Critical Threat iPhone Message

Critical threat

Critical threat has been infecting the Chrome, Firefox, Edge and other popular iPhone browsers as of late. Once in the browser, Critical threat will alter its settings and cause the display of myriads of online ads on your screen.

Critical Threat

The Critical Threat Pop up on iPhone.

Critical Threat Apple Message

Critical Threat Apple Message is a warning pop-up that targets iPhone devices and tries to trick their users into installing malicious software. You must not interact with the Critical Threat Apple Message or else your iPhone may get exposed to danger.

Many iPhone users have made reports about receiving unsettling warning messages while browsing the web that warn about a malware hiding in the device that needs to be removed. The pop-up advises the user to download a certain anti-malware tool to help remove the infection. However, this exact anti-malware tool what you shouldn’t let inside your device. Pop-ups like the Critical Threat Apple Message are very common and their purpose is to get you to download fake and potentially unsafe software on your iPhone. Such pop-ups shouldn’t be interacted with – do not click on any buttons on the pop-up itself no matter what they say. Instead, double-tap on your home button and then close all active apps. If this doesn’t get the pop-up away from your screen, then reboot the device.

This is why experts identify Critical threat as your typical browser hijacker. And the settings that it is most likely to affect are those relating to your homepage and default search engine, for example. In addition, Critical threat is also likely to add a new toolbar to the browser in question, and it will also certainly install an ad-generating element, as this is its main goal. Furthermore, aside from showcasing numerous banners, box messages, popups and other online advertising materials, software like this also has a strong tendency to initiate page redirects.

The Critical Threat iPhone Message

Browser hijackers, like the Critical Threat iPhone Message, as you may have already guessed it, exist primarily for the purpose of promoting various products, services and websites. This is why they change your homepage and/or search engine and display pop up messages for example – to generate more hits for these respective sites.

This means that as you’re busy browsing the web, your browser may spontaneously decide to reroute you to some sponsored web location – regardless of how relevant it is to you. If all of this sounds familiar, then chances are pretty high that you may be eager to remove this program from your computer. And below we have put together a removal guide that will show you exactly how you may accomplish this.

The Critical Threat Virus

Now, although the Critical Threat “Virus” is not actually a virus and may sound fairly harmless until now, there are actually more serious potential consequences associated with the presence of a browser hijacker in your system. For one, the constant generation of ads on your screen does pull on system resources, and this may compromise the overall performance of your machine.

For another, with the hijacker’s tendency to constantly redirect your searches to questionable web locations, you run the risk of sooner or later encountering some virus or malware. In fact, we’re talking highly dangerous pieces of malicious programming, such as Trojans and even ransomware. Therefore, to avoid potentially coming across any viruses, we recommend abstaining from any interaction with the content displayed by Critical threat. And you can altogether minimize this risk by removing the hijacker from your OS with the help of the below instructions.

The developers of these types of applications profit from the display of these paid ads. Normally this happens in accordance with popular remuneration schemes such as Pay Per Click. Thus, every time you click on a banner or box message, the developers earn some small commission. And for this reason, the ads generated by Critical threat are typically positioned in the most annoying way, so that you can’t avoid clicking on them. Furthermore, you may have noticed that this browser hijacker doesn’t exactly come with a designated uninstallation button. Obviously, its creators would like to have their application remain on your computer for as long as possible, and they won’t provide you with an easy way to remove it.

SUMMARY:

Name Critical Threat
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)

Step1

Hijackers for mobile devices often spam banners and pop-ups on the screen that can be very difficult to remove. Until you remove any obstructive messages that this hijacker may have displayed on your screen, you will have hard time completing this guide so the first thing you must do is ensure that there are no ads, banners, pop-ups, or other obstructive promotional materials on your device’s screen.

Normally, most hijacker-generated pop-ups would have a Close, X, or some other button kind of button (such as “Remove all viruses” in the case of the Critical Threat iPhone message) on them that would supposedly close the pop-up if interacted with. However, often tapping on this button would count as tapping on the advert itself and will result in you getting redirected to the page that the pop-up is promoting. Since you can’t know what that page is and whether or not it is safe, we advise you to refrain from tapping on the Close/X button to close the pop-up. Instead, double-tap on your device’s Home Screen button to see all currently opened apps and then use the Close All button to quit them all at once. In most cases, this should also close the pop-up that’s bothering you.

