Table of Contents
- Do iPhones Need Virus Protection?
- 3 Main Reasons How iPhones can Get Virus
- 5 Tips for Protecting Your iPhone from Virus Attacks
In the world of modern technologies and gadgets, we often remain wary of viruses and potential threats to our running systems. Given this background, it is natural that iPhone users would also want to install anti-virus software; however, Apple manufactured the iPhone in such a way that it does not require any special applications for protection.
In this article, we will explore how Apple ensures your iPhone will remain protected from viruses and how some iPhones might get affected by malware. We will also give you suggestions about how to prevent such malware from infiltrating your iPhone.
Do iPhones Need Virus Protection?
A virus is basically a type of software that infects a device by installing itself on to it and then replicating itself to spread the infection all over the device’s programs.
Apple has developed a very tight security system against potential viruses for its iOS and it is termed as the “walled garden approach”. The walled garden approach simply put means that third-party apps need to first be approved and scrutinized through the Apple Store; this ensures that the iPhone is protected from any malicious app attempting to take over its system.
Even if an unreliable app is somehow able to somehow make it through the Apple Store’s security check, there is another safety measure incorporated in the iOS that does not allow apps to communicate with each other – this process is termed “sandboxing”. Apps are able to exchange data in a very limited way for general functioning purposes, but never in such a way that an external virus can extract more data than necessary from the system or from other apps.
Moreover, Apple updates its operating system more often compared to Android phones, and so successfully avoids the fragmentation of its iOS on iPhones – this means that iPhone users get to decide when their protection should be updated and that leads to a better security system.
3 Main Reasons How iPhones can Get Virus
After having a look at the in-built security features of the iOS, any user might be convinced that their iPhone is invulnerable, or rather invincible; however, not every device is foolproof. Despite the safety measures taken by Apple, some iPhone users might find their iPhone infected by a virus. Below, we have listed the top three reasons how this could happen:
Apple’s tight security system sometimes leaves iPhone users wanting more freedom to download apps that are restricted by the Apple Store, or even modifying some features on the iOS that were previously restricted; such a want sometimes leads to users opting to jailbreak their iPhone.
Jailbreaking refers to removing the limitations imposed on an iPhone by Apple or the carrier you are using for it. Once you jailbreak an iPhone, you can install apps that aren’t available on the Apple Store. This might seem tempting at first but, once you jailbreak your phone, you won’t have the assurance that Apple or your carrier will help you if something happens to your iPhone. Additionally, once the developers of jailbreaking apps are able to access the core components of the iOS, your iPhone will be left vulnerable and that can even result in a virus attack.
Phishing attacks are attacks designed to extract log-in details from device users. You will see what looks like a legitimate log-in screen and once you enter your details in it, you will have already handed over your sensitive information.
SMiShing is simply phishing attacks that are carried out through mobile text messages. You will receive a text message containing a link to some fraudulent website and, when you click on it, a virus will download itself on to your phone.
Apple ID Thefts
Viruses can even steal Apple IDs in bulk: all together and at once; this may happen when users use the same password as their Apple ID on other online services. Once a virus hacks another online service such as Yahoo or LinkedIn, it can easily use your password (if it is the same as your Apple password) to gain access to your Apple account as well. This means that it can lock you out of your own device and this is something that has happened in the past, with virus creators asking for ransom in exchange for a stolen Apple ID or using stolen IDs to drive up phoney app ratings on the App Store.
5 Tips for Protecting Your iPhone from Virus Attacks
Now that we have established that, despite Apple’s tight security measures, your iPhone can still fall prey to viruses, we will offer some suggestions as to how you can avoid and prevent such virus attacks:
Do Not Jailbreak
As we stated earlier, the high level security steps taken by Apple can sometimes lead to a constriction of variety for iPhone users – this results in them wanting to jailbreak their phone and be able to install any app or customize some features on their iPhone that are not accessible without jailbreak. However, as we explained, jailbreaking comes with a huge cost: of lower security for your iOS. Moreover, if your iPhone does get affected by a virus, chances are that Apple will not be able to help you out as the device’s warranty becomes void once you go through with jailbreaking.
Keep Your iOS Updated
Apple constantly keeps updating its iOS to patch up any security lapses and thus prevents the fragmentation of its operating system. In 2017, WikiLeaks revealed that the CIA is able to break into Apple’s iOS, but that was met with a quick response from Apple: they maintained that whatever weaknesses or vulnerabilities are discovered by outsiders in the iOS, Apple’s team is also working in real time to ensure all such gaps are patched up; this is why Apple regularly introduces more updates.
Although updates might seem cumbersome and inconvenient as they create changes in your interface, they will seem like a small cost when you compare them to the benefit of having a secure system in place.
How to install these updates? You just need to make sure that you have the Automatic Updates option enabled in your settings. You can find this option under Software Update in the General section.
Guard Your Privacy
It is essential to protect your private log-in details to avoid any potential virus attacks. There are many good security iPhone apps available, and they largely focus on privacy because Apple’s security system does not leave any room for anti-virus software.
If you feel like you need to, you could install one of these apps on your phone. Even Apple has a built-in feature in Safari that warns against possible sham websites. The main points to remember are: avoid clicking on links in emails or messages and avoid giving your log-in details to third parties you do not trust.
Keep Your Password Safe
As discussed earlier in this article, your iPhone’s password can become a gateway for a virus to enter your iOS and infect it. One major reason of how this can happen is through the same passwords being used across multiple platforms. If one online service is compromised, it will affect your Apple account too. The best approach in this case is to keep your password safe, not just for your Apple account but for all online services.
Be Wary of App Permissions
As Apple has kept its security settings and checks in App Store very firm, you do not need to be extra cautious about any apps you want to install, given that you do it from the Apple Store. That being said, each app always asks extra permission from you before accessing your data, camera, etc. Make sure that you trust the app before you grant it this crucial permission. A key indicator to look out for is a long list of permissions, which some users tend to ignore and quickly overlook. Read it all and only click on Allow if the app doesn’t seem suspicious.
While there is a general opinion that Apple devices are not susceptible to virus attacks, this does not mean that your iPhone can not be attacked by a virus. Once you look at all the possibilities mentioned in this article, you will realize that iPhone users can easily and strongly rely on Apple to keep them protected from viruses.
Apple’s security features, such as sandboxing, walled garden approach, and regular iOS updates are sufficient enough to let their customers depend on them for virus protection; hence, you won’t need to install a third party anti-virus application.
However, even iPhones can fall prey to viruses in certain cases mentioned above. In order to prevent your iPhone from such an issue, you just need to take the simple measures we outlined such as password protection, timely iOS updates, not opting for jailbreaking, safeguarding your privacy, and only allowing apps permissions that are needed. We are confident that this article will help keep your phone safe from any sort of malware.