Chris HoffmanEditor-in-Chief

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief the How-To Geek. He"s composed about an innovation for end a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for 2 years. Chris has written for The new York Times, to be interviewed together a modern technology expert on TV stations like Miami"s NBC 6, and had his job-related covered through news outlets choose the BBC. Because 2011, Chris has written end 2,000 write-ups that have actually been read almost one exchange rate times---and that"s just right here at How-To Geek. Read more...

You are watching: Do i need malware protection on my iphone

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UpdatedOct 23, 2018, 11:29 am EDT| 4 min read

You don’t require an antivirus for your iPhone or iPad. In fact, any “antivirus” apps you see advertised for iPhones aren’t also antivirus software. They’re just “security” programs that can’t actually protect you indigenous malware.

There are No actual Antivirus Apps for iPhone

A timeless antivirus applications for windows or macOS has full accessibility to your operation system and also uses that accessibility to scan her applications and files to ensure no malware is running.

Any apps you download on your iPhone run in a sandbox that limits what they deserve to do. An app can only accessibility data that you provide it permission to access. In various other words, no app on your iPhone can snoop on what you execute in your digital banking app. They could accessibility your photos, because that example—but only if you provide them permission to access your photos.

On Apple’s iOS operation system, any type of “security” apps you install are required to run in the exact same sandbox together all your other apps. Castle can’t also see a perform of apps you’ve set up from the app Store, much much less scan noþeles on your maker for malware. Even if you had an application named “Dangerous Virus” set up on your iPhone, these iPhone protection apps wouldn’t be able to see it.


That’s why there isn’t a solitary example we’ve ever before seen the an iphone phone security application blocking a piece of malware from infecting an iPhone. If one existed, we’re sure these iphone phone security app makers would certainly trumpet it—but castle don’t, since they can’t.

Sure, iPhones execute sometimes have security flaws, favor Spectre. However these difficulties can just be fixed through quick security updates, and also having a security application installed won’t do anything to defend you. Just keep your iPhone updated v the recent versions that iOS.

RELATED: How to update Your iphone or iPad to iOS 11

How your iPhone already Protects You


Your iPhone already has a bunch of security features integrated. It deserve to only install apps native Apple’s app Store, and Apple checks these apps because that malware and also other poor things prior to they’re added to the Store. If malware is discovered in an application Store application later, Apple can remove that from the Store and also have your iPhone immediately delete the app for your safety.

iPhones have actually a integrated “Find my iPhone” feature that works with iCloud, letting you remotely locate, lock, or erase a lost or steal iPhone. You don’t require a unique security application with “anti-theft” features. To examine if uncover My iphone phone is enabled, head come Settings, tap your name in ~ the height of the screen, and then tap iCloud > uncover My iPhone.

The Safari browser on your iPhone has actually a “fraudulent website warning” feature, additionally known together an anti-phishing filter. If you end up top top a website designed come trick friend into providing up an individual information—maybe it’s a fake website impersonating her bank’s virtual banking page—you’ll watch a warning. To examine if this attribute is enabled, head to setups > Safari and also looking for the “Fraudulent website warning” alternative under Privacy & Security.

What perform Those Mobile defense Apps Do?


Considering these apps can’t function as antivirus software, you can wonder what precisely they do. Well, your names are a clue: this programs are called things favor “Avira mobile Security,” “McAfee mobile Security,” “Norton mobile Security,” and also “Lookout mobile Security.” Apple clearly won’t let this apps use words “antivirus” in your names.

iPhone defense apps often incorporate features the don’t assist protect versus malware, choose antitheft attributes that let girlfriend remotely situate your phone—just like iCloud. Some incorporate “media vault” devices that deserve to hide picture on her phone with a password. Others incorporate password managers, speak to blockers, and VPNs, which friend can obtain in various other apps. Some apps might offer a “secure browser” v their very own phishing filter, however those work likewise to the one currently built into Safari.

Some of this apps have actually identity theft warnings that connect to one online business which alerts you if your data has actually been leaked. Yet you can use a business like have I to be Pwned? to obtain leak notifications sent out to your email deal with without this apps. Credit Karma offers totally free breach notifications in addition to totally free credit report information, too.

These apps do perform some security-related functions, i beg your pardon is why Apple enables them into the application Store. But they aren’t “antivirus” or “antimalware” apps, and they aren’t necessary.

RELATED: How to examine if your Password has Been Stolen

Don’t Jailbreak your iPhone

All the the above advice assumes you’re no jailbreaking your iPhone. Jailbreaking lets apps on her iPhone run exterior of the normal security sandbox. It likewise lets you download apps from outside the app Store, which means those apps aren’t checked for malicious actions by Apple.

Like Apple, we recommend against jailbreaking your iPhone. Apple likewise goes out of its method to hit jailbreaking, and also they’ve make it much more and more difficult over time.

Assuming you were making use of a jailbroken iPhone, it could theoretically make sense to usage some type of antivirus program. With the normal sandbox broken down, antivirus programs could theoretically scan for malware you might have installed after jailbreaking her phone. However, such antimalware apps would require a meaning file of bad apps come function.

We’re not conscious of any kind of antivirus apps for jailbroken iPhones, although it would be possible to produce them.

RELATED: Jailbreaking Explained: What You must Know about Jailbreaking iPhones and also iPads

We’ll to speak it again: friend don’t require antivirus software program for her iPhone. In fact, there’s no such thing as antivirus software program for iPhones and iPads. It doesn’t even exist.

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Chris HoffmanChris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief the How-To Geek. He"s created about an innovation for over a decade and also was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has actually written because that The new York Times, been interviewed together a modern technology expert top top TV stations choose Miami"s NBC 6, and also had his job-related covered by news outlets like the BBC. Due to the fact that 2011, Chris has written end 2,000 short articles that have actually been read virtually one exchange rate times---and that"s just right here at How-To Geek. Read complete Bio »