Antivirus, Apple, Enterprise, Internet Security, iPhone, Mobile, OS X

Do I need an antivirus for iPhone?

Most people are made to believe that all computing devices need to have antivirus software, regardless of the operating system…

Most people are made to believe that all computing devices need to have antivirus software, regardless of the operating system they are running on. Apple’s mobile devices are powered by iOS, one of the most advanced and secure systems you may come across. Even though security firms offer antivirus for iPhone to safeguard your devices, do you really need one?
 

How is iOS different than other mobile platforms like Android?

Unlike Apple, Google has provided a lot more flexibility to its users when it comes to installing applications on their devices. Though by default, an Android device restricts its owner from installing files from unknown sources, this can be changed almost effortlessly through the device’s settings. While this has allowed users and developers have a lot more versatility when it comes to installing and building software, it left a void in the system for cyber criminals to exploit.

The case is not the same with iOS, however. Apple doesn’t provide its iPhone, iPod or iPad users with this feature, limiting them to mostly the App Store. Certainly, hackers and exploiters have got their hands on having root access to iOS, a privilege of removing restrictions imposed by Apple, this, however, is something users wouldn’t be encouraged to proceed with as it voids Apple’s warranty for the device. In addition, Apple keeps updating its iOS from time to time keeping in mind to fix the exploit.
 

Apple doesn’t really allow any Antivirus to function like it normally would:

According to Rich Mogull, analyst and CEO of Securosis, a security firm – security software are designed for latching on to hooks to have deep access to the operating system. This allows them to monitor if a threat persists. However, this creates a potential exposure for the software itself to become a target. All that is required by cybercriminals is to find a loophole in a sloppily designed antivirus. Hence, Apple kept in mind to design iOS such, that no software would have the possibility of grappling on to these hooks.

On the other hand though, founder and CEO of security firm Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky has warned Apple that sooner or later iOS would become a target of malicious attacks. And when that happens, it could seriously bring down the reputation of the company, giving an advantage to other mobile platforms.

For the time being though, iOS’s security model of having a strong wall between its apps and operating system seems to work just fine.
 

Then, what about the antivirus for iPhone that are available?

Apple itself promises its users that their devices are well secured and officially bans all antivirus apps, revealing them to be spam aimed at generating money from uninformed owners. At the same time, an antivirus app search in the store would reveal that there are enough of them there. These, however, are designed to provide privacy and security from thefts more than to defend potential system threats as claimed by most. The last thing home users would want to happen is have their iPhones or iPads stolen or their data mishandled.

Apps like Find My iPhone, Avira Mobile Security, McAfee Security, Norton Mobile Security take care exactly of that. They allow owners to wipe their device if it falls into the wrong hands. Bitdefender Mobile Security works similarly, also alerting users if their accounts ever get breached. Citrix Secure Web claims to protect users from malicious websites and phishing attacks. While that sounds impressive, the iOS’s default explorer, Safari is well capable of handling that itself. Notice that these software firms refrain from using the term ‘antivirus’ in their app’s name like they do in their desktop counterparts? You guessed it right – that’s because they were never designed to protect phones and tablets from viruses, but rather, from data thefts!
 

How do I protect my device if it has been jailbroken?

While ‘jailbreaking’ has exposed that the iOS is not entirely fool-proof, the system software is still remarkably secure and stable. Unlike on the Android, malware hasn’t yet been able to find their way to the operating system through software from third-party sources. However, since Apple doesn’t take any responsibility for a jailbroken device, taking a few precautions might be a good idea.

Say No to Piracy:
It is always better to stay away from pirated software. As has been the case with Android, developers of third-party apps get paid to generate traffic through their software. Though, third-party software is unlikely to affect the performance of an iOS device as much as an Android device, taking a precaution is still always better than having to cure.

Secure your jailbroken iDevice by changing the root password:
As of today’s date, there have been two exploits discovered that are aimed at a jailbroken device and both of them try to access its administrator account, popularly known as ‘root’. However, securing it by changing the root password is relatively easy. A Google Search would give you tons of results on how to do that. Since by default iPhone restricts enabling root access, these exploits are only possible on a rooted/jailbroken device.
 

