How to eliminate the adware that’s plaguing your Mac

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Don't get caught like this.
Don't get caught like this.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

In addition to various viruses that can harm your Mac, there’s a different kind of annoyance you might have stumbled upon: adware.

This might manifest itself as a web page that tells you you’ve been infected, with an accompanying phone number to call or malicious website to visit, or it might even show up as an ostensibly helpful Mac app you don’t remember installing.

If you’re experiencing the pain of malicious adware, we’re here to help. Here’s how to eliminate the adware that’s plaguing your Mac.

Google cracks down on shady, fake download buttons

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You'll probably see more of this screen until things get fixed.
You'll probably see more of this screen until things get fixed.
Photo: Google

If you use Google’s Chrome web browser, you’re now even safer from sneaky advertisers that try to get you to download their crummy software with fake download buttons.

Chances are you’ve seen these around, even on some large sites like Sourceforge and CNET, and might have clicked on one or two by accident, as intended.

Google’s new addition to its Safe Browsing initiative will block sites that have these deceptive download buttons on them.

This one weird website will cause your smartphone to crash

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this-one-weird-website-will-cause-your-smartphone-to-crash-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201504iPhone-6-Plus-vs-Note-4-jpg
Smartphone owners are, presumably, furious.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Watch out for people sending you links to the website CrashSafari dot com, which is causing smartphones and PCs around the world to crash by overloading their browsers with a self-generating address bar text string that causes devices to stop responding.

Although the name refers to Apple’s default browser for Mac and iOS devices, the website also causes Android devices running Chrome to slow down and, in some cases, to actually heat up.

Google Hangouts’ slick update is all about the browser

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google-hangouts-slick-update-is-all-about-the-browser-2-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201508startPageLaunch-jpg

Google’s chat and video messaging service, Hangouts, got a whole new standalone web app on Monday afternoon.

“We are launching another way to use Hangouts today,” writes Google’s Jordanna Chord on Google Plus. “From our new site you’ll be able to take advantage of the best of Hangouts in the browser, along with an inspiring image to get you through the day.”

Now you’ll be able to keep in touch with all your Hangouts-using buddies in any web broswer, including Safari, without having to run Gmail or Google Plus (or the Chrome app).

Why you’re stupid if you don’t use Safari on your MacBook

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The results are in: you're stupid if you don't switch to Safari on your MacBook.
The results are in: you're stupid if you don't switch to Safari on your MacBook.
Photo: BatteryBox

We’ve seen before that changing from Chrome to Safari can make a big difference on your Mac’s battery life.

But if you haven’t switched from Chrome or Firefox to Safari yet, this fact might change your mind: If you’re a MacBook user, you’re losing an average of one hour of total battery life by using anything but Safari.