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How to remove Apple Security Alert scam from your iOS


Mac and iPhone users report encountering an Apple Security Alert pop-up. It claims that either their devices are infected with a virus or hacked, and sensitive information is at risk. While the message might seem convincing, it’s merely a scam that’s designed to swindle money from unsuspecting users, steal personal data, and spread malware.

It’s important to mention that Apple doesn’t send security warnings and this alert is fake. If you receive one, you should neither click on its content nor continue following the indicated instructions – your device is not at risk.

In this article, I will explain what is the Apple Security Alert, how it’s used for malicious purposes, and how to get rid of it from your iPhone or Mac device.

Security tip

The best way to protect your device from scam pop-ups is to use an antivirus. Norton can detect and remove various PUPs displaying fake messages.

What is Apple security alert?

Apple Security Alert is a fake pop-up message which states that your iOS device was hacked and that your personal information is at risk. Users can get this alert by visiting a suspicious website or get redirected if they have a potentially unwanted program (PUP) installed on their Mac or iPhone.

Apple Security Alert scam on Mac

This security alert is an unsolicited, fake pop-up error created to scare you into giving away your personal and financial information that would later be used by threat actors for financial gain. It’s important to note that these messages are fake – no hacking into your device was made, nor your data is at risk.

Name:“Apple Security Alert” scam
Threat type:Scareware
Targeted devices:All Apple devices: Macs, iPhones, iPads
Symptoms:You get redirected to suspicious websites, annoying pop-ups with alert messages
Damage:Annoying unwanted ads, redirecting to shady websites, potential browsing tracking, possible loss of personal and financial information, and financial loss

4 signs of Apple security alert scam virus

Since there are many other cyber threats, like adware that might have also infected your iPhone or MacBook, it can be hard to tell whether your device has the Apple Security Alert scam virus. Here the the four signs you should look for to confirm the infection:

  1. Fake emails or messages. Scammers send fraudulent emails stating that Apple has detected viruses on your device. Often, these messages are accompanied with an urge to click on an appended link to take action. Unfortunately, it’s an attempt to either steal private information or infiltrate other viruses.
  2. Redirects to untrusted websites. Once the PUP enters your system, you can notice an increase in random redirects to various less than reliable sites. They often promote other suspicious products or ask you to enter your credentials to win a prize.
  3. Unsolicited ads. Another sign of the infection is an enormous increase in intrusive ads that appear while you browse. They might not only deteriorate your browsing experience but also trigger an automatic installation of malware.
  4. Scam calls impersonating Apple. You might also receive calls from scammers who pretend to be Apple’s support agents and ask for your sensitive information. It’s another sign that your device, particularly an iPhone, is infected.

How to get rid of fake Apple security alert pop-up

There are various reasons why you might see the Apple Security Alert warning. Sometimes it’s merely displayed on a suspicious website and closing the tab is enough to get rid of it. However, if you have adware on your system or another malicious program, you will need to uninstall it to stop the fake pop-ups.

Here we provide comprehensive guides showing how to get rid of the Apple Security Alert pop-up on both Mac devices and iPhones.

Mac

Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) displaying the fraudulent virus warnings usually have multiple components hiding inside your system. So, there are multiple steps to take for a successful removal of the Apple Security Alert from Mac. Below, you will find detailed instructions on how to complete the elimination.

Get rid of the Apple Security Alert warning with a Mac antivirus:

  1. Download and install an antivirus for Mac. Norton has great security features for macOS
  2. Register an account and run a full system scan
  3. Follow the instructions provided by the antivirus

Delete Safari cookies, cache, and history:

  1. Open Safari and press on the Safari button at the top-left corner of the screen
Erase Safari history
  1. Select Preferences and go to the Privacy tab > Manage Website Data > Remove all
Remove Safari data
  1. Open Safari again and go to Develop button > Empty Caches
Empty Safari cache
  1. Then, go to History button > Clear History and select All history
Clear all Safari history

Uninstall suspicious macOS applications that might be showing the Apple Security Alert:

  1. Open the Finder
  2. Select the Applications from the left-side pane
Remove unwanted applications from Mac
  1. Find any questionable application, right-click on it, and select Move to Bin
  2. Enter your password to complete the action

iPhone

The removal of the Apple Security Alert scam from an iPhone consists of multiple steps. Here are three main actions you should take to successfully get rid of the fraudulent messages from iOS:

Remove the Apple Security Alert virus with an iOS antivirus:

  1. Go to the App Store and find a reliable iOS antivirus. Our top choice is Norton
  2. Click the Get button and confirm your Apple ID
  3. Open the app and run a full system scan

Clear Safari history and data:

  1. Open the Settings icon on your iPhone
Clear Safari history on iPhone
  1. Find Safari and press Clear History and Website Data
Delete Safari data on iPhone
  1. Click Clear History and Data to confirm

Uninstall unreliable iPhone apps:

  1. Identify a suspicious app on your screen
Get rid of suspicious apps on iPhone
  1. Press and hold the icon until menu bar appears
Remove malicious apps from iPhone
  1. Click Remove App and select Delete App
  2. Repeat the steps with all untrustworthy applications

How can I protect my PC against viruses?

The Apple Security Alert virus spreads through multiple sources. So, it’s essential to take every precautionary measure possible to protect your devices. Here are some tips you should follow:

  • Do not click on ads. You should never press on pop-ups, banners, and other promotional content if it looks suspicious. Malicious ads can either lead you to malware infiltration sources or start an immediate installation upon a click.
  • Do not open links. Scammers impersonate legitimate companies, like Apple and send emails with malicious links. Often, people are tricked into thinking that the letter is legitimate and end up installing malware.
  • Do not visit suspicious websites. There are many less than reliable sites that are used for the distribution of malicious programs. You should only visit trusted websites if you want to protect your devices.
  • Download and install only trusted software. Cybercriminals try to spread malware by disguising it under the names of legitimate software and uploading to peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. For this reason, you should only download software from official websites to avoid falling victim.
  • Spot phone scammers. Keep in mind that support agents of services or products you use should never ask for sensitive information via the phone. If you receive a call from one asking for your credentials, there’s a high chance that it’s a scam.
  • Always use an antivirus. Nowadays, premium antivirus products can protect both desktop and mobile devices from the latest cyber threats. You should install a security tool on your Mac or an iPhone antivirus for an extra layer of protection.

Conclusion

Cybercriminals employ various social engineering techniques to trick users into providing their personal information and the Apple Security Alert warning is one of such examples. If these kinds of suspicious alerts and pop-ups appear, stay calm and understand that they are fake, and are designed to scare you.

You should be vigilant on what websites you visit and what links you click on if you want to protect your devices. However, in case your iPhone or Mac has already been infected, you can remove the Apple Security Alert scam by running a full system scan with an antivirus, like Norton.

FAQ


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