The possibility of someone watching you or sharing pictures and videos of you without your knowledge is disturbing at the least, and dangerous at worst. Unfortunately, it can happen, and it’s just one of many ways your iPhone can put your privacy at risk.
Hacking and Malware Risks
Security researcher Felix Krause discovered that hackers can spy on you through your iPhone camera, thanks to apps they create by abusing iOS permission settings.
When you download an app, it asks your permission to access different components of your iPhone – your camera, photos, location settings, etc. Once you grant permission to the app, it can access those components every time the app runs.
That means an app compromised by hackers can silently snap photos and record videos of you, or even run facial recognition software in an attempt to steal your identity.
In addition to making you vulnerable to spying, compromised apps could infect your iPhone with malware. “Jailbreaking” your iPhone to download third-party apps not offered by the Apple Store increases the risk of a hacking or malware attack enormously.
Here, the first step toward securing your data and device is simple, since all you have to do is nothing: Do not jailbreak your iPhone.
How to Know If Someone is Hacking Your Phone
Your phone loses charge quickly. Malware and fraudulent apps sometimes use malicious code that tends to drain a lot of power.
Your phone runs abnormally slowly. A breached phone might be giving all its processing power over to the hacker’s shady applications. This can cause your phone to slow to a crawl. Unexpected freezing, crashes, and unexpected restarts can sometimes be symptoms.
You notice strange activity on your other online accounts. When a hacker gets into your phone, they will try to steal access to your valuable accounts. Check your social media and email for password reset prompts, unusual login locations or new account signup verifications.
You notice unfamiliar calls or texts in your logs. Hackers may be tapping your phone with an SMS trojan. Alternatively, they could be impersonating you to steal personal info from your loved ones. Keep an eye out, since either method leaves breadcrumbs like outgoing messages.
How to make your iPhone even more secure
- Turn off lock screen notifications
- Use a strong password instead of a 4 digit code
- Disable Siri on a lock screen.
- Turn on two-step verification for Apple ID and iCloud
- Turn off automatic sync to iCloud
- Discard automatic WiFi connections to known networks
- Get used to VPN
- Turn off cookies in your browsers
- Turn off the AutoFill option in your browsers
- Don’t let apps access your contacts, photos, messages and other private data