In today’s fast-paced digital world, it’s hard to imagine a single day that doesn’t involve using our mobile phone. They contain our personal and sensitive information ranging from emails and family photos to our online banking details. With technology being mostly the center and primary source of our lives, it comes with no surprise that these sources are a primary target for hackers. Most people assume that iPhone users are excluded from this threat; however, are they as safe as they believe. In this article, we’ll discover how to tell if your phone has been hacked, what are the warning signs your iPhone has been hacked, and what are some methods you may protect yourself.
Can the iPhone be hacked, fact or fiction?
This may come as a surprise, but the short answer is yes and sadly, as simple as having the right application. Most iPhone hacks occur using malware or spyware applications. These applications hide on your device, often without a home screen icon, and allow hackers to monitor or access anything on your mobile device. Here some ways your iPhone may be hacked:
Siri can easily be manipulated through a remarkably simple method to bypass a user’s passcode.
Malware or Spyware
Programs such as KidsGuard Pro, allow monitoring of over 20 features, including SMS, calls, and Whatsapp.
iKeymonitor is a keystroke hacking app for the iPhone that monitors and records every keystroke from a user.
Pegasus is undoubtedly one of the best-detailed processes on how to hack an iPhone.
iWep Pro is a hacking application targeted at cracking network-related passwords and is even free to download.
Pop-ups, Phishing scams, and emails
Text messages and emails are easy methods for hackers to send you Malware via links during these scams. Clicking these links will install Malware onto your iPhone granting the hacker access to your device.
Has your iPhone been hacked?
Even though the purpose of these apps is to be discreet, there are some signs that your iPhone has been hacked.
Shortened Battery life
If you notice a distinct change in how fast your battery depletes even when your phone is not in use, this may be a clear sign your iPhone has been hacked. Spyware or malware applications consume a lot of battery to scan your device and send the information back to the hacker.
Most hackers are discreet and leave no traces on your phone; however, others may use your phone remotely to perform tasks or various purposes. If you discover unknown calls or texts, you do not remember you verify your phone bill for any costs you don’t recognize.
If you find your phone freezing, crashing during specific applications, or repeatedly restarting, this may be a sign your iPhone is hacked. This usually occurs because the Malware or spyware is overloading the phone’s resources.
Increase in data usage
An unusually high data bill is another sign your iPhone has been hacked. This usually occurs because the spyware or Malware is always running and continuously sending information back to its server.
Unusual account usage
Hackers, who have access to your phone, usually have access to your social media or email accounts. If you notice unusual behavior such as new account verifications in your inbox, resetting passwords, or marking unread emails, you don’t remember opening this could be another sign your iPhone has been hacked. However, in this case, you may be at the risk of fraudulent behavior with the hacker using your credit our accounts at your own expense. In this case, change your account passwords without updating them on your phone.
Even though not all pop-ups are signs your iPhone has been hacked, constant pop-ups may indicate adware. This Malware forces users to view pages that generate the user with revenue through clicks, even when a pop up isn’t the result of a hack many attempts to trick users into downloading Malware.
How to protect your iPhone from hackers
After learning how to tell if your phone has been hacked what steps can take to prevent potential threats.
Do not jailbreak your iPhone
iPhone limits users to purchasing apps from the Apple store, once jailbroken your iPhone will be able to access third-party apps but also exposing you to Malware.
Regularly update your iOS
Although many iPhone users do not agree, frequently updating your iOS is one of the best ways to protect yourself from hackers. Not only do newer versions come with stronger security fixes, they also help your iPhone recover from a jailbreak by breaking potential connections with outside sources.
Keep Siri disabled on your lock screen
Although many see Siri as a convenient feature, it remains an easy gateway for hackers to access your iPhone and information.
Delete unknown messages
General good practice is to delete messages from unknown sources and only access things (links, SMS, and emails) you trust.
Only use secure Wi-Fi logins.
Many users opt for Public Wi-Fi to save mobile data; however, this makes them vulnerable to being hacked. Public networks should be avoided for transactions involving private activity, credit card, or banking information.
Do not use public charging stations
Public charging stations may contain Malware that can be downloaded into your device automatically.
Choose a strong password and set data erasure
Passcodes should be six digits or longer, consist of numbers, letters, and characters for added security. For additional security, activate your cloud backups set your iPhone to erase all data after ten failed passcode attempts.
Browse safely & use a VPN
Only visit trusted sites and avoid clicking on pop up ads as they may contain harmful Malware. If you’re at the airport or in a random coffee shop, always use a VPN.
In conclusion, hackers should not be a problem or issue if you’re following good practice. Do not jailbreak your iPhone, update your iOS, and delete messages from unknown senders.
If you notice any of the above signs, take your iPhone offline immediately. This can be done by switching to airplane mode or powering off the device for some time. The simplest way to remove Malware is by resetting your device, and as a last resort, a DFU (Device Firmware Update) restore. Before you go to the DFU approach, remember to back up all your data. The DFU will delete all your data to restore your device to its default settings. You can then restore your device using a computer through iTunes/iCloud.
If you’re in a position of an ios developer, make sure that you’ve followed all the recommended security practices
Even though it may seem true that the Apple store is safer than Google Android, the above proves it’s not immune.
About the author:- Olga Galik is a senior Software Consultant at Uptech. Olga’s articles were covered by Techhype.io and TechWebSpace.