Your iPhone Has Been Hacked: 5 Signs and Solutions
Apple’s iPhone is one of the most popular smartphones in the world. A great user interface, a plethora of neat features, regular operating system updates, and plenty of neat applications are notable reasons behind iPhone’s market domination.
You can also find praise for the iPhone’s security. The device is not prone to threats, such as hacking. At least, that is what some people claim.
The reality is that iPhones can get hacked. The purpose of this article is to describe the signs and reasons behind a hacked iPhone. Hopefully, after reading this article, you are going to be able to identify the issue and take the necessary precautions and work on fixing the problem.
#1 – Overheating
Even though an overheating iPhone is often associated with too many background applications and particles inside the battery, you should not discard the possibility of a cybersecurity threat.
An infected smartphone tends to show various signs of terrible performance, and even minor viruses can snowball enough to cause the iPhone’s battery to overheat.
#2 – Random Applications
Similar to how it is on a computer when you notice random files appearing on the desktop, new apps you did not download and install yourself are an indication that you have a cybersecurity issue with the device.
Keep in mind that these applications might also not be visible on the home screen. If you have folders for apps, check those as well because random apps could be hiding in the folders.
#3 – High Data Usage
High data usage is one of the best indicators that your iPhone has been hacked. Sure, there are examples of when you might not be cautious enough and simply not notice leaving the cellular data on and letting the data consumption run by itself.
On the other hand, if you are well aware and pay attention to data usage, then treat it as a sign that your smartphone is potentially hacked. Also, while on the same topic, get in touch with your service provider and ask them about a potential data usage issue.
#4 – Crashes and Pop-Ups
Random smartphone crashes and restarts can happen even if the device is in good condition. However, you should not underestimate how much of an issue this can become when there are hacks involved.
If you are using the iPhone and it decides to crash and restart once or twice, you could ignore that. However, if such a thing becomes constant, then you can bet that something like a hack is involved.
Just like crashes, random pop-ups are also an indication that you have a virus on your smartphone. If you browse the web or run an app and notice an unwanted pop-up pushing you to something in the form of an ad, try to close it first. If the ad persists despite you closing it, the odds are that your iPhone has been hacked.
#5 – Overall Slow Performance
The last sign is the overall sluggish performance. If you struggle to use the device and feel like it is underperforming a lot, restarting it is usually the first step to try and solve the issue.
Sure, there are multiple causes that affect the overall performance of a smartphone but consider hacking as one of them.
#6 – Battery Doesn’t Last Long
It’s natural for a battery to degrade over time, losing efficiency after several years. However, if your phone is just a few months old and you’re already experiencing poor battery life, this might be a sign that something’s amiss.
Rapid battery drainage can indicate background activity that you may not be aware of. It could be a simple matter of adjusting a setting, or it might imply that your phone has been hacked and your privacy is at risk.
#7 – Jailbroken iPhone
This is possible if you have purchased a used phone. This is a bit more technical, but if you’ve spotted some unfamiliar apps on your phone (specifically, an app called “Cydia”), it’s likely that your iPhone has been jailbroken, which is a strong indication of phone hacking.
The Cydia app requires access to your device for installation. If you didn’t install it yourself, it means someone else did.
Jailbreaking a device unlocks various opportunities for hackers to access your data and remotely monitor your device.
#8 – Enterprise or Developer Apps are Installed
With iOS, it’s possible to bypass Apple’s security measures by using developer versions of software. This is typically reserved for pre-release apps or company-internal apps for business purposes. However, it can also serve as a loophole for hackers to exploit.
If you find an enterprise or developer app on your iPhone that you don’t recall installing, there’s a good chance that your phone has been hacked.
Stay vigilant and monitor your device for any unusual activity. Being aware of these signs can help you protect your privacy and keep your phone secure.
#1 – Antivirus Software
Identifying the signs of a hack is one thing, but what can you do to prevent such a thing from happening in the future?
Well, for starters, antivirus software is often the go-to solution not just on mobile devices but on computers as well.
Find an antivirus application that you can use on iOS and get in the habit of scanning your smartphone on a regular basis.
