Your iPhone can be hacked at any moment. That’s why experts keep stressing the fact that you should always secure your accounts and remain vigilant. Malware could have entered your phone through any link or website you visited recently, and a hacker might be spying on your activity at this very moment.
Luckily, despite how advanced and seemingly invisible malware has become, there are several tell-tale signs that your iPhone has been hacked, so keep on reading to learn them!
Your information appears on the dark web
This is a pretty obvious sign that your iPhone may have been hacked, but some people might not connect the dots. Data leaks are nothing new, and various organizations keep getting hacked, leading to their users’ data appearing on the dark web. If you receive a dark web alert (many banks alert users if their data appears on the dark web), you need to figure out where it came from.
If one of the apps you use reports a data leak, then you’ll know it wasn’t your phone that was hacked. However, if you find no reports from organizations, it’s very likely that your iPhone was hacked.
If you ever discover that your information such as passwords have leaked is on the dark web, secure your accounts immediately by changing your passwords (a password manager can make this much easier).
You get a bunch of pop-ups
Most of us get pop-ups occasionally, even if you’ve blocked them on your browser. However, you should definitely be suspicious of a significant influx in pop-ups. Whether you’ve been hacked or not, you should avoid interacting with random pop-ups at all times. They often have malware hidden in them, which can infect your device if it hasn’t been infected yet.
Your battery drains faster than usual
If a hacker is actively spying on your phone through special malware, it will drain your battery, and you should be able to notice this. Of course, phone batteries get weaker and weaker with time, but if there’s been a sudden drop in battery power, it might be something to look into.
Everything loads very slowly
You’ve probably noticed how your phone or laptop slows down if you have lots of programs and browser windows open. Once you close these programs and windows, your loading speeds should get back to normal. However, if your phone loads slowly even if you just have one tab open on your browser, you might have been hacked.
You notice phone calls or texts that you didn’t make
If your friends complain about weird texts or phone calls from you and you don’t recall making them, a hacker might have been the one to do so. Don’t assume these messages were just a glitch in your phone, and inspect all of these calls and texts. If a text was sent from your phone containing a weird link, then it’s almost certain that it was a hacker.
Your data ends faster than usual
This is another indicator that you might have been hacked. If you haven’t been doing more browsing than usual, but your data keeps ending super quickly, a hacker might be the one using up your data with their malicious programs.
Does your iPhone keep unlocking, turning on apps, and doing a bunch of stuff on its own? These may not just be glitches. They may be a sign that an outsider has control over your device. Of course, glitches are normal, and they’ll almost certainly happen occasionally, especially if you have an older iPhone. However, it’s not a good sign if they happen all of the time.
Think your phone was hacked? Here’s what you should do
If you’ve noticed one or several of the signs mentioned in this article, bad news: your iPhone likely got hacked. First and foremost, please do not panic! You must approach this in a very diligent manner:
- Check your antivirus software (or install it if you haven’t yet). Has the hacker turned it off? If yes, enable it.
- Go through your phone and look for anything unusual: are there any new apps or software that you didn’t install? Delete everything that looks suspicious.
- Back up all of your data.
- Perform a factory reset. This involves deleting everything from your phone and then starting it up again as if it was completely new (which is where the backup comes in). Once you reset your phone, the malware that a hacker planted on it should be gone.