Safari alert Suspicious activity detected (Scam removal)

So you’re annoyed with the “A webpage is slowing down your browser” error on Firefox and thought Safari would be better. But all of a sudden, Safari is showing a popup saying, “Suspicious activity detected.” The details say that the browser might have been hijacked. 

You may even find a number listed on the popup and it encourages you to call that number for Apple Support. 

Should you call that number?

NO! These popups are scams and they might give a number saying it’s of Apple Support of the local government number. But it’s not the real support number. So first thing’s first – don’t believe in the scam.

The computer is hijacked and it’s limited to the browser only. If you do call the number listed on the popup, they will ask you to install software to analyze the problem. This software will give them complete control over your computer. Once they gain complete control, they might steal your data, lock up your computer, or ask for money. It’s their call. So make sure you look for a fix instead of calling “them” up.

Let’s see how we can fix this issue.

1. Close Safari

These popups are limited to the browser so the first thing is to close the browser. Close all the Safari windows currently open. If you have some important tabs open, you can try closing the current tab so the others remain open. But if that doesn’t work, you’ll need to close the entire window. 

There’s a catch though. When you try to close the window, the browser might freeze. When you try to quit, the menu might turn grey, rendering you unable to close the window. 

2. Restart Safari

When you open Safari, it will open to the last open page by default. This means it will reopen the same page, leading to the same problem. To bypass this situation, make sure you hold “Shift” when you open Safari on Windows. This might solve the problem but not in all cases. 

If you’re unable to open Safari to a different page, you can turn off the Wi-Fi before turning it on. This will prevent the bad page from loading. Now enter another URL in the address bar. Anything such as www.google.com. Press enter to load the page (it won’t load because the Wi-Fi is off). Now turn on the Wi-Fi and load the page again.

3. Run antivirus and antimalware

An antivirus or antimalware software will scan your computer and find harmful files and remove them. Since the error is limited to the browser and not spread out to the entire computer, it will probably let the antivirus perform the scan.

Keep in mind that antivirus is different than antimalware. So it’s best to run both on your computer. Once done, restart your computer and then start Safari. See if the problem is gone.

4. Reset Safari

To reset Safari to the default settings, follow these steps:

Delete the website data:

  1. On the top of the page, there will be a Privacy button. Click on it. 
  2. Click on Manage website data.
  3. Click on remove all.
  4. It will ask if you’re sure. Accept it.

Clear cache

  1. Click Safari on the menu bar. Select Preferences.
  2. Click on the Advanced tab. You’ll see a checkbox that says Show Develop menu. Click on it to mark it checked.
  3. This will enable the Develop menu in the menu bar. Select Empty Caches from this menu.

5. Change Safari preferences

If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to change your Safari preferences. You can delete the preferences manually from the computer. Go to the Preferences folder. Here’s how you can do it on a Mac:

Open the Finder window and click on Go. Select the option that says Go To Folder. It will open a text box. Enter this in the text box:

~/Library/Preferences

Click on Go.

This will open a folder. Find the file com.apple.Safari.plist file. Drag it and drop it into the trash. Now restart the computer and then start Safari. Now try working on the browser. 

If you still face the same issue, you can again open the folder ~/Library/Preferences and locate the folder named com.apple.safari.savedState. Now drag and drop it into the trash. Now restart the computer and start Safari.

Pretty easy, isn’t it?

But what if you DID call the phone number before you read this?

If you had called the number, chances are that they “inspected” your computer remotely with the help of a software. This means your computer is now compromised. Make sure you call your bank and cancel your credit card to avoid fraud. Also, monitor the credit card transactions to ensure there are no purchases that you haven’t done.

Also, wipe off your entire computer as they might have installed spyware on it. Start installing everything from the beginning. But of course, this means you should have a backup of it. This is why it’s important to have a backup of your data from time to time. You can back up your data into an external hard disk or the cloud. 

How to make sure this doesn’t happen again

To make sure that such fraud scenarios don’t happen again, you need to have a good antivirus and anti malware system installed on your computer. There are several good software tools in the market and you can buy one of them to keep your files safe. There are free tools as well but premium tools generally perform better than free ones for obvious reasons. A company needs to have money to come up with good products.

Use another browser

There are so many other browsers you can choose from. For example, there are Chrome and Firefox. But of course, they have their own limitations. They might throw you an error from time to time. For example, “A webpage is slowing down your browser” error on Firefox and “Connection not Private” error on Chrome.

Of course, it’s possible to come out of this mess. But why land in it in the first place? Use a browser that doesn’t save any unnecessary files. Browsers like Kingpin don’t save website cache or cookies. In fact, it doesn’t even save your browsing history so your computer stays safe from malware, viruses, and spyware.

Does Apple call you to alert you about the suspicious activity?

No, Apple does not call you to alert you about any suspicious activity on your computer. As a matter of fact, even Google or Mozilla won’t call you to let you know you’ve opened a suspicious page. If you’ve received a call from someone saying you’ve opened the wrong page, it’s a fraud. Do not answer it. Also, do not call back if you’ve missed the call by mistake. 

Also, make sure to set up TFA (Two Factor Authentication) on your Apple account. This will make it even more difficult to hack.

Don’t despair

All software programs have limitations. Even your browsers. So whether you’re on Safari, Chrome, or Firefox, you may face a different popup that can annoy you or slow down your work. There are always some ways to fix the issue and to solve the problem. And if your browser is giving regular issues, just change it and move to a more secure browser! Easy peasy.

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