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Every time I get a new iPhone from Verizon, the customer service people usually say that Apple products don’t really need any protection for viruses, or spyware, or anything else to protect an Apple iPhone nowadays because Apple has such a good defense system already built in. It is very, very hard for a hacker to really do anything with it if you just use the simple everyday precautions such as changing your password regularly and have a 2 protection log on system.

I hear this all the time! Is it true? I think not but what do I know…

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    Unless you are a highly prominent target, you probably are fine. If you are, things like Pegasus might be a threat, but then you probably wouldn't be asking this question here.
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 19 at 8:24

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Apple's iPhones and iPads can only install software from the iOS App Store. It's very difficult for malicious software to 'get on' to the phone, and then be executed.

Furthermore, each application is heavily 'sandboxed', so that it can only write to files in its own area, and can't alter the OS, or other applications' files.

Software also requires the user's permission to do things like access the Contacts, camera or microphone.

As a result, there isn't really a market for additional security software.

You may occasionally read about 'exploits' (hyped in the media): but these usually require particular circumstances, like physical access to an unlocked device, or tricking the user into doing something. That's why 'everyday precautions' are as good as anything.

For more reading, here's Apple's detailed guide to security on their platform. https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/security/welcome/web

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Apple iPhone’s, or iOS specifically has been hardened by Apple over the past decade or so to be so good that the need for 3rd party security software is pretty much a moot point. However, I have stated many times, that hacking is mostly “social engineering” rather than technical prowess on the part of the nefarious actor

Free Apps

All apps must be distributed through the App Store, but that “free” app that does everything you could want or more is a prime vector to steal your personal info. There are databases on the dark web full of people’s info that was skimmed by the so-called free apps.

Remember, there’s no such thing as thing as a free lunch and that free software/app, while not immediately a threat, can be used to get personal info about you to use later.

Shoulder surfing

This is a very common attack. A bad actor will literally look over your shoulder while waiting for you to unlock your device. One they have the passcode, they will steal your device, change the passcode, turn off Find My, then change your iCloud password locking you out of your device forever. Whatever data you had on the device is now in their possession.

TL;DR

The Verizon people are pretty much correct: you don’t need 3rd party security software as the largest and most exposed attack vector is you. Think twice before getting that free software and conceal your passcode when entering it (like when you’re at an ATM). Changing your passcode is fine, but using some thing 2FA (two factor authentication) and being cautious about how and where you enter sensitive info can go a long way in securing your device.

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