“I think my iPhone has a virus” — the chilling thought comes to us when iPhone behaves a bit weird, and we are not sure why. Maybe it’s time to check your protection with more skepticism as chances are there is some kind of virus running on your phone.
We’re usually careless about malware and how to safeguard our devices. Meanwhile, a virus knows how to conceal itself and perform an export of your data, encrypt and even delete it.
The good news is that basically, you can learn how to spot any smallest sign once a virus kicks into action. Let’s investigate what those signs are, how your iPhone can get infected, and how to act if it happened.
Can the iPhone get a virus?
The iPhone has been usually considered a rarified endeavor, despite the claim that no system can be 100% protected.
The problem with hacking the iPhone is that it obliges you to purchase some kind of highly-priced exploit to deliver a successful attack. The value of it can reach 1$ million on the black market so that the whole process can be potentially arranged only against very high-value targets. From this point of view, Androids are more low-hanging fruits.
However, the situation shifted considerably last year. If you own iPhone, you have probably heard of unprecedented attacks by chains found in the wild called “Zero Exploit. ” An infection ran unspotted on websites with hundreds of visitors per day for almost several years. It was quite an indicative case that proved hackers know how to bypass security measures.
Apple patched holes immediately, but the data had leaked anyway. Although that case was unprecedented, it proved Iphone’s vulnerability, despite the low risk for an average user. It remains vulnerable to all exploits that exist.
How a virus works on iPhone
An iPhone virus is a small code that “implants” into other programs. It runs as root and has never been a standalone program itself. This doggy code sneaks past all security features, gaining access to iMessages, notes, Website history, contacts, keychains, photos, and emails. It can also track your real-time location and slow the iPhone down.
Unlike some other programs, the iPhone virus only takes partial control over system operations. Both cameras or microphones can be controlled too.
Nowadays, malicious programs are so much more than just annoying experiments. A virus is contracted on a mobile device through non-legitimate apps or attachments linked to emails and is able to make a complete mess within the OS.
So, any advice on how to detect a virus on my iPhone?
First, let’s find out how it gets there.
How hackers can break into iPhone
If you’re keen to learn how a virus can penetrate mobile devices, you should know there are numerous ways, but basically, all of them come down to 2 scenarios.
- You’ve jailbroken your device, bypassed restrictions, and installed something odd.
- Someone has intentionally targeted your phone.
So, how do I know if my iPhone has a virus?
As of today, there is no specific detector you can install on your iPhone and tell it has a virus. But here are some clues you can look for to know there’s something unusual with your iOS.
First and foremost, any virus is usually power-hungry. If the data keeps tracking off your device, a processor will work harder, which inevitably leads to overheating. Do not confuse a slight warmth (the one iPhone experience after 2 hours of streaming Netflix) with a long-term baking heat going on even during the sleeping mode. Here is where you should put on alert.
Noticeable battery consumption
Being similar to any other apps, the iPhone virus is a huge battery suck. With it after play, your battery drains off much faster than usual. It won’t be able to get you through the entire day. If you think it’s some graphic-intense game to blame, here is a thought: how long ago have you purchased your phone? If it’s new, just one game would very unlikely cause so much trouble, so the sign is pretty worrisome.
Any strange sounds while you’re on a call, such as ticking, scritching, crackling, an “old fax machine” beeping, may indicate a virus. Especially if you spot an oscillating static sound at your device while it’s not in use.
Your iPhone reboots by itself
iPhone cannot just switch off and on without your control. Under normal circumstances, it won’t power off suddenly, with 87% charge left. Reversely, if you can’t restart iPhone, there is something on it, software-wise, causing bugging in plain sight.
Activity in sleeping mode
What do you think your iPhone is doing when its screen is off? Usually, it “sleeps.” A virus, though, can make the screen light up, without you touching it, just for a fraction of sound. Sometimes it will just not stay off, which can be completely frustrating and suggests some kind of virus being performing tasks of its own.
How to distinguish malicious texts from others: they all include random symbols or numeric sequences. A virus of poor quality may use this kind of “code language” to keep in touch with its features remotely.
Your apps can be suffering an outage only if you haven’t updated them. Otherwise, it’s just no good. A continuous crash of a certain app can signal it’s a virus causing trouble. Try to delete and install the app again. If nothing happens, it might be compromised.
How is you data usage doing?
Dodgy malware programs exchange information from their creators via the internet, eating all data. How can you see this, though? Watch a massive spike in data traffic. Get an overview of how much of it is being hogged by checking the “Cellular Data Usage” section in settings.
Can The iPhone be tapped?
How can someone track the iPhone if it requires access to tapping lines?
Don’t forget that we live in an age of mobile spy software. With the right attitude, one app can do a myriad of things with your device. Unfortunately, there are no clicking relays left by the majority of these programs. However, you can take some precautions to maintain security and peace of mind.
