Jailbreaking your phone does only two things: it installs Cydia, and it gives Cydia the power to install other things. Cydia, in and of itself, can’t be exploited to install malware, because it uses the apt package format that must be invoked by the user to be activated. Jailbreaking does not make your phone less secure. It just opens the doors to let you do whatever you want.
The only way for malware to get there is for the user to let it do so. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, “With great power, comes great responsibility” before. This is true of your phone as well. If you install something malicious or insecure, then you could end up with malware. If you install something that’s supposed to be secure, like OpenSSH, but fail to make it so (changing the default password), then you could end up with malware. If you install pirated tweaks from unofficial sources, there’s a chance that you could be installing malware. If you’re smart, and only install tweaks that are reputable, verified to be secure, and from the official sources, then the odds of anything going wrong are the same as on a jailed device.
Jailbreaking does violate the iOS EULA and voids the warranty. However, Apple Support has no way to tell that your phone is jailbroken without seeing it in person. If you simply remove the jailbreak by backing up your phone, restoring it, and then restoring the backup, then the jailbreak will be gone and the average techie can’t tell that you ever jailbroke.
So, what can you actually do with a jailbreak? A lot. You can add tons of things that are just fun to mess around with, like visual effects and such. You can got loads of fun apps, like emulators and tweaks. You can get a lot of useful features, like locking down access to certain apps, adding a guest account, or enabling caller ID on unknown numbers. You can save money with things that compress data and allow tethering without a plan.
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