While security on the Mac is still leaps and bounds ahead of a Windows machine, the landscape isn't as safe as it used to be. There are different flavors of bad things that can be loaded onto your Mac. Today, I'd like to focus on adware. This is malicious software created by advertisers to force dishonest advertisements to be displayed on your computer. Oftentimes, these ads attempt to trick you into thinking a virus has been detected on your computer and instruct you to call a phone number for removal directions. Then, the person on the phone will ask for your credit card information before providing "help."
If this sounds silly to you, please know that we've had a small handful of clients experience this. It's certainly a common occurrence.
We recommend that everyone download and install a free program developed by security expert, Thomas Reed, called AdwareMedic. This program isn't virus protection. It simply scans your computer only for malicious ad software, and then removes it for you.
After downloading it, go ahead and run it today. Then, it would be a good idea to run it every couple months or so. Be sure to keep AdwareMedic up to date, too, as that's the way in which its database of bad software is maintained.
Adware isn't the most fun topic to discuss, but I think we can all agree that we don't want our Mac to become a motel for sneaky software.