What is Smarter HD
Smarter HD is known as a potentially unwanted application (PUA), which infects Mac devices. It’s programmed to promote shady third-party software by displaying numerous intrusive advertisements and pop-ups on its victim’s screen. This parasite could also redirect to unreliable and harmful websites, as well as install various junk on your browser. You should consider Smarter HD as a dangerous app for your Mac. That being said, you must remove it entirely from the system, before it is able to steal your personal data and trick you into installing bogus software, which may contain nasty viruses.
How it is distributed
The main distribution methods used by Smarter HD are email attachments, fake update messages, torrent files, infected ads and links, freeware, etc. Typically, unwanted software gets installed without the user’s knowledge. However, that does not mean that the parasite hacked the system on its own. It is not as advanced. What actually happened is this – the user installed a program on their computer, but failed to notice the presence of additional software in the installer. If you don’t specifically opt out of such optional installations, they’ll just get installed by default. That’s why you should be diligent while completing the steps in the Setup Wizard. Carefully read everything you see, and don’t just mindlessly click on the ‘Next‘ button, rushing to finish the installation.
How it operates
PUA such as Smarter HD begins its malicious plan as soon as it gets installed. It will inject itself on every browser you have, and will modify their settings, so it is able to display as many ads as it wants, without being interrupted. This parasite may monitor your online activity and collect sensitive data, so it can provide specifically targeted content, which you’ll be most likely to click on. It may even use scare tactics and display fake alert messages, so you’ll be quick to install the advertised software without giving it a second thought. Smarter HD‘s main goal is to steal personal information such as passwords, GPS coordinates, bank account credentials, credit card numbers, IP addresses, etc., as well as make you install other third-party software, which will most likely be infected with other parasites or viruses. If you ignore this PUA and do not proceed with its immediate removal, you also risk infecting your Mac with highly dangerous viruses like Trojans or ransomware, which may get transmitted via the redirects, ads and promoted software by the Smarter HD app.
Staying safe from Smarter HD
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 Smarter HD from Mac
If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the Smarter HD 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 Smarter HD. 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 Smarter HD 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.