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How to check if your iPad has malware

How to check if your iPad has malware
© Sarayuth Punnasuriyaporn Dreamstime.com

Here’s one of the great things about owning an iPad—unless you’ve jailbroken it, the chances of it becoming infected with a virus is almost zero. Then there's malware and since there's none out there that targets iPads exclusively, you’re safe from some major issues. However, there are still things to watch out for, and we’re here to tell you what they are and how to find out if they’re on your iPad.

Even if a full-fledged virus can't be downloaded to your iPad, threats like malware are still very real. Phishing scams  that trick you into providing information like passwords on the fake recovery pages you get sent to, can also be sent to your iPad as easily as they’re sent to your computer.

There are a few ways to verify you’re not looking at adware or a phishing scam, and they don’t necessitate buying anything. There are also ways to protect your iPad so you avoid these issues all together, and avoid getting malware if you have jailbroken your tablet. Read on to learn all there is to know about how to check for bad advertisements and malware on your iPad, and how to keep it safe going forward.

How to check your iPad for malware and other issues

To check if you’re looking at adware or a phishing scam on your iPad when you’re browsing the internet, check the URL in your web browser. If the URL has misspellings, or a lot of numbers and letters, it’s very likely a scam and you should just exit the page.

If you keep encountering a page that says you have malware or a virus on your device, or a persistent pop-up ad, you may need to clear out your iPad’s cache. Doing this will sadly eliminate most saved passwords from your browser, which can be annoying, so just make sure you have the passwords stored elsewhere such as a password manager before you follow the next steps, so you can re-save them all and get back to normal iPad use quickly.

Once you have your passwords ready to go, go to Settings, then tap Safari in the left menu. Tap the “Clear History and Website Data” link on the lower part of the page and tap “Clear” to confirm your choice. That malware/virus warning should now go away altogether, as should any pop-ups.

If you’ve received an odd notification in your email, rather than while browsing the internet, check the email address. Again, if the address has misspellings or isn’t officially from somewhere where you have an account or subscription, it’s very likely a scam and you should report it as spam, then delete it from your inbox.

If you’re concerned about your iPad’s behavior after you’ve jailbroken the device (which is not recommended), think back to any recent downloads you’ve made. Were any of them apps from outside the app store, or from a company whose identity you have trouble verifying? Or is just one particular app acting oddly? The problem might be that app.

Check the developer’s social media pages for any news of issues, and make sure you have the most up-to-date version of the app. If things are up to date, and there aren’t issues being reported, uninstall the app and see if problems continue elsewhere on your iPad. If they don’t, you found the culprit!

Try to find an alternate app for that function in the future. If the problem persists, continue checking recent app downloads, or file downloads, and see if uninstalling these fixes your problem.

We also have tips to check if your iPads are giving bad information, or are genuinely compromised. Let’s see how we can protect our iPads so this doesn’t happen again.

How to protect your iPad

We’ve already talked about checking URLs and email addresses before clicking links, or providing personal information. On top of doing this, it’s incredibly important to keep your iPad, and your apps, up to date. Updates from Apple and app developers come with new security features, or direct responses to hacks or bad code. If you want to keep adware, malware and even some phishing scams off of your iPad, you need to stay on top of software updates, both for iOS, and for each individual app.

Again, it’s best not to jailbreak your iPad to keep it 100% safe and to keep it repairable, as most Apple Genius bars won’t work to help a jailbroken device. If that is what you decide to do, however, make sure you take a few more safety precautions when you use it. Try using a VPN (such as ExpressVPN) while you browse the internet so it’s harder for your device to be targeted or seen by outsiders.

Download apps only from reputable developers. Consider getting an anti-virus app like Bitdefender Mobile Security, which can provide a bit more security to your device in the form of remote locks, added web protection and device wipe features.

Also remember restarting your device can sometimes help reset it if bad software has gotten in, and that kick people accessing your device remotely off your iPad. Also consider clearing your cache periodically so adware gets flushed out before it tricks you, or becomes an annoyance when you use your tablet.

The last way to protect your iPad is to back it up regularly, to cloud storage or your computer. If malware gets in that necessitates you restoring your iPad to factory settings, you’ll be less impeded if you have clean backups available, and your iPad can be back up and functioning that much sooner.

iPads are some of the safest devices when it comes to malware and viruses, but they’re still vulnerable to some attacks. Keep your iPad safe by knowing what to watch out for, and protecting it in advance with the advice we’ve provided.

How to detect if your iPhone has viruses

Adware, viruses and malware seem to be hiding in virtually every corner of the internet. Many of us like to think that our iPhone is safe from the scourge of these viruses. This has seemingly been common knowledge for years, but is it true? Follow these 7 steps to ensure your iPhone and iPad are free of viruses.

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