How to Detect and Remove Spyware on iPhone?
When you hear the word Apple, you probably donâ€™t immediately think of the fruit anymore. Instead, you think of the trillion-dollar company founded 42 years ago in 1976 within the garage of Steve Jobâ€™s childhood home in Los Altos California. And since then, Apple has undergone multiple identities and organizational changes as they developed a structure that continued to impact the world long after their founder Steve Jobâ€™s death.
Apple has a long list of product offerings that continue to grow even longer on a daily basis. Their core products include their MacBook which is a version of the laptop, the Apple iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, the Apple TV, Apple Watch and their latest addition to their ranks- the HomePod. Apple has continued to build a reputation of being a company that designs aesthetically pleasing products that perform better than the average devices that are currently available on the market.
A lot of Apple products are also close-ended, meaning it is nearly impossible for external interferences to gain access to their devices. To this day, faulty Apple devices are only worked on by licensed Apple technicians, and replacement parts or devices are sold by their stores alone.
However, that is not always the case. Sometimes third-party applications and malware slip past Appleâ€™s intensive defense systems and turn your otherwise impenetrable device into a microphone for those who wish to gain your secrets.
This article will be focusing on how you can prevent spyware from being installed on your iPhone. We will also tell you how to detect and remove it should it be present already.
Here is How to Keep Your Phone Safe Against Hackers and All Forms of Malware
Protecting your phone against unwanted malware and hackers is easy if you know what to do. Some tips may seem very obvious, but sometimes these sorts of tips are the most important ones:
- Donâ€™t leave your phone unattended
- Do not leave your iPhone in the hands of strangers
- Always ensure your iPhone is running on the latest operating system per time.
- Ensure your account is protected. Do not use easy to guess passwords like your middle name
- Enable your Touch ID for your phone and use a secure password
- For those with an iPhone X, ensure you have your Face ID on for an extra level of security
Detecting and Removing Malware From Your Phone
To find out if unwanted programs are running in the background of your iPhone and turning your device into a microphone, you would need to use a third-party application. For the sake of this article, we will be using the Certo iPhone application which works by scanning your iPhone backup.
As soon as you have scanned your phone and you are unlucky enough to discover you have some form of spyware on your phone, the question is what do you do next? Having malware or spyware installed on your device may mean that your calls, texts, emails, and other personal information are being monitored. You need to get rid of it as soon as possible.
Sadly, removing malware is not as straightforward and as simple as just deleting the offending application. Most spyware burrows into the phoneâ€™s filesystem in a bid to hide from detection, meaning it cannot be uninstalled like you would a normal application.
However, the removal process is not that complicated, and those can do it without any form of advanced technical knowledge. Here are two ways you can get rid of all spyware from your iPhone:
Update Your iPhone
This is the simplest and easiest way to remove spyware from your phone. A large amount of the commercially available iPhone spyware needs the device to be jailbroken to function. Jailbreaking an iPhone involves removing all restrictions, which means it also allows 3rd party application access. When you update the phoneâ€™s operating system, the jailbreak that was previously done on the phone is revoked and ensures that all spyware becomes null and void.
Installing through the device:
- Go to settings
- Select general
- Click on a software update
Installing through the computer:
- Connect your iPhone to the computer
- Open up iTunes on your computer
- Click on your phone when it appears in iTunes
- Within the summary pane, select â€˜Check for Updateâ€™
Factory Reset Your Phone
This is a complete removal technique. Doing a factory reset on the phone ensures that all the data is completely removed. The phone will revert to the original settings that it had when you first purchased it. It is advisable to back up the data on your phone or save it to the cloud before resetting it, so all isnâ€™t lost. You can retrieve the information after your factory reset is completed.
Here is how you go about performing a factory reset on your iPhone:
- Open iTunes on your computer
- Connect your phone
- Click on the phone when it shows up in the iTunes
- Within the summary tab, choose â€˜Restore iPhoneâ€™
- Click â€˜Restoreâ€™ again to confirm
- The device will begin to wipe itself, getting rid of all settings and data.
- Upon completion, you will be asked if you want to restore information from your backup if you had any
We should point out that while following the steps above will ensure the spyware is rendered null and your phone is no longer at risk of being monitored, some remnants of the spyware may still linger on your device. This is because some parts of the spyware become backed-up when you choose to back up your device on your computer or in the cloud.
If you choose to restore your backup, you will also be choosing to restore the parts of the spy app that were backed up; although, they may no longer be functional. If you re-scan your device after completing these steps, your phone may still get flagged as these remnants would be picked up by the application.
If possible, it is advisable to reset your phone completely and start anew.