How to Prevent Malware on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch

Authored by: Tech Pro Team

1. Introduction

Malware is software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system. While malware is prolific among Windows machines, it is very difficult to infect an iOS mobile device. This is because everything you do on these devices is done in what is known as a sandbox or a protected area. 

However, you may run into the browsers on your iOS, whether you use Safari or Chrome, having a malicious pop up or browser hijack.

This guide will explain malware and how it relates to and can be prevented on iOS devices.

  • A paperclip
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Before You Begin:

You must have this thing before you whatever.


Apple Logo

Are my iOS devices at risk?

Any apps you install on your iPhone run in a sandbox that limits what they can do. Apps can only access data that you give them permission to access.

In short, an iOS device won't do anything you don't want it to do. Most complaints about malware on iOS are about bugged apps or hijacked browsers.

Your iOS device will be one of the most secure devices you can have, as long as you know how to keep it safe.

2. Tips to Prevent Malware

The following are tips you can use to keep your iOS device protected from malware with links to helpful guides.

Always keep your device up to date

Making sure your apps and iOS itself is always using the latest version is an easy way to secure your device. iOS and app updates not only add new features, they can also address bugs and software vulnerabilities (security holes or weaknesses).

Update Your iOS Device

Avoid malicious apps

Keeping any bad apps from making it to your device is easy if you stick to the app store and do not jailbreak your phone. Follow these tips to help avoid malicious apps.

Install Approved Apps

iOS App Store

Only install apps that come from the Apple App Store. Any app that appears on Apple's app store has to be submitted by the maker and subsequently approved by Apple. This means they are safe.

Avoid attempting to install any app that does not come from the app store.


An open lock

Avoid jailbreaking your device. Jailbreaking is the process of bypassing the restrictions Apple places on iOS and taking full control of your device. With a jailbroken device, you can install apps and tweaks that aren't authorized by Apple, but you also remove the tough security protections that Apple has built into iOS. This can put your device at risk.



You can check user reviews to see if other people have issues with an app before installing it on your device. While not all reviews will prove to be helpful, if there is a problem with the app, chances are the reviews will reveal these sorts of things.

Secure your device

Protecting your device for those times when it's out of your reach or not in your possession will keep your personal information safe, and prevent someone else from doing something that could create problems for you down the road.

iOS offers many ways to protect your data and device:

Find My Device

Find my device icon

Find My Device isn't just handy for locating a missing iOS device. It can also be used to lock or erase a device in a worst case scenario.


Enter a passcode

iOS allows you to create custom or long passcodes that must be used to unlock your device. This is key if you do not want others to be able to access your device when you are not nearby.

FaceID and Touch ID


Face ID & Touch ID are Apple's biometric security features. Both allow you to securely unlock your device, authenticate purchases, sign into apps, etc. Face ID uses facial recognition, while Touch ID stores and scans for your fingerprint.

Two Factor Authentication

Turning two factor authentication on

Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security for your Apple ID. The first is your password, the second will be a special code or prompt displayed on your iPhone.

Today's mobile devices contain a great deal of personal information about ourselves. If it were to fall into the hands of someone with malicious intent, that personal information along with the personal information of friends or family could be at risk. If you would like additional information on how to secure your device, the following guide may be of help.

Learn more about how to keep your iOS device secure

Web browsers and Safe Browsing Skills

It is important to know that your mobile web browsers are vulnerable to some of the same things as your computer web browser.

Exercise good web browsing skills and be aware of what you're viewing. For example, don't click on random links or believe everything you read.

Learn more about how to protect yourself online.

Keep your data backed up

If all else fails and you do manage to get infected, you'll want to have a working backup of your system so you can restore it.

Learn how to backup your iOS device.

Why Backup

Time Machine Preferences

First and foremost, it is always wise to backup you data and backups should be performed regularly. Even beyond the scope of malware or security, it is always prudent to have frequent backups because hard drives can fail, systems can crash, things can break, "life can happen", so you're always better off safe than sorry.


iCloud Preferences

iCloud has been the default way to backup your iOS devices since iOS 5. The first 5GB of files you backup using iCloud are free. Once this has been filled up, you'll have to pay a monthly fee. Photos and videos can fill up your free 5GB fast. If you take a lot of pictures, you may need to consider upgrading your iCloud storage, or backup using iTunes instead. 



To backup using iTunes, you will need to connect your device to your computer. You'll be using the USB cable that it came with to do this. While this method is free, it is not automatic and will take some time to download all of the data on your device over to your computer. If you want to use iTunes with your computer, you can set it to encrypt your data for extra protection.