the files you download from the Internet… photos, documents, apps, videos, etc. Most people forget about this folder and it often becomes full of hundreds or thousands of files that occupy disk space.
TekBasics advises keeping the Downloads folder empty. As soon as you download a file, go into the Downloads folder and move the file somewhere else or delete it. For example, after downloading and installing an app you can delete it.
Keeping the Downloads folder empty not only saves space on your disk, but it will help prevent ‘sneak’ malware downloads where a web page downloads something onto your Mac without your knowledge. ‘Sneak’ downloads are much more noticeable in an empty downloads folder than in one that’s cluttered with many files.
We recently fixed a client’s Mac with several problems:
This was a first for TekBasics. We’ve had clients who have been scammed, but this was the first time we were asked to fix malware on a Mac.
We would like to name the apps that we fixed, but the companies behind these apps are suing people who are calling the apps malware. For example, David A. Cox recently posted on www.facebook.com/pcclassesonline that his company paid over $17,000 in legal expenses after a lawsuit was served by the maker of MacKeeper. Cox had warned people about downloading it and called it malware.
TXXXXXXXXXC is scamware / scareware that automatically scans your Mac, reports issues, and then asks you to go to their website to purchase a tuneup app.
MXXXXXXXR is very similar to TXXXXXXXXXC.
TROVI is adware that hijacks your browser, changes your browser settings and displays advertisements and sponsored links in your search results in order to boost advertising revenue.
Not only was this the first time TekBasics was asked to fix malware problems, but there were several malware issues… and they were all on the same Mac!
Where did this malware come from? According to Ed Bott on ZDNet, ‘…the overwhelming majority of malware is installed by the victim, who is fooled by social engineering…’ For example, a certain malware app has advertising links on speedtest.net and it is easy to be tricked into clicking a button you think will begin the speed test, but instead it downloads a malware app. File sharing and music sharing websites are also often sources of malware.
UPDATE 1/21/2015: What ‘MacKeeper’ is and why you should avoid it
UPDATE 7/7/2015: Scary Internet Scam Becoming Disturbingly Common
If you’re a Charter Communications subscriber, did you notice their free gift to you? Charter finally doubled their 30 Mbps download speed to over 60 Mbps! No extra charge! Of course, Verizon’s 50/50 speeds (50 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload) may have forced Charter to play their hand. But since I use an antenna and don’t need cable TV, I find Charter’s ala cart Internet pricing to be less expensive than Verizon. My only complaint is Charter’s SLOW 4 Mbps upload speed. I often upload videos and photos. And my files are constantly being uploaded to an offsite Backblaze cloud backup server. (I highly recommend Backblaze.)