There’s a belief out there that Apple devices, from their laptops and desktops to their iPhones and iPads, can’t get viruses. That belief comes from the fact that there have been so few viruses made for these platforms that many people don’t believe it’s even possible. However, if you are wondering if you can get a virus on your iPad, I’m here to tell you today that yes, you definitely can. But, there is far more to that statement that I must explain.
Today, we will dive into the world of malware and viruses on iPads and I guess by extension, iPhones. I will do my best to explain what kind of viruses and malware you could expect to see and how likely you are to get a virus on your iPad. My hope is that by the time you are finished reading this article, you will understand what the dangers truly are on the iPad and the iPhone, how they’ve been both exaggerated and ignored, and what you really need to do to stop them.
How Likely Are You to Get a Virus on Your iPad?
So as I said, can you get a virus on your iPad? Yes, you can. But, that doesn’t mean that’s is likely. Because of the security measures put in place by Apple, it’s very difficult for virus makers to get around it to wreak havoc on your iPad or iPhone. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not impossible.
That being said, while it is difficult for you to get a virus on your iPad, it’s not unheard of. But in most cases, it’s all due to individual user usage and not a big security flaw or lack of antivirus apps on your device. If you do what you can to bypass Apple’s security, then you increase your chances of getting a virus, but even still these viruses and few and far between so the odds of you contracting malware or a virus on your iPad are pretty slim.
App Store Antivirus Apps
If you have spent anytime in the App Store, you may have seen a lot of antivirus apps available that you can download or buy. Unfortunately, they don’t really do one bit of virus scanning. In most cases, they will run a few checks on your files, but that’s really about all they do. In most cases, they prey upon your fear to try and con you out of money to upgrade them for some type of scanning service that they either can’t perform because of the way iOS is designed or some service that is so poor it’s really worthless to you in the long run and it won’t do a damn thing to improve the security of your iPad.
Thankfully, Apple has been cracking down on a lot of these apps over the last year or so, but that doesn’t mean you won’t still run into them while you are browsing for apps, especially if you start searching for security software. While some of these apps do exactly what they say pretty well, there are many more out there that are just, quite frankly, complete junk. My advice to you is to simply stay away from these apps and just stick with the built in security software on your iPad. It will be more than enough for you to protect yourself thanks to the design of iOS.
What About Those Malware Warnings?
Now I know you have all run into these warnings at one time or another. You are using a new app or browsing the web and you get a message that your iPad or iPhone has been infected with malware and needs to be scanned. As soon as you see that, you get scared and nervous and close what you are looking at not knowing what else you can do. The thing is, there is nothing you really can do.
In most cases, these are just warnings that are designed to scare you and then trick you into either buying something you don’t need or grant access to your iPad for someone to steal information from you without your knowledge. In many cases, you can just ignore them. Don’t stress about them or spend hours worrying about what my happened. Just don’t give them any information, close what you are doing and move on with life. If you are still worried about it, you could always clear your Internet history in Safari and delete the App that gave you the warning just to be safe. It definitely won’t hurt anything.
If you watched the video above, you will see a video from a year ago about a virus found out in the wild for iPhone that only affected iPhones that have been jailbreaked….jailbroken…..whatever. You get what I’m saying. So why did this happen? Well, if you know a little about how Apple has designed iOS and what jailbreaking does to your iPhone, then it will make a lot more sense to you.
We all have heard the walled garden analogy when talking about Apple products. Hell, I’ve even used that term myself. The reason is it’s a great way to understand what’s happening on your iPhone. Think of it like this…
iOS creates a wall around your entire phone, and each app is kind of like a box of growing plants. Each one of these separated from one another. This is how Apple keeps security tight. It not only isolates you from the outside world but it isolates each app from one another. But, when you jailbreak an iPhone, many of these walls are broken down. Think of someone opening a big hole in each wall and not fixing it or installing any type of gate.
Because the security systems have been bypassed, you have now opened your iPhone up to malware. Virus creators now have the perfect method to enter your device and cause all sorts of damage to your iPad, simply because you left the gate open. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t jailbreak your iPad. In fact, as someone who likes to tinker with my devices, I enjoy doing things like this. But, I know and understand the risks. Unfortunately, many users out there don’t, and it’s that lack of knowledge that virus creators hope to exploit.
So What’s the Bottom Line?
Ok, for those of you that don’t want to take the time to read everything in the article, I will bottom line this for you. To sum it all up, you can get a virus on your iPad, but the chances of this happening are pretty slim. These chances go up quite a bit if you jailbreak your iPad and install apps not found in the App Store, but there are still very few of them out there. Most antivirus apps out there are worthless and will only take up resources on your device, so avoid them.
For best practices, don’t jailbreak your iPad or iPhone and only install apps found on Apple’s App Store and you will be pretty safe. I wouldn’t let it keep you up at night no matter what.
Remember, it all comes down to how you use your device. The same can be said about pretty much everything, but if you practice good security habits you shouldn’t need to worry about viruses on your iPad. But, in the off chance that you do, a simple reset of your iPad is the best way to get rid of anything nefarious and start fresh, just make sure you keep your device backed up.
Have you ever run into virus or malware issues on your iPad? If so, I want to hear from you. Tell me about your experience in the comments below and if you have any ideas on how this article can be improved to help everyone with their iPad security, by all means let me know.