Can Your iPhone Be Hacked? While iOS security is well-deserved, Apple’s marketing claim of “unhackable” isn’t entirely accurate.
Despite the fact that iOS security is superior to Android security, you should not rely solely on Apple to protect your data. Developing good data security habits can save you a lot of trouble by keeping your identity and accounts in your hands.
Hacking software that does not require the phone’s owner to click on a link can compromise Apple iPhones and steal sensitive data.
Amnesty International reports that iPhones belonging to journalists and human rights lawyers were infected with NSO Group’s Pegasus malware, which grants the attacker access to messages, emails, and the phone’s microphone and camera.
Can iPhone Be Hacked?
Yes. Apple is referring to the iOS code and security methods when it boasts about how difficult it is to hack an iPhone. On the other hand, human error has long been the leading cause of data breaches worldwide.
When it comes to iPhone hacks, most methods consider the user, rather than the operating system, to be the weakest link in the security chain. By being aware of the most effective ways of manipulating users like yourself, you can make it difficult for anyone who isn’t welcome to access your phone.
How can iPhone be hacked?
When someone else gains access to or controls your device without your permission, this is referred to as hacking. It’s a broad term that can mean anything from bad to very serious. Some hackers are interested in making a quick buck by selling advertisements. Others intend to harm you.
There are three types of iPhone hacks, according to experts:
Apps on the App Store that are suspicious
Apple devices exist in a much more closed and monitored digital ecosystem than Android devices. The app store has a vetting process in place, but it isn’t perfect. Ning Zhang, director of Washington University’s Computer Security and Privacy Laboratory, advised users to be wary of apps that request more information than they need to function.
It’s a red flag if you download a wallpaper or flashlight app and it asks for your location, contact list, camera, or microphone. The developers are most likely duping you into providing this information so that it can be sold.
“I’d be skeptical of it and consider whether I really want that wallpaper app,” he said. “Being cautious is beneficial even when using official apps. If we can accomplish this, I believe the average citizen will be relatively safe.”
Your iPhone, like your computer, can be hacked by visiting a suspicious website or clicking on a link. If a website appears or feels “off,” check the logos, spelling, or URL.
Avoid connecting to a public Wi-Fi network that does not require a password, as this allows a hacker to access unencrypted traffic on your device or redirect you to a fraudulent site to obtain login credentials.
Messages from unknown phone numbers are also suspected.
Thankfully, modern smartphones are resistant to malware and ransomware.
Attacks on specific individuals
According to Matthew Green, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Internet Security Institute, the average person will not be singled out and remotely targeted by hackers because it is expensive, with hacks of newer phones costing millions of dollars.
Journalists and activists are particularly vulnerable to this type of attack.
One type of targeted hack involves hackers exploiting unknown flaws in iOS programming that even developers are unaware of. Hackers can use this information to install malware that will collect data from specific sources.
Green explained, “This is a very sophisticated set of hacks, and you may not even realize it happened to you.” “If it’s a really sophisticated person, they’ll send you an invisible text message, which will compromise your phone for a while.”
URLs that are suspicious
For those who need reminding, never click on a link if you don’t know who sent it or can’t verify that it’s from a trustworthy source. Phishing is still one of the most common internet scam techniques, and it manifests itself in a variety of ways, including the following:
1. Emails: These phishing emails aren’t like the ones you might have received 20 years ago when a randomized email address would send you a 200-character link to a “free cruise.” The more successful phishing emails will impersonate account providers such as Google, Amazon, or Apple, telling you to update your password or account bio.
2. SMS: Text messages are a new favorite of phishers, who use the quantity-over-quality strategy.
3. Phone calls: All day, scam callers bombard US phone numbers. Phishing calls typically ask the target to call back about something relevant to the user, such as debt consolidation, mortgage payments, or car payments.
4. Social media accounts that appear as targeted ads are a new favorite phishing method because we are more likely to click on them.
5. Fraudulent software: The least-known method of phishing, fraudulent versions of popular software tools can rank shockingly high in a Google search. Websites may occasionally offer a “free” version of paid software (though free software can be legitimate, as we’ve seen with free VPNs and free antivirus software).
How to Avoid iPhone Hacking?
We understand that the lengthy list of threats presented above may appear intimidating, so the main question we must ask ourselves is, “What can I do to keep my iPhone from being hacked?”
- Updates should be installed as soon as possible. Some updates are last-minute fixes for newly discovered security flaws. When you first install updates, you may encounter annoyances such as slow loading times or minor glitches. These minor inconveniences, however, are preferable to someone hacking into your phone and stealing your identity.
Configure two-factor authentication. Set up two-factor authentication to keep unauthorized users out of your Apple and iCloud accounts. Multifactor authentication via biometrics is even better!
When using public Wi-Fi, use a VPN. When using public Wi-Fi, you are vulnerable to anyone who has access to the same network. You can protect your iPhone from random hackers by using a VPN while connected to public Wi-Fi.
Make use of a strong password. Ensure that your secure password contains a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. For maximum password security, it should also be unique to your Apple ID and contain at least 12 characters.
Don’t give out personal information without first confirming its legitimacy. Before sending personally identifiable information, investigate the requesting organization’s website to ensure it is legitimate.
Create a passcode. After you’ve completed these steps, putting your phone down for an extended period of time will require a passcode to unlock it.
Navigate to the Settings menu.
Select “Touch ID & Passcode.”
Select “Turn Passcode On.”
Select “Passcode Options.”
Create a Custom Alphanumeric or Numeric Code” should be selected.
Install Find My iPhone. This feature allows you to easily locate your phone if you misplace it.
Navigate to the Settings menu.
Simply tap your name.
Select “Find My iPhone.”
To activate it, tap the switch icon.
Tap the switch next to “Find My Network” to see your iPhone even when it is not connected to the internet.
Tap the switch next to “Send Last Location” to send Apple your phone’s last location when the battery is low.
How to Determine Whether Your iPhone Has Been Hacked
According to Sekar, it’s not always possible to tell if your iPhone has been hacked. However, you may notice a few things.
- Your phone is overheating or frequently dying.
- When trying to load websites, your phone is sluggish.
- Even when you are not touching your phone, the battery is draining.
These symptoms indicate that your phone is always on, even when you are not using it. Outside sources can sometimes provide the best indicators, such as when friends report receiving strange messages from you. The most sophisticated hacks, on the other hand, can be virtually undetectable.
There is no single method for detecting every type of hack. Experts recommend downloading iVerify, a mobile security app that scans your phone’s operating system for suspicious behavior and can also detect if your phone has been jailbroken.