You might’ve wondered if there is a way to tell if someone has hacked my iPhone and is spying on me?
Apple has always been focused on making the iPhone as secure as possible and with the latest iOS releases, the options for controlling as well as monitoring what is happening with your iPhone are dramatically improved.
Despite all of the security features provided, there are a couple of ways that someone can remotely access your iPhone for monitoring purposes.
Direct access would require them to have access to your iPhone while it was unlocked so that they can install a remote access tool. Depending upon what tool they have installed, they might need an extended amount of time with it to sneak an app in.
If you think someone might have had access to your iPhone, you need to thoroughly search through all of the apps on your device to check if there are any apps you do not recognize.
Most spy apps will use names that appear like regular apps, for example, a calculator or a game, so any app you do not recognize is to be examined and removed if not needed. One of the best new features in iOS is the “recording indicator” this will display a small dot above the battery icon if an app is currently accessing your camera (green) or if it is accessing the microphone (orange).
If you open the Control Center you will be able to see which app is using either camera or microphone, this can help you quickly identify a rogue app.
Monitoring Without Accessing Your iPhone
If your iPhone backs everything up to your iCloud account, then someone has the ability to monitor your activity by accessing your iCloud account from a web browser. They would require your Apple ID username as well as password in order to do so. Thus, if you know that a third party has your credentials, there are a few steps you should take.
You can start by changing the password to something that you have never used before because there is a possibility that the person monitoring you knows your other passwords.
It would be best if you also changed your security questions to answers that can’t be figured out easily. Say, you use the high school mascot question, you can make up a mascot instead of using something easy to figure out by anyone that knows you.
Most importantly, you need to make sure you have two-factor authentication turned on for your Apple ID. That will make remote access impossible without them having your iPhone in their hands at that time. If you do not care about using iCloud as a backup, you could just turn it off to eliminate this form of possible monitoring.
If you choose to disable iCloud, make sure you have another way to backup your iPhone. You will also have to make an archive copy of what is stored in your iCloud account, so, that you can remove the content you wish to protect.
What are other signs to look out for?
There are ways for a skilled individual to cover their tracks after compromising your device, however, thankfully, there are often subtle indicators of a problem.
For example, strange screen activity occurs when you are not using your iPhone, extremely slow startup or shutdown times, applications that suddenly shut down. Or, a sudden spike in data usage can also be an indication of your device being compromised.
If none of the mentioned steps make you feel confident, you can take the extreme step of resetting your iPhone to the factory settings. However, it should only be done if you know that you have a good verified backup of everything on your iPhone.
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