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Here’s the easiest way to avoid malware on an Apple device

Malicious software targeting iOS-based mobile devices and computers is on the rise, according to a report from software security firm McAfee. Cyberassaults on Mac laptop and desktop computers increased 744 percent last year, mainly due to adware, which automates advertisements to generate revenue.

Though Google’s Android operating system continues to face a barrage of malware attacks, Apple device users have remained largely unaffected by hostile software. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen, cybersecurity experts say.

“The App Store has seen some bad apps sneak past approval but these are pulled rather quickly,” George Avetisov, CEO and cofounder of HYPR Corp, tells us Tuesday. “Apple continues to focus heavily on their customers’ privacy and security. They’ve taken a corporate political stance defending this posture.”

What’s the easiest way to sidestep malware? Avoid purchasing a jailbroken device.

Jailbreaking removes software restrictions on iOS-based devices, allowing root access to the operating system. This permits the installation of apps, themes and extensions that aren’t found in Apple’s official App Store.

The “dangerous” process deactivates most or all of a device’s security features, leaving it susceptible to hacking and malware.

Jailbroken Apple devices can be found on sites like eBay or OfferUp.

“Jailbreaking even adds services that don’t exist in a standard iOS install…This is open to the entire Wi-Fi or cell network your device is on when jailbroken,” Avetisov explains. “Those services basically allow anyone who knows a default password to remotely control your device.”

Apple also warns users to only download apps from its App Store, where all app developers are verified by the Cupertino-based company, and each app is thoroughly vetted before it’s accepted.


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