In this brief tutorial, we'll show you how to avoid unwanted cryptocurrency mining (also known as cryptojacking) on your Mac.
We'll cover how to tell if mining is happening in the background, and what you can do to stop it.
Did you know that Mac apps, and even Web sites, can secretly mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Monero, and a host of others--in the background, and without your consent?
Surreptitious mining can have some unwanted side effects for your Mac or other device, such as:
• excessive heat
• battery drain
• fan noise
• high CPU usage
If you use a Mac, it's fairly easy to tell whether a particular app is causing a drain on your system, by using an included utility called Activity Monitor.
The easiest way to find Activity Monitor is to do a Spotlight search for it.
Once you've opened the app, you can click-and-hold on the app's icon in the Dock to see Options you may want to use such as Keep in Dock and Open at Login. You can also go to the Dock Icon menu and choose Show CPU History.
Next, let's set up a couple of other features. Click on the View menu, select Update frequency as desired; I prefer to have it update every second. By default, Activity Monitor only shows you your own processes, but in some cases you may wish to select "All Processes" or "All Processes, Hierarchically" to identify the source of high CPU usage.
You can close Activity Monitor's main window and leave it running in the background to continuously monitor your Mac's CPU usage.
Now that you've seen the basics, let's see what happens when we launch an app from the Mac App Store that briefly included some undesirable cryptocurrency mining. Don't try this at home!
As you can see, the CPU utilization increases significantly. When you encounter a suspected mining process, you can try forcing the process to quit, or you may need to quit the parent process, or in some cases you may need to run anti-virus software to remove a very persistent miner.
It's also possible for Web sites to run cryptocurrency miners in the background. If you notice your CPU spiking, close any tabs or windows you've opened recently until you find the culprit.
Also, don't be alarmed about every app that happens to use your CPU! Certain legitimate apps truly need to use a lot of processing power to get jobs done, including video or audio encoding software like Handbrake, iMovie, and iTunes.
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Calendar 2 App - "Unwanted Cryptomining Debuts (Briefly) in Mac App Store":
How to Use Activity Monitor to Troubleshoot Problems on a Mac:
(Audio Podcast) Should You Be Worried about Bitcoin?
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Music - "Always" by Synx
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Image of multiple cryptocurrencies by Jae Rue aka designwebjae
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Note that this tutorial should be applicable to many common crypto-currency varieties, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), BitcoinCash (BCH), Cardano (ADA), Stellar (XLM), NEO (NEO), Litecoin (LTC), EOS (EOS), NEM (XEM), OmiseGO (OMG), Monero (XMR), IOTA (MIOTA), Dogecoin (DOGE), etc.