Although it is technically possible that the iPhone (both iPod touch and iPad, since they all work under the same operating system) might be infected with viruses, the likelihood of this is very small. Only a few viruses were developed for the iPhone, and many of them were made by security experts for research goals and were not published on the Internet.
Why iPhone Doesn’t Get Viruses?
Viruses are programs designed to perform malicious actions – for example, to steal your data or hijack your computer – and spread them to other computers. For achieving its goal, the virus must be set on your phone, be able to run, as well as cooperate with the other programs to obtain their data or manage them.
The functionality of the iOS operating system does not allow applications to do such things. Apple-designed iOS so that each application runs in its own, limited “space.” Although iOS apps can communicate with each other, these options are limited. By limiting how applications cooperate with each other and with the operating system itself, Apple has lessened the risk of viruses on the iPhone.
The risk is further reduced depending on how users receive applications. In general, you can only set up approved applications from the App Store, which means viruses cannot install themselves. Besides, Apple evaluates each application in detail before it is available on the App Store to ensure that it is virus-free, among the other things. With a range of levels of security, this is quite a safe system.
What Increases the Risk of Getting Your iPhone Infected With a Virus?
The only iPhone viruses that have been noticed “in the wild” (that is, they pose a real threat to iPhone owners) are worms that almost exclusively attack iPhone that has been hacked. So, if you have not cracked your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, you have to be protected from viruses.
To understand how high the risk of getting the iPhone virus is, find out what iphone antivirus software is available on the App Store. It appears that there is not a single one.
All well-known antivirus companies – McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, etc. – have security applications available for the iPhone, but none of them have antivirus tools. Instead, they concentrate on helping you to find lost devices, backing up your data, making browsing safer, and protecting your privacy.
There are simply no anti-virus programs in the App Store (those bearing this name are games or tools for scanning attachments for viruses that still cannot infect iOS). The closest to release was McAfee. This antivirus company developed an internal application back in 2008, but never released it. If the iPhone can get viruses in any serious way, you can ensure that applications will work well.
How to Determine if There Is a Virus on Your iPhone
If your phone works strangely, it is more likely that one of your applications is just improper and needs to be updated or removed.
If your iPhone is hacked, it is possible that you have a virus. In this case, removing the virus can be difficult, but you can do in the following way:
- Remove applications that you suppose might have carried the virus.
- Restore from a backup that you know is not infected.
- Restore the phone to factory settings (but not before backing up the data!).
Viruses are not the only security issues you have to think about. There is theft, loss of your device and digital espionage.