Best free antivirus for iPhone
One of the general misconceptions in the technology world is that Apple devices are more secure than other hardware and operating systems. For years, people have believed that the Cupertino-based tech company’s software is far superior to rivals like Windows and Android in this respect.
If you own an Apple product, perhaps you’re one of these folks. Your view may be that your iPhone doesn’t need third-party antivirus software to keep hackers at bay. Unfortunately, that’s not entirely true. Apple has been caught up in security incidents in the past, and the iPhone has been one of its most affected products.
A year ago, the company had to release an emergency software update after iOS was left exposed to a Wi-Fi flaw. Through an exploit in the Broadcom wireless chip, hackers could take full control of an iPhone. And of course iPhones, iPads and Macs were hit by the Spectre security vulnerability.
Of course, Apple does rush to fix such flaws - in both of the aforementioned cases, the company rolled out updates within a couple of days. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that your iPhone is completely safe from malware or hackers. Luckily, though, there’s plenty of free antivirus software out there to turn your smartphone into an impenetrable fortress.
- Take a look at the best paid antivirus for iPhone
- And we've picked out the best overall antivirus software
Easy-to-use antivirus software
If you’re looking for a feature-packed antivirus application that doesn’t cost a penny, check out Avira Mobile Security. It provides anti-theft tools such as a phone locator and trigger siren, as well as protection from phishing websites, an identity safeguard setting and smart reporting.
What’s great about this tool is that it doesn’t just protect your phone from hackers, but also gives you the tools to fight conventional crooks. For instance, if you think your device has been stolen, you can find its location through the app. And even if you’ve just misplaced it somewhere around the house, you can trigger an alarm.
The app has also been designed to protect photos, emails, contacts and other important information stored on your phone. It’ll instantly alert you if an attacker is attempting to steal confidential details such as credit card numbers, emails and passwords. You can also schedule regular scans to ensure that your messages haven’t been leaked in a security breach.
The software summarizes phishing websites encountered, recent scans and data that may have been leaked online in an activity report, meaning you can stay abreast of security threats. It’s available in several international languages, including English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
A trusted security app
McAfee Mobile Security is a popular iOS antivirus app that provides you with a plethora of features to detect, fight and prevent breaches. What’s more, the app is easy to use and is compatible with iPhones running iOS 9 or newer.
Through the media vault, you can protect photos, videos and other important files with a password. These are encrypted and stored locally on your iPhone. Once you’ve saved files in the vault, you can also gain access to them using Touch ID or Face ID - for iPhone X owners. When you take photos and videos using the app, they’re automatically saved in the vault.
Like Avria Mobile, you can easily and quickly track your iPhone (or iPad) on a map, and you can set off an alarm using your Apple Watch if you’ve misplaced your phone. Should it fall into the wrong hands, you can wipe your contacts by logging in to the app from another device. And when an intruder tries to get into the media vault, the app takes and sends you a photo of them.
Protect your device while safeguarding your data
Norton is a cyber-security vendor you may well have come across in the past. It too offers a powerful free antivirus service in the form of Norton Mobile Security. Similarly to Avira and McAfee, the app lets you locate your phone and set off an alarm if it's lost, but it also protects your personal data.
With the app, you can easily back up contacts. Then, if you lose your device or it gets stolen, you can quickly restore them. You can also call your phone remotely from another internet-connected device if you’ve misplaced it. Hopefully, someone will pick up and you can arrange to get it back.
Unfortunately, not everyone who finds a lost phone will return the handset back to its rightful owner. Should that happen, you can track your phone using GPS. And even if your device is low on battery, the app automatically saves its location.
This is certainly a useful free antivirus app, albeit not the most sophisticated in terms of its feature set.
Protect your personal info easily
Lookout is described as an all-in-one security app that protects your device, data and security. As is the case with most of these apps, Lookout lets you track the location of your iPhone and set off an alarm if you've misplaced it.
However, it’s more than just an anti-theft app. It’ll also alert you if a company, app or service you have installed on your device has been affected by a security breach. From here, the app will advise you on how to handle the situation and protect your personal information. You’re also sent an email if suspicious behavior is detected.
There’s a nifty identity theft protection feature built into the app too. The latter keeps track of your personal and financial information, ensuring it’s never compromised. If you’re based in the US, you can get a history of names, addresses and other records associated with your Social Security Number, which is another attempt to combat fraud.
Although the app is free to download, you can only access most of these features by signing up for a premium account. You can either pay $2.99 (£2.20) per month or $29.99 (£22.20) per year.
Keep your iPhone healthy
Marketed as a smartphone health check-up app, MobiShield will scan your iPhone to detect and make you aware of any security risks. If it does find a problem, it’ll try to fix it quickly while protecting your personal information.
The app uses network traffic monitoring and professional network testing techniques to protect your iPhone from cyber-security threats. In terms of features, you can back up and recover contacts, monitor your battery longevity, keep an eye on memory usage, and encrypt files. The app is free to download from the App Store.