How To Remove A Virus From An Iphone Or Android Phone
Whether theyre stealing your data, using your phone to mine cryptocurrencies, or siphoning money out of your bank account, smartphone viruses can be a nightmare. Luckily, you can discover and remove malware on both iOS and Android phones.
The word virus technically refers to a specific kind of malware that spreads through infected files. However, most people use virus to refer to malware in general, so well use the terms interchangeably here.
In this article, youll get a complete picture of how malware ends up on your phone, what it does, how to remove it, and how to avoid it in the future.
To start, lets look at how to find whether your phone is infected with malware.
Why Are Viruses On An Iphone So Rare
One of the simplest ways to protect your iPhone from being hacked is to never jailbreak it.
Although viruses are scary, the vast majority of users have nothing to worry about. iPhone and iOS are highly tested and designed from the ground up with security in mind. Lets go over a few of the things that make iOS so safe. There are more, but these are some of the most innovative.
Be Careful What You Click
Phishing attackswhere hackers send seemingly genuine messages to trick you to hand over personal informationare becoming more sophisticated. For instance, you may receive an urgent message stating that your bank account has been locked and requiring you to enter your password and Social Security number to unlock it. Think twice before clicking on links in messages such as this. Most genuine messages from financial institutions will not ask for personal information directly, but will instead instruct you to call or visit a website directly. You can also verify the email address that sent the message to ensure it came from the expected sender.
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Responding To Data Breaches
Even if you make all the right moves, your data may be stolen from a company you trusted to keep it safe. If you find that your personal information has been accessed without your authorization, take steps to protect yourself. Place a fraud alert on your credit file. Review your annual credit reports. And if you suspect your information has been breached, put a freeze on your credit file to prevent fraudsters from opening new accounts in your name. For more information, see the Attorney General’s information sheets on identity theft.
Check Whether Your Iphone Is Jailbroken
Jailbreaking removes many of the iPhones built-in restrictions, leaving it vulnerable to unapproved app installations. If you purchased the iPhone from someone else, they may have jailbroken it to install malicious software. Heres how to check if its jailbroken:
Step 1 : Open the Search bar in your device.
Step 2 : Type cydia in the search bar and tap Search. If an app called Cydia appears in the search results, your iPhone is jailbroken.
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What Are Viruses And What Can They Do To Your Iphone
Viruses are malicious programs designed to spread themselves to infect other electronic gadgets and computers and negatively impact their performance.
Many people mistakenly think that their iPhone is impervious to viruses and other malware, but this is not the case. Just like any other electronic device, an iPhone can be infected by a virus.
Viruses can cause a variety of problems, including crashing apps, slow performance, and data loss. In severe cases, a virus may even render your smartphone unusable.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to get rid of viruses on your iPhone, and we will cover them in detail.
Update Iphone Software Consistently
One factor in the frequency of malware attacks on Android is irregular and very delayed software updates by users. Nearly half of Android users are not prompt at installing updates when available.
This is not the case with iOS devices about 80% of the Apple gadgets have been updated to the latest software version within months of its availability.
Look For Unfamiliar Apps
One of the easiest ways to check your iPhone for a virus or malware is by determine whether you have any unfamiliar apps on your phone. By this, we mean that you should look for apps youve neither downloaded nor are default Apple ones.
Swipe through your home screen files and folders to identify these. If you cant see any but still arent sure, look in your iPhone settings and see if you can find anything youre not familiar with.
Clear Your Browsing History
Deleting your browser history can clear up performance issues and ensure that viruses dont return. Heres how to do it on Safari its similar on other browsers as well.
Step 1: Open Settings once more and scroll down to your apps to select Safari.
Step 2: Scroll down in Safari to find the option to Clear History and Website Data. Select it and wait for Safari to complete the process.
