The iPhone’s Operating System has been made in such a way that it’s quite difficult to infect the phones with malicious programs. It may be difficult to infect the iPhone, but they aren’t immune to infection. Yes, a virus on the iPhone can be found as well. We will detail how to get rid of a virus on the iPhone.
For a virus to spread on your phone, the programs must be able to communicate with each other. What Apple has done is to isolate the programs in such a way that there is no inter-app communication.
Each app has its own virtual space, and they have its app store. This method is referred to as sandboxing. Because of the sandboxing, hackers aren’t usually too interested in making malware for iPhones. To host your app on the Apple store, Apple has vetted all apps for legibility, minimizing the possibility of your phone getting a virus.
What is a Virus on the iPhone
A computer virus is a malicious program that is designed to replicate and spread from one host to the next. There is a slight difference between malware and virus software. Malware represents all malicious software, including computer viruses.
The virus affects a legitimate program or document which triggers the execution of the virus code. Viruses on the iPhone can spread through iMessage, emails, downloaded files, and anything shared via the internet.
How Can you get rid of a virus on the iPhone?
Apple has made great strides in ensuring that your iPhone is protected from malicious software, so how can your phone get infected? Virus infections are common in jailbroken iPhones. Jailbreaking is a form of “cracking” for iPhones. It can also be referred to as “rooting,” which bypasses the restrictions that Apple manufacturers put in place such that their users can only download apps from the Apple Play store.
Jailbroken iPhones work just like normal phones, only that the code allows your phone to get Apple rejected apps. Jailbreaking is not illegal, but we can consider it as an illegitimate way of cracking your phone.
Because of the rigorous vetting process that Apple takes apps through, iPhone users may opt to jailbreak their device to get an unauthorized app. Most of these apps are usually buggy, which is how they infect your phone.
Effects of Jail Breaking your iPhone
While jailbreaking gives you more privileges; it has many negative effects, including:
- Susceptibility to malicious programs
- Phone instability
- Your phone may keep freezing and apps crashing
- Diminished battery life
How to Tell a Jail Broken Phone
There is a common jailbreaking software called Cydia. If it’s available on your phone, then it’s jailbroken. To check for it, check for Cydia on your phone’s search bar.
Is my iPhone infected?
There has to be a reason for your search; maybe you have realized that your phone is acting strange? If your phone isn’t jailbroken, chances are that there is a good explanation for the lag or strange behavior. It could be that you haven’t updated your iPhone recently, and it’s slowing down or that your phone’s storage space is almost filling up. If your phone has jailbroken, then the susceptibility to virus infections is quite high. These are some of the things that indicate a virus infection:
App problems with Virus on the iPhone
Whetehr you have virus on the IPhone or not, ypu can determine it with your apps function;
- Do your apps keep crashing? This is one sign of a phone infected by malware. It could also be that you’ve not updated your apps recently.
- You may also realize additional apps that you didn’t install on your phone.
- Have you noticed that you’re using more data than usual and haven’t changed your phone usage? Or is your phone bill on a high? Malicious programs often send messages to premium services which is a sign of malware.
- You may also notice that your phone’s camera and microphone are on. iOS 14 has a new feature; an orange light that shows you that your camera and microphone have been recently active. If you have an app with that level of privilege on your phone, it may be bugged.
How Do Malicious Apps Affect Your Phone
Malicious programs don’t just affect a phone’s performance, and they work in the background to perform even more malicious acts. They can record your phone calls and send them to unwanted destinations, and they drain your finances through outrageous phone bills, SMS charges, and data usage. These apps can also take over your phone completely. You may even get infected with ransomware and collect information such as your location and personal information such as photos and contacts.
If you’re noticing pop-up windows and your browser is closed, then your phone is infected. This shouldn’t be possible with the iPhone, but it is a sign of malware in the case of jailbroken phones.
Some Adware pop-ups advertise anti-virus software when you visit some sites, ensure that you don’t click on these. The pop-ups usually lead you to more shady sites, which can lead you to download bugged software and are a direct consequence of third-party cookies.
Phone bugs make your phone’s performance deteriorate. You will notice your battery draining quicker than normal or overheating, which could mean that your phone is overworking in the background. If your phone’s performance has been questionable, the chances are that it has affected by malicious programs.
You should frequently inspect your phone usage so that it’s easy to notice when the battery life deteriorates.
- Go to settings
- Click on Battery
- You will notice all installed apps and their usage
- You can click the top apps and check how much of your phone’s battery they use.
How to Remove a Virus from iPhone
So you’ve inspected your iPhone and realized it’s buggy; how do you fix it?
- The first thing one does when fixing a computer is to turn it off and then on again, and this is the same for a virus on the iPhone as well. It helps your phone to rest for a bit, and you may have used it for a long time.
