Generally, iPhones are considered to be secure devices. However, the occasional malware may slip through the almost iron-clad defense systems of Apple. Also, your phone isn’t completely immune to phishing attacks. If reports are to be believed, there has been an increase in phishing attacks in recent years. Attackers target both businesses and individual users.
To ensure you stay prepared for such attacks and keep your iPhone data protected, this guide outlines the common types of phishing attacks and malware, as well as offers tips on how to prevent them.
Malware and Phishing: What Do They Mean?
Malware is software designed to harm a phone system. It comes in several forms, including worms, viruses, and Trojan horses. This software can steal your personal data, including your credit card numbers and passwords. It can even damage your device or make it unusable.
On the other hand, phishing is a type of social engineering attack designed to trick users into giving up their personal information. These attacks may come in the form of text messages or emails that appear legitimate. The sender may pose as a social media company or your bank. Most often, these text messages or emails contain a link. When you click this link, it will take you to a fake website, mimicking the look and feel of a real website. The moment you enter your personal information on this fake website, the attackers steal the information.
How do Phishing Attacks and Malware Impact iPhones?
Phishing attacks and malware affect iPhones in several ways. For instance, clicking on malicious links in a text message or email will install malware on your phone. Then, the malware will steal your personal data, send spam emails to your iPhone contacts without your permission, or damage your device completely.
If your phone is infected with malware, it may start to act funny. You may find that your device has slowed down or is overheating. Excessive battery drain is also a sign of malware infection. You may also see strange text messages or intrusive pop-up ads. Sometimes, malware infection may result in you losing control of your iPhone.
Before learning how to prevent it, you must learn how to remove malware from your iPhone.
How to Remove Malware from Your iPhone?
If you notice your phone is infected with malware, you can follow these steps on how to remove malware from iPhone:
- Delete the applications that appear suspicious
- Clear website data and history so you don’t revisit suspect websites
- Restart your phone
- Restore your iPhone from a previous backup version
- Update iOS
- Factory reset your iPhone
Preventing Phishing Attacks and Malware on iPhones
The different things you can do to prevent phishing attacks and malware on your iPhone are:
- Install applications only from the App Store
The App Store is a secure and safe place to download applications. All the applications are reviewed by Apple, and then they are allowed in the store. Therefore, you can be confident that the applications are malware-free and thoroughly vetted.
- Don’t click on suspicious-looking links
If you get text messages or emails with links, do not click on the links without verifying. You must verify the sender and only then click on the link.
These links might be carrying malware and turn your digital life upside down.
- Verify the source when downloading from the web
The Internet is a double-edged sword. It opens a world of opportunities for you to explore but also comes with drawbacks like phishing attacks and malware. Protect yourself by only downloading items from verified sources on the web. Also, you must browse websites carrying the SSL certificate, as it means your information will remain safeguarded.
- Update your phone
You must always install the latest iOS updates. These updates come with bug fixes and security patches for the latest threats. So, the vulnerabilities of your phone will be fixed.
- Use a unique password for your Apple ID
Apple ID provides you with access to all Apple services. Hence, hacking this account means the hacker can get all your critical information.
Create a unique and strong password for your Apple ID, and keep changing the password now and then.
- Install anti-malware software
There are several anti-malware applications for iPhones at your disposal. Choose the one that fits your specific requirements. These apps typically scan the device for known threats and ensure all your security features are up and running.
Besides these, you must be wary of what information you share online, especially with people you don’t know. And if you frequently connect to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, use a VPN.
The Bottom Line
So, follow the tips mentioned above to prevent a malware infection on your iPhone. These tips will also help thwart phishing attacks. But if your device is already infected, refer to the steps mentioned for removing the malware.