What is OutputData
The OutputData app for Mac is advertised as a useful tool, which will supposedly improve user’s browsing experience. In reality, it is actually an advertisement tool, created by cyber criminals, who aim to steal your personal information, monitor your online activity, flood your screen with various shady ads and redirect you to harmful third-party pages. This article will give more light on its distribution methods, what damages it can do, and how to manually remove it from the system.
How it is distributed
OutputData is most commonly spread through deceptive adverts, freeware, fake update messages and torrent files. As a parasite from the PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application) category, this malicious software is usually seen as an optional installation in some installers. If you fail to notice its presence, it will get installed by default. That’s how it is able to sneak on the Mac without the user’s knowledge. When you’re installing software on your computer, always choose the Custom or Advanced option when available. This will give you full control over the process and you’ll be able to easily opt out of any additional software included in the installer.
How it operates
Instead of enhancing your browser experience, OutputData will turn it into a hellish nightmare. Shortly after its successful installation, it will start pushing a large amount of unreliable ads, which will most likely lead to suspicious third-party websites. Such pages often turn out to be infected with other parasites, meaning that your Mac will get infected with them too. With each day, the quantity of the generated sponsored content will grow, making it difficult for the browser to keep up displaying them. As a consequence, the infected browsers will become unresponsive to your actions, and your internet speed will drop. The parasite is also programmed to create revenue via the pay-per-click scheme. This also means, that it will use your personal data to better customize the displayed ads, so you’ll be more tempted to click on them. The OutputData app is a serious threat not only to your privacy, but to your system’s security too. The only way you can stop it from wreaking havoc is by thoroughly remove it from your Mac.
Staying safe from OutputData
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 OutputData from Mac
If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the OutputData 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 OutputData. 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 OutputData 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.