Keep your device updated:

You may have heard news about the flaw in iPhone’s Wi-Fi chip or how an iCloud is capable of holding a device as hostage. Apple might have security exploits from time to time but it keeps a track of everything so closely that the latest iOS update includes all the fixes. Of course, there isn’t a need of immediately updating the device as some updates initially might be less stable than one would anticipate.
 

Conclusion

In summary antivirus for iPhone is not needed or even realistically available. The multiple pieces of security software available for iPhone are still useful, however. Having the ability to track your device or wipe it remotely in the event of loss or theft is essential for the majority of iPhone users. The biggest security threat to iPhone users isn’t virus or malware, it is from general internet security threats as shown in our article – What internet security threats to look out for in 2018?

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Netflix now lets you share a favorite title directly to Instagram Stories

Having reached critical mass, Netflix shows are now influencing culture — whether that’s prompting everyone to “tidy up” or causing chaos with “Bird Box”-inspired challenges. For good or bad, what happens on Netflix is talked about, memed and shared across the social media landscape. Today, Netflix is launching a new feature aimed at better inserting…


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The feature will add the title’s custom art to a users’ Instagram Story, where it remains visible for 24 hours. The Story can also be customized with other options, like a user poll, for example.

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Here is how you could win a $600 iTunes or Google Play voucher and Avast security software worth $200

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Here is how you could win an iPhone 7 Plus and Avast security software worth £700

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Everyone completing the survey will be entered into a draw to win a bumper crop of prizes worth nearly £700.

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We finally started taking screen time seriously in 2018

At the beginning of this year, I was using my iPhone to browse new titles on Amazon when I saw the cover of “How to Break Up With Your Phone” by Catherine Price. I downloaded it on Kindle because I genuinely wanted to reduce my smartphone use, but also because I thought it would be…


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Early in “How to Break Up With Your Phone,” Price invites her readers to take the Smartphone Compulsion Test, developed by David Greenfield, a psychiatry professor at the University of Connecticut who also founded the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. The test has 15 questions, but I knew I was in trouble after answering the first five. Humbled by my very high score, which I am too embarrassed to disclose, I decided it was time to get serious about curtailing my smartphone usage.

Of the chapters in Price’s book, the one called “Putting the Dope in Dopamine” resonated with me the most. She writes that “phones and most apps are deliberately designed without ‘stopping cues’ to alert us when we’ve had enough—which is why it’s so easy to accidentally binge. On a certain level, we know that what we’re doing is making us feel gross. But instead of stopping, our brains decide the solution is to seek out more dopamine. We check our phones again. And again. And again.”

Gross was exactly how I felt. I bought my first iPhone in 2011 (and owned an iPod Touch before that). It was the first thing I looked at in the morning and the last thing I saw at night. I would claim it was because I wanted to check work stuff, but really I was on autopilot. Thinking about what I could have accomplished over the past eight years if I hadn’t been constantly attached to my smartphone made me feel queasy. I also wondered what it had done to my brain’s feedback loop. Just as sugar changes your palate, making you crave more and more sweets to feel sated, I was worried that the incremental doses of immediate gratification my phone doled out would diminish my ability to feel genuine joy and pleasure.

Price’s book was published in February, at the beginning of a year when it feels like tech companies finally started to treat excessive screen time as a liability (or at least do more than pay lip service to it). In addition to the introduction of Screen Time in iOS 12 and Android’s digital well-being tools, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube all launched new features that allow users to track time spent on their sites and apps.

Early this year, influential activist investors who hold Apple shares also called for the company to focus on how their devices impact kids. In a letter to Apple, hedge fund Jana Partners and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) wrote “social media sites and applications for which the iPhone and iPad are a primary gateway are usually designed to be as addictive and time-consuming as possible, as many of their original creators have publicly acknowledged,” adding that “it is both unrealistic and a poor long-term business strategy to ask parents to fight this battle alone.”

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