A recent article from CNet reports Juniper's latest findings regarding Malware on Mobile devices. You can read the article here if you'd like, although I'll quickly summarize it for you now. Malware is hitting mobile devices pretty hard. Folks are getting this stuff through fake apps in their respective OS' app download mechanism and/or infected webpages. The article reports that, by far *sigh*, Android users are hit the hardest and IOS users, *sigh* have been hit the least.
I want to thank CNet and Juniper for making the point that I've been making for years regarding which OS' are getting hit with Malware/Spyware/Viruses and which OS (note the lack of plurality) is seemingly immune to infestations. It's about market share. Plain and simple. That is the LARGEST contributing factor in which OS's are getting hit. Market share. Why go after a small target, when there is a large target available. According to the article, Android has 60% of the mobile market, with Apple and Microsoft roughly tied just under 20%. So... Which OS is the bigger target? Even if Windows and Apple shared some sort of vulnerability that was easily exploited, you'd STILL be hitting only 40% of the mobile users. The clear choice for targeting users with nastyware is Android. Thank you again, to Juniper/CNet for pointing out toward the end of the article, "This does not mean that iOS is more secure than Android." This is a HUGE point to make. In fact, a year or so ago Kasperski came out with a series of interviews and statements that concluded that Apple's OS's were "insecure" in comparison to other OS and are years behind when it comes to security. (you can read that here and here) Again, the largest contributing factor is market share - the size of the target.
I think the second largest factor in Apple's ability to claim "no viruses, spyware or malware" is Apple's effort to function entirely in a bubble, by making an effort to be as uncooperative with other businesses, and being entirely consumer and developer unfriendly. This gives them complete control over everything that gets presented to their OS. The IOS App Store has tight controls and (from what I read) is prohibitively expensive for the casual developer. This cuts out a HUGE potential for vulnerable apps, and only allows developers with a significant financial backing and presumably more legit apps, to sell in the app store. Apple has historically been uncooperative with other software companies as well, which limits Apple's exposure to other vendors' vulnerabilities.
These two factors alone make Apple seem less vulnerable. Regardless of which OS or device you use, avoiding all the nastyware out there on the internet comes down to one thing - good browsing habits. Simply knowing where you're going on the internet, being able to identify a "fake" page when you see one and developing enough savvy to not be duped by every internet scam out there. There are no hard/fast rules for being safe on the internet, there's no magic device, or software that is going to protect you. It's simply knowing what you are doing and understanding that The Internet is a dangerous place. (I'm working on an article about this right which I will be posting at a later time)
Again, thank you to CNet and Juniper for fairly reporting the data and not feeding the ignorance regarding Apple.