Can iPhones Get Viruses? What You Need to Know About Malware on iPhones


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After downloading an app or installing a new update, you’ve probably wondered, “Can iPhones get viruses?” One of the big selling points of iPhones is that they are supposedly immune to viruses. (That, and they also have all kinds of hidden hacks users can take advantage of.) According to Norton, iOS has long been seen as more secure than Android operating systems. But that extra security may not be as foolproof as some have previously believed. Read on to learn how to check your iPhone for a virus, how to get rid of malware on iPhones, and the best virus protection for iPhones.

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Can iPhones get viruses?

It turns out that iPhones can get viruses, but only if certain criteria are met, according to Robert Siciliano, a security expert for “The likelihood of everyday iPhone users getting a virus is slim to none,” he says. “The iPhone’s operating-system design does not facilitate a virus the same way a Windows operating system or an Android operating system does.” But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.


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“Perhaps the most common way smartphones can become infected with malware is through malicious apps that are typically downloaded from unofficial, third-party app stores,” explains Attila Tomaschek, a digital privacy expert at ProPrivacy. “Fake, malicious apps can have the ability to automatically load malware onto a user’s device and be used to effectively commandeer the device and steal sensitive personal and financial information.” If you think that’s concerning, you may want to check out these 15 things that make your phone an easy target for hackers.

The thing that saves most iPhones from facing those same risks is the fact that apps can only be downloaded from Apple’s official App Store. “On top of that, Apple has a rigorous vetting process for the approval of third-party apps to be available for download on its App Store,” Tomaschek says. “iPhone apps are also sandboxed, meaning that they are isolated from other apps and from the phone’s operating system. Therefore, for everyday iPhone users, the risk of contracting malware on their device is quite low.”

So, if iPhones have all this protection, how is it…