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Can iPhone be hacked? Things to know & quick fixes (2021)

What to do if your iPhone has been hacked

iPhone is undoubtedly more resistant than the competition when it comes to hacking. Hence, it often gets us questioning, ‘can an iPhone be hacked?’ Well, like any other thing that runs on software, your iPhone isn’t 100 percent hack-proof. There have been instances when a users’ iDevice has been compromised.

So, yes, your iPhone can be hacked. Don’t panic. This article covers everything you wish to know about how someone can hack your iPhone and show you what steps to take if you believe your iPhone has been hacked.

How can an iPhone be hacked?

Apple has tight control over both software and hardware that results in a secure device. However, certain things that can puncture your iPhone’s security. Let’s dig deeper into them and understand what can affect your iPhone’s security (and user experience):

Jailbreak

If you jailbreak your device or run an enterprise developer account, you have the option to install apps outside of the App Store. This may (unknowingly) result in malicious apps taking place on your iPhone. In short, never jailbreak!

Your iPhone can be compromised if you open harmful phishing links you receive on iMessage or email through anonymous people.

Downloading apps from unknown sources

Apple is strict about the App Store rules and does not allow any malicious apps or existing app updates that may compromise the security. Additionally, you cannot download apps from anywhere else except the official App Store.
These two factors bring down the risk of being troubled by a third-party app to a minimal level. But still, in rare cases, an app may be approved that bargains the security. Additionally, installing random third-party keyboards and giving them full access can also affect your iPhone’s security.

Public charging stations/Wi-Fi

At times, using untrusted public charging stations might be the culprit (especially if your iPhone is unlocked). Be tech-savvy and add passcodes and keep your phone locked throughout. Also, using free public Wi-Fi for bank (and similar sensitive) transactions on your iPhone can be disastrous.

Visiting Malicious websites

Visiting malicious websites and clicking on the camouflaged download button. Sometimes, ‘close,’ ‘ok,’ ‘don’t allow‘ buttons are also a trap. They open several tabs and result in downloading unsafe files.

Besides, some free download sites open popups that ask you to install profiles. In case you are unaware and do that, you may land into trouble. A few months ago, I stumbled upon a random website, and by mistake, I allowed the calendar event notifications. The next thing I know, I was flooded with popups for calendar events every few minutes.

You must avoid all the points mentioned above to stay safe.

Has your iPhone been hacked? Here’s how to check

  • You may see new apps on the Home Screen that you have not downloaded.
  • There may be a severe battery drain.
  • The iPhone may run hot and open apps randomly.
  • Your iPhone is using abnormally more data.
  • The keyboard may misbehave and type random words.
  • Call, message, and email history may have unknown entries that you have not made.
  • You may see random popups on your iPhone.

We can say that the combination of iOS and iPhone hardware offers a secure user experience. But in rare times, if you have fallen prey to one of the iPhone hacking attacks, here is what to do to safeguard yourself and your device.

4 Ways to fix a hacked iPhone

Turn off the internet

Most hacks are controlled via the web. If you have reasons to believe that your iPhone has been compromised, the first thing is to turn off Wi-Fi and cellular data. You may put the phone in AirPlane mode and also eject the SIM card.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. From the next screen, turn it off.
  4. Go back, and tap Cellular. Turn it off as well.

Delete any unrecognized apps

If you see a new app, you do not remember installing, long-press it and delete it.

Reset iPhone All Settings

This is less severe than the next solution and thus, worth trying once before going for the ultimate fix.

  1. Open the Settings app and tap General.
  2. Tap Reset.
  3. Choose Reset All Settings and proceed.
  4. Once the reset completes, use your iPhone and see if things are normal. If you still notice any anomaly, the best solution is to factory reset your iPhone.Reset All Settings on iPhone

Erase everything from the hacked iPhone

If you have a backup (made via iCloud or computer), you can restore that after erasing your iPhone. If you do not have a backup, you will have to start fresh.

  1. Open the Settings app and tap General.
  2. Tap Reset.
  3. Select Erase All Content and Settings.
  4. Enter your iPhone passcode when asked and confirm.erase all content and settings from iphone
  5. After reset, set up your iPhone, and any malicious data on it will be gone. You will practically have an internally new iPhone.

Note: If, for some reason, you are unable to use the iPhone touchscreen, restore your iPhone using DFU mode.

After things are alright, here are some recommendations. These will also ensure that you do not get hacked in the future.

How to keep your iPhone and its data safe

  • Change Apple ID password often.
    To do so from your iPhone;

    • Open the Settings app.
    • Tap your Apple ID banner at the top → Password & Security.
    • Tap Change Password.
    • Enter your old passcode when prompted.
    • Type the new secure password twice → tap Change.
      Note – You can also change the Apple ID password through your Mac or on the web.
  • Make sure to use a passcode on your iPhone and change it often. To do so,
    • Open the Settings app.
    • Go to Face ID & Passcode.
    • Change Passcode.
  • Update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS.
  • Update all third-party apps from the App Store.
  • Make sure not to grant unnecessary permissions to an app. Usually, when you install and open an app for the first time, you see popups asking for access to the microphone, camera, location, photos, contacts, Bluetooth, health data, etc. Deny if you feel it is unnecessary.
  • Avoid making transactions on public Wi-Fi.
  • Enable 2-factor authentication for Apple ID.
  • Refrain from downloading things for free. If you see a popup or something similar on a sketchy website, do not tap that. Just close the browser tab to exit.
  • Open the Settings app → Face ID & Passcode → make sure USB Accessories if off. This will ensure that external accessories do not connect without you unlocking the iPhone.
  • Avoid downloading untrusted iOS Shortcuts.
  • Avoid installing random profiles on your iPhone. To check the installed profiles;
    • Open the Settings app → General.
    • You should see a section named Profile. Tap it to Remove Profile from the next screen.
    • If you do not see the Profile option, that means there are none.

Can you prevent your iPhone from being hacked? A resounding yes!

Your iPhone has almost every piece of information about you! And you shouldn’t ignore the possibility of someone getting into it and tracking you down through your iPhone’s camera, microphone, and more to track you down. A few preventive measures can go a long way to secure you and your data!

This is how to deal with a hacked iPhone. I believe the above article helped you learn how to take care of this issue. If you have additional queries, please feel free to put them in the comments below.

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