Technology is a double-edged sword. With the advancement of technology has come computers, android devices, iPhones, and a myriad of other devices. However, technology is being used by some people to create and spread various malicious software and apps.
Malware, including spy software, could easily infiltrate your phone’s operating system and compromise your privacy. Spyware is commonly used by cybercriminals to access and steal personal information on your devices and accounts. Of course, it can also be used to steal your finances once they have your private information. The sad thing is that a spyware app would be installed on your iPhone by someone you know, someone who could easily gain access to your iPhone. Reasons may vary from spying on your iPhone and online activities, monitoring your location, or even blackmail.
iPhone Spyware Attack Methods
Regardless of how hard Apple works to improve the iPhone’s software and security, hackers and cybercriminals seem to continuously come up with spyware that can penetrate and infect your iPhone.
Hidden Spying Apps
Anyone could purchase a spyware app for around $30 online. This type of spyware can, but not always, requires physical access to the iPhone. So, chances are the one who installs it is likely someone you know. The person would only need a few minutes to install the spyware and then, they could remotely monitor your iPhone. This would provide them access to your location, phone calls, text messages, emails, photos, social media activities, and more.
iCloud Backup Attack
Hacking into your iCloud account is an alternative way for hackers to steal data from your iPhone. This appeals to hackers because it does not require physical access to your iPhone, just your Apple ID login details. This is quite dangerous since hackers could not only access and download your data, but even clone your entire iPhone.
This is a sneaky type of spyware infiltration via a well-known or trusted app. For instance, it could be disguised as an update for an app you actually use every day. While it cannot replace Apple’s built-in platforms, it could replace any installed apps from the App Store. Hackers utilize an app “upgrade” or “update” to mask the attack and bypass Apple’s strict security measures.
Rogue apps are deceptive and fraudulent versions of trusted and credible apps. These counterfeits mimic the general interface of the original ones. Then, as soon as you download and install the apps, you grant hackers the access and permission they need. Hackers leverage on trusted brands to gather sensitive information that users confidently share, believing that their data are in safe hands.
Zero-day exploits usually attack weaknesses in operating systems and third-party apps. One attack could affect millions or more. These are rare but extremely devastating since there is no current fix for iPhones and apps affected.
Detecting Spyware On Your iPhone
So, you now have an idea of how spyware could get into your iPhone. Now, here are some signs to look out for to help determine if your phone has been compromised.
Spikes In Data Usage
iPhone spy apps usually need the internet to work, which means it would use up your data. Spyware continuously gathers data like phone call history and messages, and they receive such data by using the internet. If there is a suspicious spike in your data usage, it would be best to check for spy activity on your iPhone.
Your iPhone Is Hot!
Most spyware is designed to stealthily run in the background, that’s one of the appeals. However, they are not exactly 100% stealthy because even if they are “invisible”, they are still technically running; hence, your iPhone may still get warm to the touch even when no obvious apps are running.
Just like any application, the spyware continuously runs until told not to do so or closed. Consequently, you may notice that your iPhone battery seems to be draining too fast even when you’re not using it much.
Call Background Noises
There are spyware apps that are intentionally installed to specifically monitor your phone calls. In this case, you may notice background noises that have nothing to do with coverage or location.
The Cydia App
Spyware app installation on iPhones usually requires one to jailbreak the device, which would explain the presence of the Cydia app. Now, if you didn’t jailbreak your iPhone and the Cydia app is on your phone, then there is the possibility spyware is on it. Routinely perform a Spotlight search for “Cydia” to check or enter “4433*29342” into the spotlight search to eliminate any possibilities.
Remove Spyware; Protect Your iPhone
Precaution, as they say, is better than a cure. In the same way, precaution is way better than an infected iPhone and compromised data. If your iPhone has been compromised, it is best to take immediate action.
Here are some ways to protect your iPhone as well as get rid of spyware.
Observe Safe Browsing
Be vigilant of the sites you visit and the links you click on. Avoid sites that begin with “http”, which means they aren’t secured with an SSL certificate. Also, download apps from the official App Store only and be wary of third-party app stores.
Use a strong passcode or Face ID to ensure you are the only person who can access your iPhone. You could also use two-factor authentication with your Apple ID.
Update Your iPhone Software
It is important to keep your iOS up-to-date as it often comes with bug fixes which may actually eliminate spyware and other threats from your system. You can set it so your iPhone automatically updates, instead of manually approving it.
Restore Your Device
Restoring your iPhone in iTunes is similar to updating your iOS in the sense that it could eliminate spyware that may have infected your iPhone. However, doing this deletes all of your information and settings.
Use Anti-Spyware Apps or Programs
Installing and using an anti-spyware program is the easiest way to prevent your iPhone from becoming infected. You could also utilize antivirus software as well. Make sure to set such programs to automatically scan your iPhone regularly.
It pays to be conscious of your iPhone’s protection as it could also effectively save your data and privacy from being compromised. Make sure to take into consideration the information mentioned above to prevent your spyware from invading your iPhone.