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Apple App Store: Avoid Iphone Malware & Viruses From Apps
One of the easiest ways to keep viruses and other malware off of your iPhone is to only from the Apple App Store, which you’re limited to anyway if you haven’t jailbroken your device. Apple’s App Store has historically been a secure platform for purchasing approved apps from vetted developers. That being said, there have been cases of apps being removed from the store after they were discovered to be clever counterfeits or to include compromised code. But apps don’t have to be terribly malicious to do things you might not want, like send too many notifications, introduce advertising where you don’t want it, or track your device’s location. Even benign apps like those for parental control, designed to give parents extra information about their ward’s phone use, can be used as spyware if they are installed on your device without your knowing. Before purchasing any app:
How Do I Know If My Phone Has A Virus
The quickest way to find out if your iPhone has a virus is to run a full system scan with a strong antivirus, like Bitdefender. Its compatible with both Android and iOS devices and is capable of detecting even the most advanced cyber threats.
However, there are other ways you can find out if your phone is infected. Usually, you should closely monitor your devices activity and seek suspicious behavior. Here is the list of symptoms you might notice if your phone has a virus:
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What Problem Are You Having
Thanks to the way Apple designed iOS, malware generally can’t do a lot even if it finds its way onto your phone. Typically, look for behavior like Safari redirecting itself to web pages you did not request, email and text messages being sent automatically without your permission, or the App Store opening on its own.
Even so, these aren’t guaranteed signs of a virus. Depending on what kind of apps you have installed especially automation apps like IFTTT some of these things can happen on purpose. Other potential symptoms, like frequent app crashes, settings changing, or buttons performing different actions than you expect, may actually be the result of a bug or an iOS update changing something without your knowledge.
Short On Time Heres The Best Free Ios Antivirus In 202:
- Norton Mobile Security: Includes web protection, phishing protection, a fast VPN with unlimited data, advanced identity theft monitoring, SMS message filtering, and unsecure Wi-Fi network scanning. It isnt free, but it has a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free for 2 months to see if its right for you.
- Get the best iOS antivirus app here.
iOS antivirus apps dont provide traditional antivirus scanning, as iPhones and iPads use an advanced security mechanism called sandboxing, which prevents apps from making changes to any other apps, files, or processes on your system.
So when most people say antivirus for iOS, they mean internet security for iOS covering a wide range of features that keep iPhones and iPads safe, like anti-phishing, scam SMS message protection, and Wi-Fi network scanning.
I was able to find 7 iOS security apps that offer free features or extensive free trials of their premium features.
However, there isnt a single free security app for iOS that includes all of the features for complete iOS protection if you understand that your data and your privacy are worth more than a few dollars per month, you should look at Nortons fantastic low-cost iOS app.
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Can Iphones Get Viruses
Though rare, iPhones can get viruses and other malware, especially if the phone is jailbroken or if the victim is targeted in a high-value spear phishing attack. For normal iPhone users, a malware infection is an unlikely event. The iOS ecosystem is tightly controlled, and third-party apps need to be vetted and approved before theyre available on the App Store. This walled-garden approach makes it very difficult for your iPhone to get infected with malware.
Of course, hackers are always working hard to improve their tools and techniques. While there may not be much malware on iPhones at the moment, that may change. Its always good to have an iPhone antivirus tool on hand in case something slips through.
How Does Malware Affect Iphones
Like computer viruses, malware often begins by impacting your iPhones performance.
You might notice your battery going down faster than before. Granted, other factors can impact your battery lifesuch as colder weather and the age of your device. But if you notice that you need to charge your device more frequently, it’s wise to check for malware on your iPhone.
When your phone becomes impacted with malware, you may also notice that it overheats quicker. iPhone malware causes your device to work harderhence why it gets hotter.
Drained batteries and phone overheating are both significant annoyances. But unless they become relentless, you probably wont think about updating your phone straight away. A more severe consequence of an iPhone virus is that your phone eventually stops working.
Malware on your iPhone can also impact more than just your device. Whoever wanted to infect your phone could also use the software as a way to steal your passwords and other sensitive data. They could then either sell these or use them to hack into your accounts.
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Don’t Jailbreak Your Iphone
Many people advocate jailbreaking your iPhone because it lets you customize a phone in ways that aren’t officially approved by Apple, like install apps that have been rejected from the App Store, and download paid apps for free. However, if you want your iPhone to be as secure as possible, stay far awayfrom jailbreaking.
The exception is for jailbroken phones. The only viruses that have struck iPhones have targeted jailbroken devices because, by nature, the only way to jailbreak a phone is to lower its security.
While the lure of jailbreaking may be strong, if security is important to you, don’t do it.
