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How to tell if your iPhone is hacked

Your phone is your connection to the rest of the world, so it’s normal if you start to panic when something goes wrong. Don’t worry – this guide will show you the telltale signs if your iPhone is hacked and tell you what you need to do next.

How to tell if your iPhone is hacked

Can an iPhone be hacked?

Like almost any other device, an iPhone is vulnerable to hacking attempts. Even though Apple products are known to have tougher security measures compared to Android devices, they are not entirely immune to malware and hackers’ intrusions.

Hackers are skilled in exploiting loopholes in the iOS operating system and third-party apps you may use. As safe as your iPhone is, cybercriminals are savvy enough to trick you into downloading malware through elaborate phishing scams and compromise your device. Once they breach the defenses of your iPhone, hackers can exploit your sensitive data, such as login credentials or credit card information, infiltrate more malware onto your iPhone, and even send malware-ridden messages to your contacts.

How can an iPhone get hacked?

Despite Apple’s claims, an iPhone can fall victim to the same vulnerabilities that all mobile devices do. Here are some of the most common ways an iPhone can be hacked:

  • Insecure Wi-Fi network. A lot of people rely on free public Wi-Fi. Hackers know this and often lay traps for unsuspecting victims. Always make sure that the public Wi-Fi you’re connecting is legitimate. If it isn’t, it’ll be easy for a hacker to gain access.
  • Suspicious apps. Do your research before downloading a potentially suspicious app. A good indication of a dodgy app is checking the reviews before downloading. Once you know the signs, spotting malicious apps is easy. If your iPhone camera turns on by itself, it could mean you have a malicious app on your phone so make sure to review your apps and the permissions you’ve granted them.
  • Social engineering. Hackers will try anything and everything to make you click on a link or email you shouldn’t. Be wary of anyone or any app trying to get you to quickly press or click suspicious links. Real iPhone security measures will never force a pop-up window to appear and beg you to quickly press a button before it’s too late.

Signs your iPhone has been hacked

Because we spend a lot of time on our phones, it makes it easier to notice when your iPhone starts acting out of the ordinary. Below are four signs that indicate that your iPhone has been hacked:

  • Your iPhone is overheating, and its battery is constantly low. This is usually a sign that various processes are running in the background, most likely without your knowledge. Consequently, they may be draining your battery and heating up your device.
  • Your contacts receive odd messages coming from your iPhone. Some malware is programmed to spread to as many devices as possible. This typically involves messaging your entire contacts list with a dodgy link that installs the malware once pressed.
  • Impaired iPhone performance. If your iPhone is acting much slower than usual, it may mean its processing power is being used for something else. For instance, a hacker may use it for cryptocurrency mining, launching cyberattacks, or processing and transmitting stolen data.
  • High data usage. Whenever your mobile data is draining quicker than usual, it may be a sign cybercriminals are stealing your data to conduct their phishing schemes.

What to do if your iPhone has been hacked

Before you immediately settle on a factory reset and wipe your phone, know that you might not need to do so. Head straight to your iPhone’s settings and check which apps have been downloaded last. Notice any new apps that shouldn’t be there? Delete it immediately.

If you’ve removed every sign of suspicious activity from your phone and the problems persist, it’s time for a factory reset. Hopefully, you’ll have backup plans already in place so the inconvenience of a reset is mitigated. iCloud is invaluable for helping restore old settings and data.

Lastly, once the malicious files have been cleared away, it’s time to invest some time and effort in mobile security for your device.

How to protect your iPhone from being hacked again

A number of methods exist that will reinforce your mobile security, and those who rely on Apple devices should catch up with some iPhone security tips. Luckily, they don’t require much effort on your part. Some methods require installing new software, and others merely need a slight change to your daily routine.

Remember that if one device connected to your Apple ID is compromised, every other device connected to that Apple ID could be in danger. A lot of malware attacks will try their hardest to spread malware even further

  • Invest in a VPN. NordVPN is easy to use, and doesn’t require much cybersecurity know-how. The simplicity of the app makes it the perfect VPN for iPhone. All you need is to log in and press “Quick Connect” to instantly be protected with next-level encryption. Snoopers will be left frustrated. NordVPN also comes with a few more extra security features to keep hackers on their toes.
  • Use a password manager. Many of us reuse passwords and lack any kind of strong password. Unfortunately, hackers are aware of this. A reliable password manager, like NordPass, will automatically create unique passwords and store them in an encrypted vault only you can access.
  • Turn on auto-updates. Many cybercriminals rely on the complacency of their victims. If you continue to use outdated software and operating systems, that means important security patches can be fixed.

Knowledge is power when it comes to combating hackers. Make yourself aware of the signs of an iPhone being hacked so you can handle the situation as soon as possible.

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