Best Practices to Prevent Viruses on a Mobile Apple Device

Apple's mobile devices have great anti-virus by default, but it's always a good idea to keep these best practices in mind to help prevent any malicious activities

Prerequisites: Must own a mobile device

Difficulty Level: Member • Nerd • Platypus

Estimated Time: Less than 5 minutes in different increments

Expected Outcome: You will be able to utilize these best practices to help protect your device from malware attacks

Tools Required: N/A

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There are multiple different methods that can be used to help secure your device. All of them require you to be vigilant about what you are clicking and where it is coming from. 


Emails and Phishing

Although this is not specific to Apple devices, the best way to keep a device safe is to be wary of phishing emails. Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. To help prevent this here are some things to do:

  1. Don't click on a suspicious looking email
  2. Look for the telltale signs of an illegitimate sender (spelling errors, incoherent message, etc.)
  3. If an email looks suspicious send it directly to spam so the domain you are using can learn to block emails from that sender
  4. NEVER give out any personal information unless it is a legitimate and trusted source, and if they are a legitimate source they will have different avenues that you can utilize for data transfer (i.e. a bank will normally only ask for the last 4 digits of your SSN and if you are uncomfortable doing it online/over the phone they are happy to accommodate you in person)

Remember that a legitimate source will NEVER ask for your passwords and/or personal data. 


Browser Ads

Browser ads are very common on the internet, and while most are from sites like Amazon or Apple, there is the chance that they may be fraudulent and will negatively affect your device. Some things to keep in mind:

  1. General best practice is to NEVER click a browser ad
  2. Although many ads are from legitimate companies, it's a bad idea to click on any
  3. Some browsers can use extensions that block all ads both on desktop and mobile (google chrome is very good with this)

Something to keep in mind here is, if it seems too good to be true, then it is. 


In-App Advertisements

In many apps, both free and paid, there will be ads. Similarly to browser ads, most are harmless and from actual sites, but there is always the possibility of a malicious site pretending to be reputable. Some things to remember:

  1. Most if not all ads on a mobile app will be able to be closed either instantly or within 5-10 seconds (just look for the 'x' in the top corners)
  2. General best practice is to just not click on the ads, it's the easiest method to prevent access
  3. Remember that Apple's iOS store is VERY secure and it is exceedingly rare to have a malicious ad/app there, but you should always stay vigilant


Overall Best Practices

  1. Don't click on anything suspicious.
  2. Apple is generally good about preventing malware from being present on their devices, especially their mobile devices, so the only way it can get onto your device is if it is allowed by the user. This means it is YOUR responsibility!
  3. Always question where something is coming from, is it from a source you know? Does it look suspicious? Always question everything.
  4. Common sense is your best weapon against malware attacks, take a step back and think about what something might be before actually clicking on it.