What is ProductTask
ProductTask is an app for Mac computers. You’ll see it advertised as a useful program to have, but in reality it is malicious software, designed to monitor your online activity, collect private data and flood your screen with numerous aggressive advertisements, some of which may lead to dangerous third-party websites. And, to make the sponsored content attractive, the parasite will steal web data like GPS coordinates, web history, search queries, etc. to produce specifically targeted ads that you’ll be most likely to click on. This bogus software is programmed to create revenue for its creators via the pay-per-click scheme. That being said, you don’t want this application on your device. We highly recommend removing it from the system, along with every little file it has left behind it.
How it is distributed
ProductTask is categorized by malware researchers as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). Chances are, you don’t remember eve installing in on your PC. This means that it was able to spread via a fake update message or freeware. Typically, when you download and install software from the internet, you’ll see additional programs in the installer. More often than not, such optional installations turn out to be malware in disguise, which is why opting out of such content is the smart thing to do. In order to do that, you should always choose the Custom or Advanced option in the Setup Wizard, This will give you full control over the process. Read carefully every step of the installation, and when you see additional software suggested by the installer, always uncheck the boxes next to them, so they don’t get installed on your Mac by default.
How it operates
Shortly after it gets installed, ProductTask will modify your browser settings, so it can produce a large quantity of ads without any difficulty. Even an ad blocker will not be able to stop it. Once it has control over your browser, it will not only flood it with various types of ads, but it may also open new tabs which lead to shady websites. The displayed ads are not dangerous themselves, but if you decide to click on them, there is no way of knowing if you’ll be led to a safe page or not. Which is why it’s best to steer clear of any sponsored content displayed by the parasite. The more time you waste and allow this PUA to stay on your Mac unattended, the worse it will get for your browser, and OS in the long run. Your internet speed will decrease, and the infected web browsers will start crashing and freezing, making you unable to do any kind of work on them. What’s more, among the stolen data may be sensitive information like passwords, bank account credentials and credit card numbers. So, the sooner you erase all trace of this nasty PUA, the better!
Staying safe from ProductTask
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 ProductTask from Mac
If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the ProductTask 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 ProductTask. 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 ProductTask 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.