Previous 1 2 Next 29 Replies Latest reply: May 5, 2014 7:10 PM by John Galt
BWestin Level 1 Level 1

I´ve been struggling with false links which have been impossible to get rid off. They are called "Nav-Links" and appear under random words as a coloured double underline. When you move your mouse over a pop-up window appear which link you to commersial sites. The only way I could find to stop this was to follow the link and then choose to temporary block it. But I wanted to delete this unwanted add-on completely. I´ve searched around the Internet without find any solution. At the same time I´ve experienced problems with pop-up windows often from these unserious poker-sites like Bet 365 and so on. Deleting cookies and Ad-block didn´t helped much. Safari had also become slow and freezed. The only way to get the computer to work again was to hold the start buttom down to and force it to shut down.


After weeks of troubles I finally decided to format the HD and start all over again with installing programs. The first thing I did was to install Sophos free anti-virus, enable the firewall, installing adblock and look over security settings in Safari. Now I have used the computer for a week and it works well again and so far no unwanted ads (virus?).


I thing that it´s about time Apple delivers a free virus protection like Windows have (windows defender) which work well. Sophos seems to do a good job. For exampel it tells you if a website are malicios. Apple should also have to get better in writing about problems like these.



Macbook Pro 13" 2,5 GHZ 2012

IMac 24" 2,8 GHZ 2008

HP Laptop Intel 2,5 GHz 2013 (Windows 8)

  • RáNdÓm GéÉzÁ Level 2 Level 2

    Personally, I would stay away from any Virus Checkers. Ultimately, you may find that it is these that are creating/adding to your issues. Viruses for Mac/Apple/OS X are rarer than hen's teeth and sensible practices whilst on line are enough to protect you against any infections.


    Apple already provide protection in the form of GateKeeper and certain user influenced Security options.


    However, it is personal choice and you will do as you see fit.

  • BWestin Level 1 Level 1

    I don´t think gatekeeper is a solution. For several years I´ve used programs which need gatekeeper to be turned off.  Security settings like "don´t accept cookies" and so on just limit usage of the computer. But what I want to point at is that virus problems on Mac are descending. And Apple has to accept this problem and provide a better support than it is today.

  • benwiggy Level 4 Level 4

    Nav-links on some websites are something on that website, not a virus. I usually find them on sites that are a bit disreputable.


    As well as GateKeeper, which works well, OS X maintains a list of known malware, which it will not run (or advise you about before you try to run it).

    You can turn GateKeeper on and still launch programs that are not signed.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7
    Mac OS X

    Apple already has several different anti-malware solutions in place, built into Mac OS X, not just Gatekeeper. See my Mac Malware Guide, specifically the page titled How does Mac OS X protect me?.


    Note that, from the sounds of it, you installed adware on your computer. You need to understand that most anti-virus software out there does not currently detect most of the known adware in any way. Some anti-virus software detects some adware, but I've seen plenty of people who were "infected" with adware despite having anti-virus software installed.


    Anti-virus software can play a role in defense of your system, but it's not a particularly vital one on the Mac, and you have to keep in mind that there is no anti-virus software on the planet that is even close to perfect.


    (Fair disclosure: The Safe Mac is my site, and contains a Donate button, so I may receive compensation for providing links to The Safe Mac. Donations are not required.)

  • BWestin Level 1 Level 1

    You don´t seem to have experienced the Nav-Links problem. These "links" started to appear on every webpage. And after reading about several others with the same problem I think that Apple could respond with how to resolve the problems. And as I said in my first discussion I finally erased the disk.


    (Apple owner since 1990)

  • martin_lfc Level 1 Level 1



    i am now experiencing the exact same problem as you described in your original post, i use both safari and google chrome and both have become unusable because of these 'nav-link'.


    i was thinking of going into an apple store to find out what was wrong but you have described it down to a tee


    could you tell me exactly what you did to fix this problem because i originally thought that this was a virus



  • BWestin Level 1 Level 1

    Since I had the problem on my MacBook Pro 2012 and decided to start all over again by formatting the disk I just started the computer while holding cmd + R simultaneously. Then I first erased the disk with the disk utility and the just followed the Mavericks installer instructions. I of cause saved my files to an external disk first. After the installation was complete I enabled the firewall, installed Sophos antivirus, installed Ad-block and further on all my applications. I have also made sure that all apps are up to date. Since I experienced some irritating delays from programs who wants to sync to different clouds all the time I now have stopped some of them. I used to have Dropbox, Box, Blotter on startup but now I just have dropbox which I start manually.