#2 – Virtual Private Network
Virtual private networks offer security and privacy. For the most part, the tool is used on computers, but mobile devices can benefit from VPNs just as much.
Creating a wall between your iPhone and a hacker who wants to attack you functions as a great safety net.
#3 – Strong Passwords
Having a lackluster password policy could be one of the leading causes behind hack attempts on your digital devices.
It can be a hassle to memorize different and complicated passwords for all your online profiles, which is why so many people use the same password for everything.
The problem with such an approach is that if one of your passwords gets exposed, all of them will.
If memorizing different passwords is too hard, you can always use a password manager and store your credentials there.
#4 – Approved Apps
You might stumble upon applications that are not on the official App Store. Or similarly, you might want to find an app for free because it is too expensive on the App Store.
Downloading apps from unconfirmed third-party stores is one of the sure ways to get a virus on your iPhone.
#5 – Regular Updates
As a rule of thumb, you want to download and install a new iOS update as soon as one becomes available. Do not delay and make sure that your device is up to date, so it benefits not just from the latest features but also from the overall performance improvements and security upgrades.
#6 – Avoid Clicking Suspicious Links
Apple and other tech companies invest considerable effort in incorporating virus and malware protection into their operating systems. However, this security can be undermined when users manually click on suspicious links.
Crafted by hackers to breach your privacy and access your personal information, it’s crucial to avoid links with strange spellings, peculiar logos, and those that lack security features—especially when connected to public Wi-Fi networks, which are more susceptible to attacks.
A typical tactic employed by phone hackers involves impersonating a reputable brand that you’re likely to trust without hesitation. They create a website that mimics the design of the trusted brand and host it on a URL that closely resembles the one they’re imitating.
Once you’re on their site, they’ll lead you to click on a malicious link, giving the hacker access to your financial data and login credentials.
It’s essential to double-check website URLs and trust your instincts. If something seems off, it probably is. Another helpful tip is to use a virtual private network (VPN) while browsing, which can safeguard your personal information and make your phone less prone to attacks.
#7 – Downloading malicious apps
Apple undoubtedly excels at monitoring the App Store, maintaining strict guidelines for app publishers. However, it’s only natural that a few questionable apps might slip through the cracks.
Most of the time, it’s relatively easy to determine if an app is trustworthy. Be cautious with apps that are slow, have an outdated appearance, or exhibit obvious glitches—especially if they request access to your phone’s camera, microphone, or location.
To stay on the safe side, always check reviews before downloading apps from the App Store, and remove any apps that raise concerns about their trustworthiness.
What to do if your iPhone has been hacked?
If you suspect that your iPhone has been hacked, don’t panic! Follow these steps to help secure your device and protect your information:
- Update your software: Ensure your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS. Updates often include security patches to fix vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.
- Change your passwords: Change the passwords for your Apple ID, email accounts, and any other critical apps or services you use. Make sure to use strong, unique passwords for each account.
- Enable two-factor authentication: Activate two-factor authentication (2FA) on your Apple ID and other important accounts. This adds an extra layer of security, making it more difficult for hackers to gain access.
- Check for suspicious apps: Look for any unfamiliar apps or those that you don’t remember installing. If you find any, delete them from your device.
- Revoke app permissions: Go to your iPhone’s settings and review the permissions for each app. Revoke access to features that seem unnecessary for the app’s function, such as camera, microphone, or location access.
- Disconnect unfamiliar devices: In your Apple ID settings, check the list of connected devices and remove any that you don’t recognize.
- Avoid jailbreaking: Refrain from jailbreaking your iPhone, as this can make it more vulnerable to hacking.
- Run a security scan: Install a reputable mobile security app and run a scan to detect any potential threats.
- Monitor your accounts: Keep an eye on your email, bank, and social media accounts for any unusual activity.
- Contact Apple Support: If you’re still concerned about your iPhone’s security, reach out to Apple Support for assistance.
By taking these steps, you can help safeguard your iPhone and personal information from potential threats. Stay vigilant, and remember to keep your device updated to minimize risks.