Do iPhones Need Antivirus Software?

Frank  — November 1, 2018  ·  Read user reviews

Do you need antivirus software for iPhones? This question comes up often here at AntivirusBasics. If you own any kind of technology, you know the many different ways something can go wrong with your devices. This is especially true of computers. The connected world is full of hackers, malware and viruses, all looking to harm you in some way. As such, it’s natural that one might also worry about their mobile devices.

Since your iPhone is a mini computer that you can carry in your pocket, doesn’t it stand to reason that it can be infected with a computer virus?

Do You Need Antivirus for iPhone? 

First, we need to look at the vulnerability of smartphones in general. While these devices have to call and texting functionality, they share the same kind of processes as computers. You can download and install apps, access the internet and perform a myriad of different functions to make your life more convenient. Because of this, it is possible for smartphones to get viruses.

Hackers and other criminals know you keep a lot of information on your phone, so they’re just as much a target as your home computer.

So, what’s the deal with iPhones and viruses? Are iPhones more or less likely to get infected than Android devices? iPhones use an operating system called iOS which is designed and maintained by Apple. Having a company that creates both the phone and the operating system is helpful because they’ve specifically designed their phones to be more secure than others.

Apple has said that it “designed the iOS platform with security at its core.”  Since iOS is designed to keep apps completely separate from the operating system, security is higher overall.

Apple also requires apps to go through an intense approval process before they ever get onto the App Store, with the goal of preventing malicious apps from being downloaded to phones.

Security Apps for iPhone

If Apple has created an extra-secure device, why are there so many different security apps available through the variety of antivirus companies? You may find that many of these apps simply provide functionality that you already have on your iPhone. Some of the security apps offer remote phone locating and deletion (in case you ever lose your phone).

But Apple already gives you a similar option with Find My iPhone. Other apps provide things like photo and data backup, which are also already covered with Apple’s iCloud functionality.

When you look at security apps on the App Store, consider the extra benefits they really provide and decide if you truly need them.

This can save you the headache of having one more app on your phone that’s constantly sending you notifications throughout the day.

How to Protect Your iPhone

While iPhones are typically more secure than Android devices, they aren’t completely immune to malicious software. It may be harder to infect these i-devices, but that doesn’t mean hackers aren’t trying.

So, what can you do to keep your iPhone protected against malicious attacks?

  • Keep iOS updated – Always keep all your devices updated, including your mobile devices. This is one of the easiest, but most effective ways to prevent viruses and malware from infecting your computer and iPhone. As manufacturers identify potential security threats, they release updates to their operating systems that protect against those threats.
  • We recommend updating iOS as soon as it is available to you. As soon as the update is available, iOS will notify you through a pop-up box. Tap “Install Now” to get the update started immediately. If you can’t install it right then, tap “Later”, and the phone will update itself sometime during the night if plugged into a power source.


Avoid jailbreak and other hacks

  • Since Apple has designed iOS to be extra secure, it lacks some of the customization features that people who use Android and other phones are used to. This has led to the creation of hacks that “unlock” that functionality in the iPhone. This process is known as jailbreaking.
  • Most people in the jailbreaking community will tell you that it’s completely safe, but there are plenty of risks associated with the process. First, if you do something wrong, you can “brick” your iPhone. This means you completely disable your phone, essentially turning it into a brick.
  • When you jailbreak your phone, you can download apps that haven’t been vetted through the App Store approval process. This opens your phone up to the possibility of getting infected by malware in the form of a suspicious app. Jailbreaking may be cool in appearance, but it’s typically not worth the risk.
  • Don’t plug your phone into untrusted computers. Plugging your iPhone into a computer is one of the easiest ways to have information stolen from you. If you don’t trust a computer, don’t use it for your iPhone, even for charging purposes.
  • When you plug your phone into a computer, it will ask you if you trust that computer. Always click no, unless you actually trust the computer and know it won’t siphon information off your phone.
  • Don’t give permission for apps to be installed. Only install apps directly from the Apple store after you have navigated there yourself. There are websites that will forcefully re-direct you to fake App Stores or offer direct downloads of apps. Avoid these forced downloads at all times.
  • Avoid suspicious websites and emails. iPhones aren’t immune to phishing schemes through suspicious websites and emails. Unfortunately, Siri can’t prevent you from typing whatever you want into a text box or email. When your browsing or reading emails on your iPhone, employ common internet safety tactics to avoid phishing schemes and other scams that rely on you willingly providing your own information to scammers.

So there you have it! While you might not need an antivirus for iphone, it still makes sense to be vigilant to prevent issues down the road.