One of the scariest things to happen to an iPhone user is to have their device infected with a Virus or Malware. Contrary to popular belief, iPhone’s do get viruses. After all, a virus is a piece of code that can insert itself into the programs on your device.
Getting infected by a Virus or Malware on an iPhone is a rare occurrence, so chances are you’re possibly seeing an application misbehave on your device.
The thing about visiting insecure sites or downloading apps from a third party website on your iPhone is that there’s no guarantee that the application or site will work fine. You may receive notifications stating your iPhone is infected with a virus to click on a link and download an Antivirus software. Whatever you do DO NOT click any of these unknown links as things may just get worse for you.
If you believe that your iPhone is infected with a Virus or Malware, then read on to check if it is true and if yes, then how to remove them without compromising your data.
How To Check iPhone For Viruses Or Malware
iPhones are some of the most secure smartphones in the market today and it’s basically because of the way iOS works. iOS is designed to be a closed system or sandbox where each application runs within its own designated space, minimizing the interaction between the apps and the operating system.
Unlike Android smartphones that allow you to download anything from the internet (haven for viruses and malware), most of the viruses or malware created for iPhones were made for the sake of research and are not in circulation online.
Apple is also known to conduct third-party app checks before they can be uploaded onto the App Store. So basically, unless you have unlocked your iPhone (Jail-breaking) or your iOS is not updated to the latest firmware, it’s highly unlikely that your iPhone is infected with a virus or malware.
There are a number of ways by which you can check if your iPhone has a virus or malware.
Before I get into how to check your iPhone for a virus or malware, if your iPhone is exhibiting any of these signs DO NOT PANIC. Calmly read on to figure out what can be done.
Check if Your iPhone is Jail-broken
Normally, users jail-break their iPhones to download and install applications that are not available on the App Store. The problem here is that jail-breaking your iPhone can increase your chances of contracting a virus or malicious code either via the app you download or from the website you accessed to download the app from.
The malicious software that creeps into your iPhone is commonly known as a worm and the presence of a worm is attributed to applications that misbehave often or apps that redirect you to sketchy sites. If this happens and you suspect your iPhone to be infected, you can follow these steps:
- You can start by deleting any and all applications that you suspect to be potential virus carriers. If you’re facing issues with a new app you downloaded then you know that the problem lies with that particular app and uninstalling it can clear up any issues you may have been facing.
- Restoring your iPhone from a past-dated backup will help by removing everything (applications, songs, videos, data) from the time of your last backup till date. So if you were not experiencing complications on your iPhone earlier then it’s most likely the application which was downloaded recently that caused the problems.
Your iPhone is Filled with Unknown Applications
Another great way to figure out if your iPhone is infected with a virus or malware is to check your current applications list and see if there’s anything that you don’t remember installing.
The biggest red-flag is when multiple unknown applications appear on your iPhone without your knowledge.
In order to check if there are any unknown dangerous applications downloaded on your iPhone, follow these steps:
- Begin by swiping through your Apps to see if there’s anything new that you don’t remember installing.
- If there’s something you don’t remember installing, delete the application from your iPhone as it could possibly be malware in disguise.
- Finally, head to the App Store and tap on your Profile followed by Purchased to view the full list of applications you have installed.
Flooded with Pop-ups
Pop-ups and Ads have the habit of appearing on the web pages we visit thanks to third-party cookies. These pop-ups can be invasive and also a sign of malware slowly taking over your iPhone.
When an unknown or unlicensed application is downloaded and installed on your iPhone the malicious code that comes with it can tend to wreak havoc on your iPhone and result in pop-ups and advertisements appearing on every page you visit.
Increased Data Usage
A potential sign of your iPhone being infected with a virus or malware is an unexplained spike in your data usage. Even if you tend to use minimal data, your iPhone may warn you of high-data usage if you’re infected with a malicious code or virus .
Keeping an eye on the amount of data your iPhone consumes on a daily basis is one way you can check if you have a virus.
Applications are Crashing
A sure-shot sign that your iPhone is infected with a virus is when applications close without notice. This can be reduced by either deleting the app which keeps crashing and reinstalling it on your iPhone or by updating all your outdated applications from the App Store.
This can be done by following a few steps:
- Open the App Store on your iPhone.
- If prompted, login, if not then click Updates located in the bottom right corner of the home page.
- Check and see if there are any pending updates and if the faulty application is a part of the list. If there are updates click on Update All and sit back.
There is again the off-chance that multiple applications crash on your iPhone, this means that you probably have been infected by malware and the iPhone needs to be cleaned.
Battery Performance is Below Average
It’s a good idea to keep tabs on your battery’s health especially if you experience the battery dying, or losing juice quickly. The battery life of the iPhone can be affected by a number of reasons from legit applications consuming too much power to your battery declining due to age.
This being said, there is still a slim possibility that your iPhone has a piece of malware running in the background without you realizing it. To keep a check on the health of your iPhone battery you can follow these steps:
- Start by opening the Settings App on the iPhone, scroll and tap on Battery.
- All the applications will be listed highlighting their specific battery usage, tap on Detailed Usage for each application to check if there’s any unknown application running in the background and delete it.
Check your Pop-ups in Safari
If you’re receiving an unprecedented number of ads or pop-ups in Safari, chances are it’s not due to malware on your iPhone. Pop-ups can appear on browsers as these ads help companies market their products and are at times paid forms of marketing vis online sites.
You can block pop-ups on Safari and if the problem reduces then there’s no need to worry. You will have to worry when pop-ups and ads appear on your iPhone without any application running in the background.
To disable and stop pop-ups from appearing in Safari, you can check this out.
Four Ways You Can Get Rid of Viruses on Your iPhone
After going over the steps above and if you’re pretty sure that your iPhone is infected with a virus or malware then there are a few ways by which you can actually get rid of them.
- Turn Off and Restart your iPhone – Restarting your iPhone has proven to kill the virus or malware. Though not something that is guaranteed to work a 100% of the time, you can resort to restarting your iPhone when applications misbehave or hang.
- Clear your Online History and Website Data – Make sure your Safari or other browser you’re using is free of pop-ups and ads. You can achieve this by clearing your browser history and website data including third-party cookies.
- Reset your iPhone to Factory Settings – Even if you’re slightly convinced that your iPhone is infected then the only way out will be to restore your iPhone to its original settings. This will delete every application you installed, all your contacts, personal data, browsing history, App Store settings and so on… Basically it restores the iPhone to a state before it could be infected and everything will work smoothly after this is done.
- Restore your iPhone from a Backup – If you think that restoring your iPhone to its factory settings is not going to cut it for you then you can try restoring the device to an earlier point in time (before it was potentially infected) and carry on using the iPhone without having the issues repeat themselves.
How to Protect your iPhone from a Virus or Malware?
It’s rather easier to protect your iPhone from viruses or malware than it would be if you had an Android smartphone.Updating your iOS regularly, not jail-breaking your iPhone, installing only apt software from the App Store and not opening links from unsuspecting sources are a few ways you can protect your iPhone from a virus attack.
You can also invest in an Antivirus for your iPhone, Bitdefender, McAfee and Kaspersky are great choices and they work miracles to keep your iPhone clean.
While the iPhone is pretty secure, viruses and malware are forms of code that keep evolving over time and can wreak havoc on your iPhone. It’s always a good idea to keep your iPhone secure by not visiting sites that are insecure or by installing an antivirus program.
Though iPhone’s do get infected by viruses or malware it’s not a common occurrence so it’s best to remain cautious and keep tabs on your iPhone.