What is IdeaShared
IdeaShared falls into the Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) category. This malicious software’s main goal is to collect the personal information of its victims, and flood their browsers with numerous aggressive advertisements, some of which may lead to dangerous third-party websites. That being said, you need to immediately remove it as soon as you detect it on your Mac. The longer you delay, the worse the consequences will get.
How it is distributed
The IdeaShared app usually spreads via software bundles, freeware and fake update messages. Other distribution methods include torrent files, unreliable ads and links, and email attachments. Here’s the most common scenario – the user thinks they’re installing one program, but in reality, they are also installing optional software they didn’t even know existed in the installer. The majority of the users mindlessly rush into the installation, so they can finish it ASAP. Cyber criminals thrive in such situations. They count on your carelessness, so they can infect your devices. But, you can stop this from happening, since the parasite is not advanced and cannot infiltrate without your help. To make sure such mistake never happens, you need to choose the Custom/Advanced option in the Setup Wizard, and read everything in the given step, before clicking that ‘Next‘ button. If you notice any optional installations, it is always best to uncheck the box next to them, so they don’t get automatically installed.
How it operates
Parasites from the PUA category are known to modify browser settings, so they can produce a large quantity of nasty adverts uninterrupted. Once the malicious app gets installed, it will start monitoring your online activity, so it is able to provide specific ads, which will target your interests, based on what you search for on the internet, and which sites you visit often. Other data, which IdeaShared can steal from its victim, include passwords, IP addresses, GPS coordinates, bank account credentials, credit card numbers, etc. Another thing you should be aware of, is that the ads and redirects by IdeaShared may lead you to unreliable pages, unrelated to what was initially advertised. Put an end to this hellish browser experience, and protect your private data! The sooner you remove this malicious app, the better!
Staying safe from IdeaShared
Apart from having a reliable AV software installed on your Mac, there are other things you can do to ensure your device’s safety. We highly recommend you to:
- Pay close attention when you install third-party software, especially torrent files, so you don’t install shady additional applications that you don’t want. In most cases, that’s how malicious parasites are able to infect your computer;
- Read any Terms and Conditions you see, so you know exactly what you agree to. The last thing you want is to unknowingly give permission to a nasty virus to infiltrate your Mac;
- Follow links that lead to trustworthy sites only;
- It is best to visit only reliable and official websites. You never know what dangers might lurk behind an unfamiliar site;
- No matter how attractive an ad is, if you are not familiar with the website it redirects to, it might be best to steer clear of it and not click;
- Always check the sender’s email address before opening a message. If it states that it’s from an official company, compare the email with the one given in their official page. If there is no match, delete the message, since it most likely is fake and has malicious aims;
- Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders. More often than not, such files carry infections that can seriously damage your computer.
How to manually remove IdeaShared from Mac
If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the IdeaShared PUA, the instructions below can help you to remove it manually. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Go to Utilities. You can do that by using the ⇧+⌘+U key combination, or by going to Finder and choosing Utilities from the Go main menu at the top.
2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it.
3. A list will be displayed. Find any processes that seem suspicious to you and use the ‘Force Quit‘ option to quit them completely.
4. Open Finder. Click on the Go button from the main menu at the top, and choose Applications. An alternative way is to use the ⇧+⌘+A key combination.
5. Look for any suspicious applications, especially ones with a name similar to IdeaShared. If any are found, right-click on them and select the ‘Move to Trash‘ option.
6. Remove any related left-over files by going to Finder‘s search bar and typing the name of the app you want to remove. Make sure to modify the two drop down menus above to ‘System Files‘ and ‘Are Included‘, so that any hidden files are visible for you to remove. Once you find the files you want to remove, simply drag them to Trash.
7. All that’s left for you to do is remove any related extensions to IdeaShared from your Mac browsers.
For Mozilla Firefox extensions:
- Open the Firefox browser and from the ‘burger’ menu in the top right corner of the window select ‘Add-ons’.
- Select any suspicious extensions that may be related to the virus and click ‘Remove’.
For Google Chrome extensions:
- Open the Chrome browser and select Tools > Extensions from the menu (the three dots in the top right corner of the browser window).
- Locate any suspicious extensions that may be related to the virus and remove them.
For Safari extensions:
- Open the Safari browser. From the Safari menu choose Preferences. Select Extensions from the options at the top.
- Find any extensions you think are related to the virus, select them and click ‘Uninstall’. A new window will show up asking for confirmation. Click Uninstall again, for the extension to get deleted permanently from your browser.