    But the computer seems to be in good shape again. And I say it again, Apple needs to get in the front with a better support in virus matters./ Birger

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7
    Mac OS X

    i am now experiencing the exact same problem as you described in your original post, i use both safari and google chrome and both have become unusable because of these 'nav-link'.


    You probably have adware installed. See my Adware Removal Guide.


    Note that you do not need to erase the hard drive over this, and installing AdBlock will not help. At most, AdBlock will cover up the symptoms of an adware infection while leaving the adware active on your system. At worst, it will do nothing at all. Also note that the firewall will do absolutely nothing to protect you against adware or malware. See Do I need a firewall?.


    (Fair disclosure: The Safe Mac is my site, and contains a Donate button, so I may receive compensation for providing links to The Safe Mac. Donations are not required.)

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10
    1. This is a comment on what you should and should not do to protect yourself from malicious software ("malware") that circulates on the Internet. It does not apply to software, such as keystroke loggers, that may be installed deliberately by an intruder who has hands-on access to your computer, or who has been able to log in to it remotely. That threat is in a different category, and there's no easy way to defend against it. If you have reason to suspect that you're the target of such an attack, you need expert help.
    If you find this comment too long or too technical, read only sections 5, 6, and 10.
    OS X now implements three layers of built-in protection specifically against malware, not counting runtime protections such as execute disable, sandboxing, system library randomization, and address space layout randomization that may also guard against other kinds of exploits.

