Table of Contents
- Can An Iphone Get a Virus From Safari?
- Is My Iphone Infected With A Virus? Here are the 5 Signs:
- Warning Virus Detected Iphone Safari…Oh No! What to Do Now?
- How To Get A Virus Off Your Iphone – 5 Steps to Follow:
- Steps to Prevent from Happening Again
- Final Thoughts
When talking about operating systems safety, you will most likely hear experts weighing towards Android than iOS. There are good reasons for it: iOS operates fewer handsets than Android ones combined, Apple does not share its source code to app developers, and Apple does not let its users edit and change the code of their iPhones, unlike Android. This, of course, shields iPhone users from potential malware and virus attacks through apps and browsers.
However, this is not the entire picture.
Many security agencies recently pointed out that the curve for iOS virus problem reports has increased over the period of 2011-2020. The rate almost tripled in the last quarter of 2016, leading up to the start of 2017. This information only fuels the fire Google’s Project Zero blog post started in late 2019. They claimed that there were several deep security flaws existing in Apple’s Safari mobile browser code that enabled hackers to hijack an iPhone if the user has visited the webpage.
Can An Iphone Get a Virus From Safari?
This is a valid question that many iOS users are asking. Not only Safari browser code flaw affects users having iOS 10, but they can also affect iOS 12 and even iOS 13 users. The hackers targeted personal data, including photographs and live location of the users in real-time.
In addition to that, some other direct messaging apps were also made vulnerable from access by a third party. The hack was disguised as an ad pop-up from a genuine source with information on the user’s iOS version of the phone and location, making it seem legitimate. Those affected are ones who clicked on those ads, and the virus thus entered their system.
Data breaches like these cause online phishing, blackmail, and huge sales on the Dark Web for miscreants to buy. On top of all this, the hackers can make your handset useless once they scoop out all the data, leaving the device riddled with viruses and Trojans.
So, can your phone get bugged via your mobile browsing tool? The answer is: generally, no, but there is a small portion of iOS users who do get affected everywhere. For all those users, is there a glimmer of hope? Thankfully, yes. Your iPhone and iPads are mostly safe from this malicious data breach violations if your phone is not jailbroken, experts from Apple weigh in.
Or that you have encountered a suspicious pop-up in Safari, and avoided it altogether. In these cases, your phone is safe from viruses, adware, spyware, and malware. Period. You do not need to have other programs or apps installed on your iPhone for alleged “advance protection.” Apple’s excessive efforts to keep iOS safe should be protective enough.
Is My Iphone Infected With A Virus? Here are the 5 Signs:
Safari-based viruses are not as harmful as viruses installed from an unknown app store (i.e., jailbreaking). Following are five tell-tale signs of a virus-infected iPhone from Safari:
Adware Pop-Ups in Safari
While maximum pop-ups are harmless and can easily be blocked by any common ad-blocker, malicious adware pop-ups act a little differently. If you are seeing random ads popping up even when the browser is closed, then there is a great chance your device is virus-infected. It can be malware trying to get your personal data off of your phone. Most adware is integrated on questionable websites and browser extensions and appears in camouflage to deflect the user’s attention.
Unannounced Safari Crashes
If you have suddenly started experiencing Safari closures during internet browsing, you might be dealing with a virus. It is totally acceptable for apps and browsers to crash from time to time, but if you notice a sudden and unexplained increase in the frequency of app crashes, you might need to dig deeper to uncover the problem.
Unfamiliar Downloads, Bookmarks in Safari or Installed Apps
If your iPhone is getting random pop-ups, app crashes, and for some reason, you still do not believe your phone is infected, this sign should convince you. Although fake app malware is more often an Android domain problem, iOS is not totally immune to this pandemic.
Check your app drawers to see if there is a questionable app that you do not remember downloading. This is a greater likelihood if the source of installing is fishy, or you clicked on an ad that took you to the app. Also, look for unfamiliar bookmarks in Safari. Check the Downloads section to spot any unidentified downloaded program or file that cannot be opened. These are all signs that your iPhone is bugged.
Fast Battery Drain
Battery drains are very common, and generally do not stick as virus identifiers alone, you need to take this sign with a grain of salt. Malware and spyware have this tendency to run in the background processes. Your Battery section is your guide to uncovering the problem. Look for the unidentified program/app that is taking up a large chunk of battery juice without you using them. Sudden battery dips, even with minimum or no use, might mean a data breach effort.
With excessive battery drain, overheating is a directly proportional side-effect. If you start noticing overheating on its own, your phone might be having other issues. However, if you notice all these signs along with overheating, then it is definitely a virus or malware attack. In such an eventuality, there is no need to panic. There are many fixes for this issue.
Warning Virus Detected Iphone Safari…Oh No! What to Do Now?
