As anyone who has considered buying an iPhone will know, Apple’s flagship smartphones are not inexpensive. This makes protecting them from any kind of threat even more pressing. But, can iPhones get viruses?
iOS is Very Safe
The iOS operating system keeps apps running in their own restricted area, granting them less means of communicating with other apps. Other mobile operating systems, such as Android, give apps more freedom to communicate and share data with each other.
Apple’s “Walled Garden”
Apple has what is called a “walled garden” approach to app submissions. Apple’s iOS platform runs as a closed ecosystem and only apps that are thoroughly checked by Apple can make it onto the App Store. So, a malware creator is far less able to get their software onto users’ iPhones than if they were to use other, less restrictive app marketplaces.
The benefit of this is a lower threat of downloading viruses and malware, even if it has meant less available app choices for iPhone users.
However, in the future as iPhone market conditions change, Apple may loosen these restrictions which could lead to more apps and services available to its users.
Apple Protects Its Brand
Apple is extra diligent in protecting the App Store from any kind of malicious apps for another reason as well. If a piece of malware does get through and onto the App Store, Apple faces severe public backlash due to their high brand reputation.
JailBroken Means More Virus Risk
Jailbroken iPhones are more at risk of being infected with viruses and worms than normal ones. So, consider this fact before deciding to jailbreak your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
iPhone Viruses Do Exist
Like all digital technologies connected to the internet, iPhones are at risk for virus and malware infections, even if the chances of this happening are smaller than those that run on Android.
In 2015 for example, hackers were able to get malware onto apps for submission into Apple’s app store. They did this by modifying Apple’s Xcode development tool, which Chinese developers unknowingly began using.
This clever tactic allowed their malware to sneak past Apple’s security checklist, exposing owners of iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch to this threat.
Due to the “walled-garden” that Apple has created surrounding the iOS platform, viruses should not be a huge worry for iPhone owners. Even so, like all internet connected devices, the risk of this happening is not zero.
How to Stop iPhone Viruses
Some precautions can be taken to mitigate the risk of virus infection. Make sure to keep your iPhone software up to date, have strong passwords, and change them regularly.
iPhone Antivirus Software
Although few in quantity, antivirus programs do exist for iPhones. Most security apps only focus on other issues, such as lost devices, data backup, privacy protection, and making your web browsing secure. The reason for this, is iPhones are not at a high enough risk of virus infections to warrant security software companies making many products to protect them.
iPhones are valuable possessions because they cost more than the average smartphone. Protecting them from malware and viruses is thus very important for their owners. However, it is much rarer to have a virus infect an iPhone than a phone that runs Android, and this befits their higher price.