    2. All versions of OS X since 10.6.7 have been able to detect known Mac malware in downloaded files, and to block insecure web plugins. This feature is transparent to the user. Internally Apple calls it "XProtect."
    The malware recognition database used by XProtect is automatically updated; however, you shouldn't rely on it, because the attackers are always at least a day ahead of the defenders.
    The following caveats apply to XProtect:
    • It can be bypassed by some third-party networking software, such as BitTorrent clients and Java applets.
    • It only applies to software downloaded from the network. Software installed from a CD or other media is not checked.
    As new versions of OS X are released, it's not clear whether Apple will indefinitely continue to maintain the XProtect database of older versions such as 10.6. The security of obsolete system versions may eventually be degraded. Security updates to the code of obsolete systems will stop being released at some point, and that may leave them open to other kinds of attack besides malware.
    3. Starting with OS X 10.7.5, there has been a second layer of built-in malware protection, designated "Gatekeeper" by Apple. By default, applications and Installer packages downloaded from the network will only run if they're digitally signed by a developer with a certificate issued by Apple. Software certified in this way hasn't necessarily been tested by Apple, but you can be reasonably sure that it hasn't been modified by anyone other than the developer. His identity is known to Apple, so he could be held legally responsible if he distributed malware. That may not mean much if the developer lives in a country with a weak legal system (see below.)
    Gatekeeper doesn't depend on a database of known malware. It has, however, the same limitations as XProtect, and in addition the following:
    • It can easily be disabled or overridden by the user.
    • A malware attacker could get control of a code-signing certificate under false pretenses, or could simply ignore the consequences of distributing codesigned malware.
    • An App Store developer could find a way to bypass Apple's oversight, or the oversight could fail due to human error.
    Apple has so far failed to revoke the codesigning certificates of some known abusers, thereby diluting the value of Gatekeeper and the Developer ID program. These failures don't involve App Store products, however.
    For the reasons given, App Store products, and—to a lesser extent—other applications recognized by Gatekeeper as signed, are safer than others, but they can't be considered absolutely safe. "Sandboxed" applications may prompt for access to private data, such as your contacts, or for access to the network. Think before granting that access. Sandbox security is based on user input. Never click through any request for authorization without thinking.
    4. Starting with OS X 10.8.3, a third layer of protection has been added: a "Malware Removal Tool" (MRT). MRT runs automatically in the background when you update the OS. It checks for, and removes, malware that may have evaded the other protections via a Java exploit (see below.) MRT also runs when you install or update the Apple-supplied Java runtime (but not the Oracle runtime.) Like XProtect, MRT is effective against known threats, but not against unknown ones. It notifies you if it finds malware, but otherwise there's no user interface to MRT.
    5. The built-in security features of OS X reduce the risk of malware attack, but they are not, and never will be, complete protection. Malware is foremost a human problem, not a computer problem, and you can't over-rely on technology to defend against it. The best defense is always going to be your own intelligence. With the possible exception of Java exploits, all known malware circulating on the Internet that affects a fully-updated installation of OS X 10.6 or later takes the form of so-called "Trojan horses," which can only have an effect if the victim is duped into running them. The threat therefore amounts to a battle of wits between you and the scam artists. If you're smarter than they think you are, you'll win. That means, in practice, that you always stay within a safe harbor of computing practices. How do you know when you're leaving the safe harbor? Below are some warning signs of danger.
    Software from an untrustworthy source
    • Software of any kind is distributed via BitTorrent. or Usenet, or on a website that also distributes pirated music or movies.
    • Software with a corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash Player, doesn't come directly from the developer’s website. Do not trust an alert from any website to update Flash, your browser, or anything else.
    • Rogue websites such as Softonic and CNET Download distribute free applications that have been packaged in a superfluous "installer."
    • The software is advertised by means of spam or intrusive web ads. Any ad, on any site, that includes a direct link to a download should be ignored.
    Software that is plainly illegal or does something illegal
    • High-priced commercial software such as Photoshop is "cracked" or "free."
    • An application helps you to infringe copyright, for instance by circumventing the copy protection on commercial software, or saving streamed media for reuse without permission.
    Conditional or unsolicited offers from strangers
    • A telephone caller or a web page tells you that you have a “virus” and offers to help you remove it. (Some reputable websites did legitimately warn visitors who were infected with the "DNSChanger" malware. That exception to this rule no longer applies.)
    • A web site offers free content such as video or music, but to use it you must install a “codec,” “plug-in,” "player," "downloader," "extractor," or “certificate” that comes from that same site, or an unknown one.
    • You win a prize in a contest you never entered.
    • Someone on a message board such as this one is eager to help you, but only if you download an application of his choosing.
    • A "FREE WI-FI !!!" network advertises itself in a public place such as an airport, but is not provided by the management.
    • Anything online that you would expect to pay for is "free."
    Unexpected events
    • You open what you think is a document and get an alert that it's "an application downloaded from the Internet." Click Cancel and delete the file. Even if you don't get the alert, you should still delete any file that isn't what you expected it to be.
    • An application does something you don't expect, such as asking for permission to access your contacts, your location, or the Internet for no obvious reason.
    • Software is attached to email that you didn't request, even if it comes (or seems to come) from someone you trust.
    I don't say that leaving the safe harbor just once will necessarily result in disaster, but making a habit of it will weaken your defenses against malware attack. Any of the above scenarios should, at the very least, make you uncomfortable.
    6. Java on the Web (not to be confused with JavaScript, to which it's not related, despite the similarity of the names) is a weak point in the security of any system. Java is, among other things, a platform for running complex applications in a web page, on the client. That was always a bad idea, and Java's developers have proven themselves incapable of implementing it without also creating a portal for malware to enter. Past Java exploits are the closest thing there has ever been to a Windows-style virus affecting OS X. Merely loading a page with malicious Java content could be harmful.
    Fortunately, client-side Java on the Web is obsolete and mostly extinct. Only a few outmoded sites still use it. Try to hasten the process of extinction by avoiding those sites, if you have a choice. Forget about playing games or other non-essential uses of Java.
    Java is not included in OS X 10.7 and later. Discrete Java installers are distributed by Apple and by Oracle (the developer of Java.) Don't use either one unless you need it. Most people don't. If Java is installed, disable itnot JavaScript—in your browsers.
    Regardless of version, experience has shown that Java on the Web can't be trusted. If you must use a Java applet for a task on a specific site, enable Java only for that site in Safari. Never enable Java for a public website that carries third-party advertising. Use it only on well-known, login-protected, secure websites without ads. In Safari 6 or later, you'll see a lock icon in the address bar with the abbreviation "https" when visiting a secure site.

    Stay within the safe harbor, and you’ll be as safe from malware as you can practically be. The rest of this comment concerns what you should not do to protect yourself.