- Delete all the apps you find suspicious. This could be an app that keeps crashing, updating, or appearing and disappearing. Think about the last app you installed before your phone issues started and delete it. Check whether your phone’s performance improves.
- Go to Safari, and clear your history and website data. To clear your history:
- Go to settings
- Choose Safari
- Clear History and Data
- You can return to the previous iOS update. You can keep backtracking until your phone gets stable. The process of backtracking is:
- Go to Settings
- Click on your Apple ID
- Choose iCloud
- Click Manage Storage
- If going to the previous backup and all other removal processes fail, restore your phone to its factory settings. Before doing a factory reset, create a backup of all files you consider important as the reset deletes everything on your phone. To back up your phone:
- Go to your settings.
- Click on general settings.
- Click Reset
- Erase all content and settings
Best Practices to Deter Virus on the iPhone
It is not challenging anymore to deter the virus on the iPhone. You can do it easily while following the given practices;
Don’t jailbreak your iPhone.
As we have seen throughout the article, it opens you up to a hoard of security vulnerabilities and also voids your phone’s warranty instantly. If you have already cracked your phone, then be careful about the independent apps you download. Check the descriptions placed by app developers and the user reviews before any download. If the app you want isn’t top-rated, has grammatical errors on the descriptions, has a lot of negative user reviews, then refrain from downloading it.
Only install verified apps
Always install verified apps on your iPhone. This means relying on Apple’s app store. The apps here are vetted and safe from viruses.
Check app privileges
Some apps ask for higher levels of permissions than necessary. Before installing any app, ensure that it’s not asking for permission to data that is unrelated to their function.
Phone updates usually contain patches to phone vulnerabilities. Ensure that you update your phone’s operating system and apps whenever there are updates available to keep your phone safe.
The good thing about updates is that you can set them to continue in the background while you use your phone. It won’t interfere with your work.
To update your apps, go to Apple’s app store and update all your apps. To get the most recent OS update:
- Go to settings, then click on General
- Click on Software Updates
- Turn on “Automatic updates,” which ensures that whenever there is an OS update and you are connected to the internet, then your phone automatically downloads it.
You may be good at ignoring the pop-ups, but sometimes, we browse so fast we accidentally click “download.” This is called a phishing attack geared towards stealing your data. It can gain access to login credentials and credit card information. This is what to do:
Instead of pressing “back” on your browser, close the
- the tab that brought the pop-up
- Go to your Settings
- Turn your phone into airplane mode, which is a way to cut any communication between the apps and your phone.
- Open Safari and clear your history and website data
- Ensure that you protect your phone by enabling your Pop-up blocker and Fraudulent Website warning
- Turn off Airplane mode
Get a reliable anti-virus
Anti-virus software is like a shield against malware. They will alert you of potentially harmful apps and will protect your iPhone from malicious attacks. An example of reliable anti-virus software includes Kaspersky, Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender.
Immediately flag all suspicious emails as spam to deter malicious virus on the iPhone. Some promotional emails even send you links, don’t click any links in these emails.
You may even get a Robocall. These are automated calls or emails meant to worry you. They essentially notify you on a past due account, be it from your insurance or bank account, and asking you to follow a link to fix it. The problem with this kind of email is verifying whether they’re real or not.
If it’s asking for something important such as credit card information, call your bank to verify.
Be careful about public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi hotspots can be found in most social and recreational areas such as hotels, airports, and malls and are usually free. We are so used to them that we forget and log into sensitive sites such as banking apps with them. These hotspots are usually prone to attacks such as man-in-the-middle attacks, snooping, and sniffing, and malware infections.
If you can avoid public Wi-Fi hotspots, please do or be careful about what you are browsing. If you must use public Wi-Fi, connect to it using a VPN. VPN is an acronym for “Virtual Private Network,” which adds security to your phone by hiding your phone’s IP address through a remote server.
VPNs secure your internet connections by encrypting your data, mixing up your location information, and ensuring that any data you transfer is secure.
How to Use a VPN to Deter Virus on the iPhone
- Start your VPN as soon as you are connected to a public Wi-Fi
- This alters your data, including your IP address
In case your phone is compromised, make the hacker’s work harder by setting undecipherable passwords for all online and offline accounts. Ensure your passwords are strong; the best way to strengthen passwords is to include special characters and lean away from obvious things like names and special dates.
Throughout this article, you have learned about iPhone malware and the ways your phone can get infected. You have learned how to identify malicious virus on the iPhone and how to fix it. You have also learned about jailbreaking and the best practices to follow so that you can protect your iPhone.
Phones nowadays carry more of our sensitive information even more than our laptops do, so it’s imperative that we protect our information by taking safety precautions. Most internet security apps on iOS don’t fight viruses but protect your iPhone from getting tracked illegally, theft, having your data stolen, and preventing you from moving to the wrong website links.