People (often Android users) refer to iOS’s fenced garden structure as one of its main drawbacks. This makes the App Store more limited in terms of apps and games available.
However, this structure also allows iPhones and iPads to be more secure and not allow viruses and malware easily. So, to answer the question, no, you don’t need to install an antivirus on your Apple mobile or tablet.
Why are there no antivirus apps in the App Store?
Apple created iOS, the Software which works on both iPhones and iPads (in this case, in the form of iPadOS), to make it as secure as possible. And precisely because all apps are reviewed before they are made available in the App Store, it is virtually impossible for a virus to sneak in.
This is the reason why you will not find any antivirus that you can install. Apple says they are not needed. You can find apps from antivirus companies, but they aren’t antivirus per se, but private browsers, password managers …
The only company that came close to success was McAfee, which developed an antivirus in-house in 2008, but it was never released. McAfee probably realized that because iOS’s architecture keeps viruses out, its antivirus was useless.
And McAfee would be right: iPhones and iPads are pretty much the most secure devices in terms of malware. No system is 100%, but the way iOS is designed means that no questionable app will pass the review process and therefore gain access to the system to damage it.
This is because Apple designed iOS so that each app runs in its own space, also known as Sandbox or isolated environment. The application can do whatever it wants (within certain limits) as long as it is Sandbox.
You can also communicate with neighboring applications, but you can never leave this isolated environment or interfere with other applications. This restriction leaves viruses, which normally spread and infect a device entirely, have nowhere to go.
What should I do to protect my iPhone or iPad?
If you are wondering whether there is anything you should do to protect your iPhone or iPad, the answer is yes, and it’s as easy as updating it. Any vulnerability can be fixed with updates.
That’s why you shouldn’t ignore these reminders that you get on your device whenever a new version of iOS (or iPadOS) is released. To find out how to update your smartphone
All apps ask for your permission to access features such as the camera, your contacts, or photos. So just agree to make sure that you are sure it is a reliable app. And be sure to check what the app is asking for if it’s a long list.
You should also follow the usual advice: don’t open email links unless you know the sender, don’t give out bank details or passwords, and use an encrypted messaging service like WhatsApp or iMessage.
Apple also created a fraudulent website alert in Safari for iOS, so you will see a warning when you visit a suspicious page.
Finally, don’t jailbreak on your iPhone or iPad. This would give you access to files and settings that are not commonly available, but it also includes potentially dangerous apps installed from less than reputable sources.
So, as tempting as it is to install apps that are not available in the App Store, the risks outweigh the benefits.