If this doesn’t work, then turn off you Wi-Fi and/or mobile data and reboot your device. To Reboot your iPhone, press and hold either volume control button and the power button of the device and wait for the power-off option to appear on your screen. Drag down the power off slider and wait for the device to shut down. Then turn the iPhone back on by holding down its power button and releasing it after the Apple logo shows up on the screen. 

Step2

Now that there are no more obstructive ads on your screen, you can address the actual problem with your device – the presence of the unwanted browser hijacker on it.

First, carefully look at what apps you have on the device – more often than not, hijackers enter iPhones alongside seemingly normal apps that contain the code of the unwanted hijacker. If you remember installing a certain app just before the problems began to appear, then it is likely that said app is linked to the browser hijacker. Another factor that mustn’t be overlooked is if there are any apps on the device that are downloaded from a platform different from the official App Store. It is very rare for problematic apps to be allowed into the App Store but if you have downloaded something from a third-party platform, the chances of it containing malware code are much higher.

If there’s an app on the iPhone you suspect of being linked to the hijacker and responsible for the appearance of the unnerving messages on your screen, go to the app, tap-hold on it until an button shows up on top of it, and then select that button. This will uninstall the app, hopefully stopping the appearance of the unwanted pop-ups and messages on your display. If there are several apps that you suspect, remove them one by one to figure out which one is being problematic so that you can later restore the ones that didn’t cause any issues.

Step3

The next thing you should do is check the settings of your Safari browser. Even if, after uninstalling any suspicious apps from your device, the obstructive on-screen messages have stopped, you still need to make sure that all security features of the browser are enabled and that there’s no hijacker-related data saved on it.

First thing you must do is open Settings, find the Safari icon, and select it. In there, you will see settings labeled Block Pop-ups and Fraudulent Website Warning – both of these should be enabled to ensure that no malicious messages get generated in the browser and that Safari always block potentially hazardous sites from loading, warning you that you should probably not visit them. If those two settings are currently disabled, enable them.

Next, look for the Clear History and Browsing Data setting and open it. You will be asked to confirm the action so do that and wait for the browsing data for Safari to get cleared. Keep in mind that doing this will result in you getting logged out of any accounts you were logged in through Safari so you will have to log into them manually next time you visit those sites.

Lastly, you should repeat the actions from this step with any other browsers that you have on your iPhone. It is very rare for hijackers to only limit themselves to one single browsing app so it is highly likely that you have other browsers on the device, they have also been hijacked by the unwanted software and need to have their data cleared. 

Step4

Though rare, it is still possible that none of the previous step get rid of the obstructive and unnerving messages that this hijacker puts on your screen. If nothing else helps, you may need to resort to performing a Factory Reset. To many users this may sound a bit scary because it could mean loss of important data. However, iPhones have a very helpful automatic backup feature that will keep your data safe on iCloud and allow you to restore it from there in case it gets damaged or deleted on the device.

So, before you Factory Reset the phone, you should to check and see if the backup feature is enabled on your device for all apps that store sensitive and important data. To this, open the Settings app and tap on your Apple ID at the top and then go to the iCloud settings. Look at the different apps listed there and see if automatic backing up for all of them is enabled. If it isn’t enabled for any apps that store data important to you, enabled it for them as well. After that, you are safe to move on to the Factory Reset of your device.

Frequently Asked Question: Many users wonder if it is a good idea to perform a full backup of the device using the iCloud Backup function. While this is a good way of saving all of your data at once, the problem with doing this in the current case is that it may also backup the hijacker as well and when you restore your data from the backup, you may end up back where you started because the hijacker could re-enter your device, defeating the whole purpose of the factory-resetting your device. For that reason, we do not suggest creating a full backup of the device in this situation.

Once you’ve ensured that all important apps are being automatically backed up on iCloud, you can proceed to the Factory Reset. First, go to Settings again and  now find and select General. Find the Reset option and tap on it – iOS will ask you (on multiple occasions) if you really want to reset your device. Provide your confirmation to the Factory Reset whenever it is required and once the process begins, patiently wait for it to finish. At the end, your device will restart and you will have to set up your preferences like you did after you had bought your iPhone. Once you are done with that, you should no longer be getting bothered by the Critical Threat iPhone message.

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About the author

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Violet George

Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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