    7. Never install any commercial "anti-virus" or "Internet security" products for the Mac, as they all do more harm than good, if they do any good at all. If you need to be able to detect Windows malware in your files, use one of the free security apps in the Mac App Store—nothing else.
    Why shouldn't you use commercial "anti-virus" products?
    • To recognize malware, the software depends on a database of known threats, which is always at least a day out of date. Research has shown that most successful attacks are "zero-day"—that is, previously unknown. Recognition-based malware scanners do not defend against such attacks.
    • Their design is predicated on the nonexistent threat that malware may be injected at any time, anywhere in the file system. Malware is downloaded from the network; it doesn't materialize from nowhere.
    • In order to meet that nonexistent threat, the software modifies or duplicates low-level functions of the operating system, which is a waste of resources and a common cause of instability, bugs, and poor performance.
    • By modifying the operating system, the software itself may create weaknesses that could be exploited by malware attackers.
    • Most importantly, a false sense of security makes you more vulnerable.
    8. An anti-malware product from the App Store, such as "ClamXav," has the same drawback as the commercial suites of being always out of date, but it does not inject code into the operating system. That doesn't mean it's entirely harmless. It may report email messages that have "phishing" links in the body, or Windows malware in attachments, as infected files, and offer to delete or move them. Doing so will corrupt the Mail database. The messages should be deleted from within the Mail application.
    An anti-virus app is not needed, and cannot be relied upon, for protection against OS X malware. It's useful only for detecting Windows malware, and even for that use it's not really effective, because new Windows malware is emerging much faster than OS X malware. Windows malware can't harm you directly (unless, of course, you use Windows.) Just don't pass it on to anyone else.
    A Windows malware attachment in email is usually easy to recognize by the file name alone. An actual example:
    London Terror Moovie.avi [124 spaces] Checked By Norton Antivirus.exe
    You don't need any software to tell you that's a Windows trojan. Software may be able to tell you which trojan it is, but who cares? In practice, there's seldom a reason to use recognition software unless an institutional policy requires it. Windows malware is so widespread that you should assume it's in every unknown email attachment until proven otherwise. Nevertheless, ClamXav or a similar product from the App Store may be useful if an ill-informed network administrator says you must run some kind of "anti-virus" application.
    The ClamXav developer won't try to "upsell" you to a paid version of the product. Other developers may do that. Don't be upsold. For one thing, you should not pay to protect Windows users from the consequences of their choice of computing platform. For another, a paid upgrade from a free app will probably have all the disadvantages mentioned in section 7.
    9. It seems to be a common belief that the built-in Application Firewall acts as a barrier to infection, or prevents malware from functioning. It does neither. It blocks inbound connections to certain network services you're running, such as file sharing. It's disabled by default and you should leave it that way if you're behind a router on a private home or office network. Activate it only when you're on an untrusted network, for instance a public Wi-Fi hotspot, where you don't want to provide services. Disable any services you don't use in the Sharing preference pane. All are disabled by default.
    10. As a Mac user you don't have to live in fear that your computer may be infected every time you install software, read email, or visit a web page. But neither should you assume that you will always be safe from exploitation, no matter what you do. The greatest harm done by security software is precisely its selling point: it makes people feel safe. They may then feel safe enough to take risks from which the software doesn't protect them. "Hmmmm, this torrent is a crack of that new game I want. I think I'll download it. It could be a trojan, but the antivirus will warn me if it is." Then they wonder why their Mac is so slow all of a sudden. It's slow because it's running flat out mining Bitcoins for a hacker who has already sold their credit card number and banking passwords to a criminal gang. Maybe a week later the antivirus does warn them, but what good does that do?
    Nothing can lessen the need for safe computing practices.
  • MadMacs0 Level 5 Level 5

    BWestin wrote:


    For several years I´ve used programs which need gatekeeper to be turned off.

    There are no valid programs that need gatekeeper to be turned off. Any program can be opened by either a right-click / control-click and chose "Open" or by a one-time override in the GateKeeper prefs pane unless it's damaged or contains a bogus / revoked code sign. There is no necessity for ever setting GateKeeper to "Anything".

  • chattphotos Level 4 Level 4

    Not a virus, just really annoying...


    Install Adblock plus in Chrome or Firefox (still in beta for Safari)


    All web nusiances/hover links you're seeing will disappear!

  • benwiggy Level 4 Level 4

    Linc Davis wrote:


    Conditional or unsolicited offers from strangers
    • Someone on a message board such as this one is eager to help you, but only if you download an application of his choosing.

    Except for EtreCheck, obviously....!

  • MadMacs0 Level 5 Level 5

    benwiggy wrote:

    Except for EtreCheck, obviously....!

    You obviously haven't been following "discussions" between EtreSoft and Linc on that subject.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7
    Mac OS X

    Install Adblock plus in Chrome or Firefox (still in beta for Safari)


    As I said earlier, using an ad blocker will be more harmful than helpful if there's adware installed. At best, it covers up the symptoms while leaving the adware still active. At worst, it does nothing at all.

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