Viruses that affect an iPhone from the Safari browser are generally categorized as browser redirect viruses or potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). These PUAs are most commonly hidden beneath ad pop-ups. Pop-up ads like “Virus detected in your iPhone’s Safari browser” commonly spring out of nowhere when you visit certain sites on your Safari browser. Then there are other ads that claim that your phone’s memory is clogged and needs immediate attention.
There is no truth to these gimmicks. Know for a fact that these ads are extremely likely to be nothing but malware spam. Your iPhone does not require a third-party app or program to function optimally. Apple strives for a better and secure iOS experience with each update. Try to keep your phone updated to newer versions at all times. Do not fall for fake ads and scams that are likely to cause damage to you and those around you.
So, by now, you have established that your iPhone is infected. Certain things that you need to be very aware of when such an eventuality occurs are to know where the hackers will target next. Malware has been known to:
- Snoop in and tape personal conversations via iPhone’s microphones
- Collect real-time location of the user
- Lock the user from accessing any files
- Completely overrun your control over the device, e.g., by rooting
- Demand ransom for data or blackmail the user to do the hackers’ bidding
Always remember that in situations like these, try to remain calm and focus on the solutions to the problem.
How To Get A Virus Off Your Iphone – 5 Steps to Follow:
These following steps serve as first-aid for your iPhone recovery. Some have lasting effects. Others might lead you to a better solution. They are:
Restart Your iPhone
As silly as it sounds, this one little trick can solve many malware related problems. If you feel like you accidentally clicked on an ad banner at the top of a site and the pop-ups have started to pour in, restart your iPhone. It works just as effectively as rebooting computers.
Clear Browser History and Data
Now, this is the first damage-limitation move you can do. When you start to see numerous pop-ups, immediately go to Settings on your iPhone. Scroll down to Safari, then hit Clear History and Website Data.
It’s never a wrong deed to constantly and periodically backup your phone data over iCloud storage. Generally, the first remedy is enough to help you get out of malicious adware hack. In case it does not work, try this one provided your last data backup is malware-free. Try earlier dates to restore the phone in case of malware-infected backup data on a recent date. Remember that this step can erase all the data added after the backup date. This includes apps, photos, music, etc.
Visit an Apple Store
Try accessing Apple’s customer help website or try locating a nearby Apple Store. They can help you get rid of the virus.
If restoring to an earlier backup somehow fails to solve the problem, try factory resetting the iPhone. Be cautious with this step as it erases all the data on the phone from scratch. Go for Set up the phone as a new device next to the backup restore option. Do not automatically restore your apps. This step should be taken as a last resort when nothing else works.
Steps to Prevent from Happening Again
After you successfully get rid of the viruses and malware plaguing your iPhone, the logical next step is to prevent this from happening again.
While surfing the internet, try as much as possible to only open links from a trusted source. Try to gain as much information as possible before opening a new or unknown website. Do not try to open pop-up ads unless it’s from a trusted source or absolutely necessary. Most of them are false advertisements for shady ways to get a new model of iPhone. Do not trust these sources. Do not download off of shady websites.
Modify Safari Settings
If you go to Apple’s support website and search for ways to protect your iPhone from Safari viruses, you will see a post about how to block pop-ups. On your device, go to Settings, then Safari, and turn on Block Pop-ups and Fraudulent Website Warning.
Auto-update iOS Updates
Keep the option for auto-update on iOS updates on. Similarly, allow all the security patches as soon as they arrive. These updates carry code patches that strengthen your operating systems from unwarranted third-party influence. This protects your device software, and as a consequence, your data too.
Use End-to-End Encryption
Some messaging apps have this feature built-in, but it is a comforting idea for using end-to-end encryption for all of your private conversations. There are many apps available, trusted by the Apple app store, that can ensure that. Try to use a secure Wi-Fi network for your calls and messages as well to decrease the chances of spyware.
Keep Your iCloud and iTunes Accounts Safe
It is always a good habit to keep updating and changing your account passwords from time to time. In case any malware or virus penetrates the protection around your Apple ID, your personal data is at serious risk of getting leaked and distributed in the black. Try to use complex passwords and passcodes for your device and accounts. Change them every six months or so. Enable two-factor authentication wherever available. This adds an additional protective layer.
With a sophisticated operating system such as iOS, the possibility of getting malware or viruses is very low. This does not mean that it is impossible. The best technique is to practice caution. There are easy steps that are required to eliminate the viruses that try to permeate through the Safari browser. Keep your phone updated to the latest iOS versions.
Check on Safari extensions from time to time to see if there is an unknown one. Notice your device if it starts acting weird all of a sudden. Force shut Safari if you accidentally hit a spam adware button. Do not click on the pop-ups even if they say they are from Apple. If your phone gets bugged, try all the remedial steps listed here as soon as possible. Always ask for help whenever needed.