First and foremost would be guarding your iPhone as carefully as you would do with a bank card. And by gardening, we mean prevent others from using your gadget without your supervision for more than 10 minutes. Especially, someone you don’t know well. All commercial products take only 10-15 minutes to install, along with the activation process.
Double-check before panicking
How to make sure your iPhone has a virus?
It always requires a little sleuthing to detect things like that. So, if you’ve just noticed one sign from above, pinning those to dodgy programs would be imprudent. So, please, double-check before throwing yourself into stress. There may be other reasons for suspicious behavior:
A misbehaving AD.
It can be just one of those annoying adverts in the flow of some apps. How to tell the difference: unlike a virus, it won’t pester you every minute and won’t pop-up unless the app is running.
A noisy phone line.
Weird noises may crop up periodically on the phone line, so this symptom alone cannot indicate someone is listening in. Is there any kind of hardware damage on your iPhone? It usually explains cracking sounds during phone calls.
How many times per day do you interact with your iPhone? How graphic-intense and feature-rich are games that you like most? If there are many of them, the iPhone will always get a bit warmer. The processor also becomes a bit over-extended during initial setup, while restoring an iOS backup, or updating apps.
iPhone battery will also feel a bit low if you’re a fan of augmented features.
Differentiate: after a game being played for an extended time, the iPhone usually cools down within seconds. With a virus, it won’t stop overheating even in sleeping mode. Any virus wreaks havoc within the operational system which inevitably leads the highest amounts of battery power being drawn.
How to protect my iPhone
There are many extra measures to hinder your security and privacy. They are all FREE and very easy.
Do not jailbreak your iPhone
It should go without mentioning, but avoid installing apps that haven’t been approved by Apple. iOS is designed as a closed ecosystem, which works perfectly for your safety. Why jeopardizing it with no need at all?
All jailbreaks rely on gaps in iOS security features. When you break down from Apple walled garden, you grant thieves a way to pass through and take control over the whole operational system. Think about how high must be a value to take such risk. In addition, you perform a violation of the license agreement, so the support centre won’t be able to help.
If you don’t know what can be referred to as jailbreaking, we will brush it up. It is any unauthorized interference in iOS intended to install apps from somewhere other than the apple store.
How can I get antivirus then?
Note that there is no virus detector iPhone can install to find a virus. Almost all legitimate antivirus programs provide security apps available for iOS, but none of them include tools that can scan your phone.
Update your iOS
To ensure that your iPhone is protected, regularly update it to the latest version of iOS. Checking for updates adds just a couple extra minutes to your day but saves you from much trouble.
Set strong passwords
If you’ve been using the same password for many years, chances are it can be compromised. Don’t forget that common and weak passwords are traded on the dark web.
A solid password would be long and with a mix of characters. Try a password manager if you have a hard time coming up with a new one each time you need. The program takes in all of your usernames and generates strong passwords.
Enable two-step verification
An additional guard tool designed to protect your iPhone in case someone stole your password. Simply put, it combines info of something you have (your password, username) with something you have (your device) and something you are (your fingerprint) to confirm it’s you.
Avoid suspicious links
This falls into the same category as answering unknown international numbers. Every time you click on a dodgy link, you leave a digital footprint and data trail that can easily be followed. Much of it contains very private information about you. Cyber Criminals will use a bunch of tactics to persuade you to click on the link attached. How to escape such a scenario? Just send all the malicious emails to the junk box.
How to act if you’ve detected a virus
This guide will help you troubleshoot the problem quickly and avoid some severe implications.
- Update device to the latest version (go to Settings, select General, then choose Software Update).
- Figure out which app is to blame. Does the problem you’re experiencing happen all the time, or only when a specific app is running?
- Restart your phone.
- Clean cache and website history.
- Restore device to factory settings.
- If nothing happens, put the iPhone into airplane mode to block cell data and switch off WiFi. It will pause any network activity preventing the virus from receiving your data.
Let’s sum it up
Despite the iPhone being considered to be a tough nut to crack, it still carries some risks, being vulnerable to some kind of viruses.
The good news is that our protection depends on how we treat and guard our phones. Any major attack can be conducted only against jailbroken devices. Thus, unless you haven’t initiated anything by yourself, chances you’ve become a target for hackers are quite low.
Noone can tell how to run virus scan on the iPhone because there are no official antivirus programs for Apple. It’s easy to spot signs by yourself though. Your first port of call would be poor performance and battery life.
It won’t harm to brush up on some precautions to give yourself some peace of mind. The most useful tips for checking for viruses on the iPhone would be keeping a close eye on available updates, as they usually include virus fixes. And second would be never jailbreak your iPhone. All the greatest features have been already added in iOS 13. And if there’s something you’re really passionate about — the juice won’t cost the squeeze, believe us.