If you think that getting an iPhone will provide you greater privacy and prevent you from malicious attacks, then you are wrong. Though it is rare for an iPhone to get infected with malware, advanced skilled cyber attackers have made it possible to infiltrate them.
If your iPhone gets infected with malware, it will show certain unusual signs that will confirm the presence of malicious codes.
In this post, I will share my experience of dealing with iPhone viruses and how I got rid of them.
What made me think my iPhone has a virus?
Apple products like iPhone and Mac have a reputation of being more secure and privacy-focused than their counterparts Android and Windows OS, respectively. Even studies have found that the malware attacks more on Android devices as compared to iOS. Considering these facts, I being a security-conscious person, chose the latest iPhone over the Android smartphone, even though the Android OS could have provided me with flexible features and modifications.
However, after just six months of use, my smartphone starts acting differently that led me to think that my iPhone has a virus. On research, I got to know that it is not actually a virus but a different kind of malware that attacked my device, known as Adware.
In my case, the following indications displayed by my iPhone made me realized that it is attacked by malware:
Pop-ups Increase in Safari
While browsing the internet on the Safari browser, I sensed the sudden increase in irrelevant and misleading pop-ups. The suspicious thing was that the pop-ups appear even on the genuine web pages that generally do not display the pop-ups ads. This was a sure indication that an application installed on my iPhone is doing this.
Battery Draining Quickly
During the initial days of using the phone, I never got any problems with the battery. The battery draining was expected as per my daily device usage. However, the battery consumption suddenly becomes abnormal, which clearly indicates that a program is running in the background of my smartphone without my knowledge.
Phone getting hot
The malware programs tend to consume a lot of processing power which not only leads to faster battery consumption but also makes the phone hot. My iPhone was frequently getting hot even though there was no vigorous consumption.
Increase in Data Usage
The Adware malware requires high internet data for ad bombardment on any device. There was a sudden increase in the data usage on my iPhone, even though I was using the internet as usual.
Unexpected App Crash
The genuine apps on my iPhone were crashing unexpectedly without any reason. Even after updating the apps, the problem persists. I learned that it was because the adware malware was using the device resources in the background.
How to remove the virus from iPhone?
If you have noticed any of the symptoms mentioned above on your iPhone, there is a possibility of a malware attack. Taking precaution, you should follow these steps to remove the malware permanently from your device:
Use a Security Application
Manually removing the malware can be tedious, and some debris will still remain on the device. It is better to let the dedicated applications perform the malware detection and removal task, and that’s what I did. Since iPhone rarely gets viruses or malware, you will find very few genuine security solutions for it. One of the robust security apps which I used to clear my iPhone is the Bitdefender Total Security. As its name suggests, it provides total security to your device and safeguards it from malicious applications, codes, and websites. It is one of the few applications which is available for all iOS, macOS, Windows, and Android. Luckily, I was able to purchase Bitdefender at a highly discounted price.
Many malicious programs take advantage of the security bugs and loopholes of the device and perform malicious tasks. In such a scenario, updating the iOS would help fix the bugs and loopholes and thereby disable the working of malware programs. Regularly updating the device would also ensure that no malware would exploit the vulnerabilities to infiltrate your device.
Reset the Safari or other Browser
If you are getting unintentional pop-ups or banner ads while browsing the internet on Safari or other installed browsers, it is advised to clear the browsing history and other browser data and reset the browser. Resetting or freshly installing the browsers would clean them from any malicious codes.
Uninstall any Suspicious Application
If you find one or multiple applications on your iPhone device that look suspicious and you don’t remember installing them, it is advised to uninstall them immediately.
Restore the last iCloud Backup
You can restore the last iCloud backup on your device to get rid of the hidden malware. The restore would take your device to the point when it was performing well. However, for that, it is essential that the last iCloud Backup was malware-free.
Unlike Android smartphones, theoretically, iPhone cannot be infected with viruses, but through social engineering attacks, the attackers can force the users to install malware on their device willingly. If you have unintentionally become a victim of social engineering scam and introduced the malware on your iPhone, this post has listed the symptoms to detect and ways to remove malware based on a personal experience.