Extra Step Wipe Your Android Phone
If none of the above mentioned methods to clean malware from your phone helped, its possible that you might need to wipe your Android and reset it to the primary state. In case malicious programs made specific changes on the devices settings, theyll be reversed.
Here is a guide showing how to wipe your Android phone:
1. Make a backup of your data onto a trusted computer. Dont rely on Googles backup features in case its also compromised. Plug your device into your computer using a USB cable. In the pop-up, select File transfer/Android Auto, and proceed with file transferring on your computer. The most important files to transfer would be photos and videos located in the DCIM folder, however, think about anything else you have on your phone that you would like to save.
4. Reset your phone to factory settings. While these settings might be located in different places depending on your Android device, the most generic steps would be to go to the Settings app > System > Reset Options > Erase all data .
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Secure Your Phone Against Physical Access
Spyware can be loaded onto your iPhone remotely via a malicious app, or physically if someone gains access to your phone. Use long and unique passwords for all your accounts and two-factor authentication to secure your personal data. Protect your device with a secure PIN or Touch ID and Face ID, depending on which iPhone model you have.
How To Get Rid Of Malware On Iphone
If your iPhone is infected with a virus, there are a few things you can do to fix your phone.
- Delete apps that are unfamiliar, look suspicious, or that you did not download. Or, if you noticed that the problems with your phone started when you downloaded a specific app, delete that app.
- Turn your iPhone off and then back on. It sounds simple, but it can help fix the problem.
- If restarting your phone doesnt help, restore your phone to a previous backup. Keep trying different backups until the problem is solved. To do this go to Settings > Click on your Apple ID at the top > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups and select which backup you want to restore your phone to.
- Clear your data and history. To do this go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data.
- Restore your phone to factory settings. Before doing this make sure to back up your important files first. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
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Kaspersky Security Cloud Free For Ios Vpn Password Manager & Security Breach Scan
Kaspersky Security Cloud is a minimal but decent free iOS security app that comes with a VPN, a security breach scanner, and a password manager, but all of these features are pretty limited.
The VPN is pretty good, but its limited to 300 MB per day and 1 server location. 300 MB per day is the best on this list, but this still isnt enough for streaming HD video. In addition, since youre automatically connected to a local server, you wont be able to access your home countrys streaming services when you travel abroad. To get access to unlimited data and servers around the globe, youll need to upgrade.
Kasperskys breach scanning is pretty much identical to TotalAVs breach scanner simply enter your email address, and Kaspersky will check your email against a massive database of breached logins.
Kaspersky also includes a free password manager app the app provides convenient auto-filling, password generating, and 256-bit AES encryption for user logins, but the free version is limited to only 15 passwords, which isnt very good compared to other free password managers.
Kasperskys paid iOS plans include anti-phishing protection and unlimited password storage across desktop and mobile devices, but Kasperskys multi-device plans, which start at CA$23.14 / year, are a better value adding unlimited VPN data and protection for multiple devices, including iOS, Mac, PC, and Android.
Clear Cache Data On Safari
Mostly, an iPhone malware enters a device through the internet. A web browser is the first app that gets affected by it. To keep your device protected, you should clear Safari cache data. Simply go to Settings > Safari and tap on the Clear History and Website Data option. Confirm your choice to remove the cache data on Safari.
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How To Diagnose And Remove Any Virus From Your Iphone
- The risk of viruses and malware infecting your iPhone is extremely low, but if your iPhone behaves oddly, there are simple steps you can take to eliminate an existent virus.
- If you can narrow the problem down to a single app, uninstall it and see if the problem goes away.
- Restart the iPhone to see if a simple “reboot” eliminates the problem. Also clear Safari’s cache.
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It’s always a good idea to be cautious about the risk of viruses and other malware, but when it comes to your iPhone, you don’t have much to worry about. Dionisio Zumerle, senior director at research firm Gartner, sums it up this way: “The chances of catching malware on Android go from 0.05 to 0.71 percent. I would say that the percentage for iOS would be even lower than that, making the risk of iOS malware fairly low today.”
Even so, it’s possible to defy the odds however slim and end up with an infected iPhone. Or, at least, have a phone that behaves like it might be infected. Here’s what you can do to troubleshoot the problem and remove malware from your misbehaving phone.