“Does my iPhone need antivirus protection?”

After reading our Best Antivirus Protection picks, we continue to receive a number of questions about the need for protection on an iPhone.


Does my iPhone need protection?

Yes, Apple iPhone is safer than Android devices, but neither offers full protection you would get from good third-party protection.

Apple is generally very good at protecting its own devices, but not perfect.

  • In 2007, there was only 1 vulnerability found in iPhone
  • By 2021, the number grew to 360 iPhone vulnerabilities
  • A total of 2,573 vulnerabilities plagued iPhone from 2007 through 2021

What added protection will go the extra distance to guard against attacks that are becoming more common?

iPhone protection can really pay off to shield you against vulnerabilities that occur within iOS and before Apple has an opportunity to push a fix.  Hackers look for vulnerabilities and maximize attacks during the window of time before it is patched.

iPhone has fewer attacks mainly because of its closed code design.  Apple does not share all of its code and offers stronger protection against damage from an infection because Apple built iOS to prevent one app from being able to take over another app or your iPhone.

Where extra protection on iPhone works best is shielding you from threats that bombard us by email, text and social media.  Phishing attacks can have any of us handing over personal credentials to legit-looking sites that are fake knockoffs designed to steal.

While Safari browser has some protection against rogue websites, extra protection can go further by shielding you from malicious links, and when it offers VPN to protect the data flowing in and out of your iPhone.

For example, recently Apple patched a security hole that could have potentially exposed your Apple ID information and search history from apps to bad actors. More dangerous was the real threat that a malicious third-party app would have had the power to override your privacy preferences according to a support document released with the fix that came months later.

CVE Details database keeps a list of iPhone iOS vulnerabilities that show most security vulnerabilities remain a threat for 3 to 4 months before they are fixed. Apple does not discuss security threats about its software while the vulnerability poses a danger.


What added iPhone protection can do

In our review methodology, we look for iPhone protection characteristics that work to detect insecure WiFi networks that are easy for cybercriminals to use to gain access to your device, safeguards from malicious websites on any browser, app, and link within a text message or email that neutralizes or alert you to a potential threat.

Good iOS protection will also be able to identify suspicious calendar invites containing risky links that could compromise your personal data in seconds.

The most important aspect of any added protection is how well the threat data is maintained and how well it is put to use to robustly identify dangers before they have a chance to do damage to you.

I used to see device security and protection add-ons as useful.  Now, it is clear that reliable security protection across all of your digital devices is essential.

One of the top antivirus apps for both Android and iPhone is TotalAV.   TotalAV for iOS features WebShield as its core protection service protecting users from visiting dangerous websites on any browser on iOS. So if a user clicks a phishing link in an email, or one in a text message, social media post or WhatsApp message – if they have WebShield enabled they will be blocked from accessing that malicious link.   TotalAV is constantly updating its database with malicious sites so it will prevent you from visiting these sites and entering in your personal information.

Aside from malware, TotalAV for iPhone and iPad carries out a scan for other cybersecurity concerns.  Their scan checks to ensure physical lock security is in place (PIN/Password/Biometrics), if the device is up to date with Apple Security Updates and finally scans to see if the user is using the TotalAV WebShield service; which blocks access to dangerous websites – i.e. phishing and scams.

Finally, their paid product is full of features designed to work beyond your phone to also protect computers and laptops from malware and protect you when browsing the internet including ransomware protection, real-time antivirus protection, elimination of viruses and malware, a tool to free up your computer’s space, plus more.

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Mary Jean Tibbels March 12, 2022 - 10:57 am
Just signed up for ToyalAv, but as an 81 year old, it was difficult to know if I did it correctly. I had to call the help line to confirm. Just to let you know that it wasn’t as easy as I thought. I do enjoy your. Wes letter.
Kurt Knutsson March 20, 2022 - 11:46 am
Hi Mary Jean, Thanks for sharing. We put together this article to explain how to install on all your devices: https://cyberguy.com/ask-kurt/how-to-install-antivirus-software-onto-your-devices/
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