Can iPhones Get Viruses?

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Apple is notorious for manufacturing some of the most secure devices out there, including the iPhone. The company’s security practices stay ahead of the game so that users rarely have to deal with viruses or other issues that could cause serious problems, like putting your data at risk. Apple’s operating system (iOS) functions as a sandbox, which is a closed ecosystem that automatically prevents viruses from spreading throughout your device.

Viruses are made up of bits of code that can replicate themselves, infiltrating a computer or device and infecting its systems, just like a virus infection that impacts humans and animals. The iPhone is generally very secure from hackers, but that doesn’t mean that iPhone viruses have never occurred. 

Here is your guide to everything you need to know about iPhones, how they get viruses and steps you can take to further protect your device.

How iPhones Get Viruses

Can iPhones get viruses? The answer is yes, though they are rare with all the protective steps Apple takes, as mentioned above. There are a few ways that an iPhone can get a virus, however. Make sure you know how these breaches can happen so you can prevent them. Here are a few common causes:

Illegitimate Apps

One of the best things about owning an iPhone is the integration of simple apps that allow you to do many different tasks while staying mobile. These apps can sometimes put your information at risk, though. Apple has rigorous systems in place to ensure that all apps are legitimate, but sometimes apps can become infected with malware or viruses, or users download apps from other sources. Be diligent about the apps that you download and make sure that you don’t have any apps on your phone that you don’t recognize.

Malware from Websites

Some illegitimate websites could be run by hackers who try to implant malware on a device in an attempt to gather sensitive information. These instances are usually short-lived if they do happen. This doesn’t mean that every time you see a suspicious pop-up on your browser someone is trying to hack you, but just use caution in the websites you visit on iOS. 

A Jailbroken Device

One concept to know is jailbreaking an iPhone. This means that the phone is unlocked to the point that you have obtained privileges to access the root of the operating system, bypassing security restrictions. You are free from the normal software restrictions. Some users jailbreak their device for more control and customization, but it could quickly put you at risk for additional malicious activity.

Remember that even these vulnerabilities are rarely exploited on iPhones because they’re very locked down. However, security breaches have been known to happen, and you never want your device or personal information to be at risk. 

8 Ways to Prevent or Deal with a Virus

Someone looking at their phone while a virus alert comes up

There are simple things you can do to reduce the likelihood of a virus infecting your iPhone. You can also take additional steps if your phone is acting buggy and you think you might have a virus. It just takes a little due diligence and smart behavior on your part. Start with these eight steps:

1. Don’t Jailbreak Your iPhone

It may sound appealing to have more control over your iOS, whether you want to install an extension or use an app that’s not authorized by Apple. You should avoid jailbreaking it to protect yourself from viruses or other malicious activities since jailbroken iPhones are left vulnerable to malware. You may also be violating the terms and conditions of Apple usage when you jailbreak your iOS. 

2. Remove Unfamiliar Apps

One sign that you have a virus could be additional apps popping up on the home screen that you don’t recognize. Immediately uninstall any unfamiliar apps. 

3. Look at Your Data Usage

Another indicator of a virus is if your data usage is really high and you can’t explain it. Go to your phone’s settings and view data usage. See where your phone says most of the usage is coming from and make sure it all is accurate. You may have a virus if a lot of data is being used by a new program you don’t recognize.

4. Clear Your Data and History

You should also make it a habit to clear the data and history on your phone’s internet browsers. Go to settings, select the browser you use, and click Clear History and Website Data.

5. Restart Your Phone

Sometimes just doing a simple restart can give you peace of mind when you think you may have a virus. Try turning it off and back on and see if the bug goes away.

6. Reset Your Phone

You can also do a complete factory reset on your phone if you’re not sure where the issue is coming from but are still worried you have a virus. Go to your general settings, click Reset, and then Erase All Content and Settings. Just remember that doing this will erase everything, so make sure you backup before you do it.

7. Only Install Apps from the App Store

You can probably download apps from outside Apple’s App Store if you jailbreak your phone. This means you’re putting your phone at risk of malware that could be hidden in these outside, unregulated apps. 

8. Keep Your Phone and Apps Updated

Newer iPhones can now update automatically, so you should always be up to date. Make sure you update right away anytime an app or iOS update is available. This will avoid any additional vulnerabilities for your phone and information.

Apple implements very serious security protections, but you still have to make sure you’re using your phone properly to avoid additional risks of viruses and malware. You never want your personal information, messages, or photos to be accessible to malicious third parties. 

Contact Shred Cube to Permanently Erase Data

It is always wise to have a comprehensive approach to data protection across your devices. Permanently erase sensitive files from your computer or mobile device with Shred Cube. There is no recovery available, so you know that your files will never be accessed by any third party after you delete them. 

Shred Cube is the perfect solution when you are trying to protect your iPhone from getting a virus and need to permanently erase your sensitive information.

Contact Shred Cube for more information about how digital file shredding can protect your information.

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