While the advent of smartphones and laptop computers certainly provided the world with an ease of access and communication that had never been seen before, it also put our personal security at risk. Anything that has a screen and network connection is at risk of being hacked by malicious users who, if given the means, have the capability to discover our personal, financial, and business records.
However, if you remain observant and watchful, you can not only protect your personal information but also find out if someone’s trying to hack into your device. Often when we think of spyware and viruses, what comes to mind is laptops and desktop computers. However, our handheld devices aren’t free from such harm. Even the iPhone, Apple’s prime contender in the mobile phone market, known for its top-notch security options, can fall victim to spyware.
There are various different types of cyberattacks that can be used on your device, and it’s imperative to know if and when one is occurring. Usually, just like a sickness, your iPhone will show symptoms, so to speak, of an attack, which will enable you to respond appropriately, once you detect that something fishy is going on. In order to learn about the different types of spyware that may be lurking through your device, read the explanations below.
Different Types of Spyware that Could Be on Your iPhone
While there are many forms of spyware that may be used to infiltrate an iPhone, the most common threats are as follows,
1. Masque Attack: This infiltration must’ve been concocted by very conniving and clever hackers, as it’s one of the sneakiest forms of spyware that you need to watch out for. The way a masque attack works is by using an application, that you trust and often use.
For example, if you’re a business fanatic and like to check up on the stock market everyday using a Stock application, a masque attack would ask you to update this Stock application. However, it would look as if the update is coming from the manufacturer of the application, and would present itself in an inviting way. After you install this malicious “update”, your iPhone would start acting up and performing actions it normally doesn’t perform.
Try to remember if you recently updated an application before your phone started acting up. For future references, make sure to check the name of the manufacturer of the application update before you install it.
2. Spy App Infestation: Though the Apple Store has a strict checks and balances protocol in place to prevent malicious applications from being available in the App Store, some often make it through. If you download such an application on your device, it’s possible you’ve just become infested with spyware. If your phone was recently hacked by someone else, they may also have downloaded such applications on your device.
Ensure that you don’t allow your device to fall into the hands of those with malicious intent. Also make sure you always read the reviews of an application before installing it. If you fear that you fell victim to a spy application infestation, then you should install anti-spyware software such as Certo in order to clean up the malicious application.
3. iCloud Backup Attack: This attack is quite dangerous and unfortunately, very difficult to detect as well. An iCloud backup attack usually happens when hackers, through specialized software, figure out your iCloud email and password. This gives them access to your photos, messages, calls logs and many other sensitive items you wouldn’t want in the wrong hands.
If you fear your iCloud account has been hacked, change your password immediately, and contact iCloud support to report the hack.
Signs Your Device has been Attacked
As noted above, it can be difficult to tell whether or not you’ve fallen victim to certain spyware attacks. However, if you remain observant you’ll notice some unusual behaviors on your device that wouldn’t previously occur, if you’re under attack. Look at the signs below to see if your device may have been hacked,
1. Apple ID Login Requests: If you own multiple Apple devices, you’ve likely seen the message, Your Apple ID is being used to sign in to an iPhone near [Your Location]. While it’s completely normal to receive this message when you sign on other Apple devices you own, it’s abnormal when received randomly, especially from a location that is nowhere near where you are.
If your device often asks you to login even though you recently logged in or logged out, this is a sign that your device is under attack by malicious spyware. You should immediately change your password and contact customer support for further assistance, so the attack may be reported and investigated.
2. Battery Overheating: Spyware tends to take a toll on a device. This will ultimately drain your battery and cause it to get hot. If you notice that your battery is being overworked, even though you haven’t carried out any processor heavy tasks, this is a sign that someone may have installed spyware on your device.
3. Unwarranted Internet Connections: In order to connect your iPhone to the internet, you’ve to set it up with a Wi-Fi network manually. Your iPhone will only automatically connect to networks if it has previously connected to those networks by your command. However, if you notice that your device is constantly connecting to the internet without your consent and into networks you’ve never seen before, it’s likely that there’s an application on your iPhone that is trying to update itself in order to cause your device harm.
Although Apple is known to have high anti-spyware and anti-virus success rates, its devices are not immune from such occurring. This is why you should always be careful when downloading or updating applications. Ensure that your iPhone doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, and avoid visiting websites that aren’t certified or well-reviewed.
Users often get viruses and spyware on their device by downloading movies or TV shows through third party websites, which are actually decoys, that serve to only cause your device harm. It’s best to avoid such websites, and download Netflix instead.