Apple has designed its iOS as a closed and secure software and the company’s policy, especially when it comes to iPhones has been to keep your information as safe as it possibly can. However there are still ways a hacker can take control of your iPhone and there are still apps that can allow unauthorized access to the phone’s system.
But, if you think your phone might have been hacked, as the title says: don’t panic. There are ways to remove them and secure your phone against future attacks.
How to know if your phone was hacked
To begin with, this is quite unlikely someone has hacked your phone. However, the chances of it happening are never zero.
Here’s some signs your phone has been hacked: if you noticed your phone has been behaving in a suspicious way, it’s worth investigating. In this case, a suspicious behavior means things like apps closing and restarting suddenly, the Internet connection is always active and there are browser pages opened that you don’t remember accessing.
A sudden heat spike is also a good indicator – if you are not gaming or heavily using the device and the phone heats up for no reason, this can be a sign that your phone has been tapped. Apps that you don’t remember installing are a sure sign something is off as well.
Quick battery drains and slow processing speeds as well as a high data usage are reliable signs. While you have to keep in mind these might just be signs that your phone is getting older, if all these things happen at once, it’s worth investigating.
If you happen to hear beeps and echoes during your calls all the time or more often than usual, pay close attention because it means someone else is listening in.
Number to dial to check if your phone is tapped
If you suspect someone is listening in to your conversations or reading your messages, you can dial *#21# and this particular code will be able to tell you if your calls or messages are redirected.
Another code, ##02#, will wipe off all redirects if it is confirmed that your device has been tapped.
How to remove a hacker from your iPhone
Apps are a very common way hackers get access to your iPhone . If you’ve recently downloaded an app from a third-party source (not the Apple App Store), you should delete it from your iPhone. As you scroll through the apps on your iPhone, delete the ones you don’t remember downloading as well. These may have been added while you were connected to unsecured Wi-Fi or by clicking on a phishing link.
After this, change all your passwords. If your iPhone has been hacked, it is possible that your passwords and login information may have been compromised. You will need to change your iCloud and Apple ID accounts as well.
If you really, really want to make sure that everything is gone however, the best thing to do is to restore your iPhone to its factory settings.
Backup all your messages, contacts, photos and files before you do this however as this action will remove everything.
How to clean your iPhone from a potential virus or malware
The risk of getting viruses and malware on an iPhone is significantly lower than on Android but this also depends on how you use it. If you install apps from other sources than the App Store and don’t update iOS regularly, you do risk getting into some trouble.
If you suspect that malware has somehow gotten into your iPhone, go to the Settings> General> VPN menu and delete all the profiles that don’t look familiar or that you don’t remember installing.
VPN on iPhone: What It Is and How To Set It Up On Your Smartphone
If you are unable to delete those profiles, try going to the Settings> General> Reset iOS screen and “tap” on Reset network settings . This way all network settings will be reset to factory state and the VPNs should be cleared (you will need to re-enter the passwords of your Wi-Fi by the way).
Of course, one of the best things to do is download an antivirus app and occasionally perform a couple fo scans, to make sure your smartphone is in top shape.