Can iPhones Get Viruses?

A question we frequently get asked is “can iPhones get viruses?”. Generally, the answer is no – Apple have specifically designed the operating system to prevent such security breaches. 

Our mobile phone data recovery team see a lot of iPhones of all generations, and when faced with a logical fault, the user often assumes it’s the result of a virus. We generally advise clients that it’s incredibly likely – but not unheard of – that their iPhone has become infected with malware. It’s natural that people are concerned, particularly in an age where we store all our personal data on our smartphones. In reality, though, while it is technically possible for iPhones and iPads to get viruses, the likelihood is very low. But why is this?

A virus is a malicious piece of code that inserts itself into another program, and is designed to spread to other devices – hence the name “virus”. The aim of them is normally to steal data, hold your data to ransom (known as ‘ransomware’) or to take over your device. To do this, the virus needs to be able to run the code on the device itself, and to communicate with other programs. But Apple’s iOS operating system is specifically designed so every app runs in its own space, with limited communication between them. Then there’s the fact that all iPhone apps have to be downloaded via the App Store, and Apple reviews and tests all apps before they allow users to download them.

A lot of people believe that their iPhone could potentially become infected with a virus simply due to the vast array of apps developed by well-known anti-virus companies in the App Store, like McAfee and Symantec. However, these apps contain no antivirus tools and are used primarily to protect and backup the data on your iPhone. Since none of the major antivirus companies provide actual antivirus apps, it’s logical to assume that your iPhone is safe from malware threats. There is a danger for users who have jailbroken iPhones, however. Apps containing malicious code are stopped by Apple from appearing on the App Store, but jailbroken iPhones can install apps from other sources. However, even if a user with a jailbroken iPhone did download an app containing malicious code, the iPhone’s sandbox nature means it’s unlikely to be able to spread across the operating system – which is what a virus is designed to do. If you think your iPhone has a virus - perhaps you can't access your data - the chances are it's a fault with the flash memory. Our mobile phone data recovery team will be happy to have a look and provide a free diagnosis and quote for any data recovery work needed. 

Mobile Phone Data Recovery