iPhones like other smartphones are susceptible to spyware. Hackers and other nefarious types exploit legitimate apps to get their code onto your phone. When it is on there you may notice your phone behaves in strange ways, slows down, gives you weird random messages, and quite frankly you’ll end up wanting to throw your phone out of the window.
If you feel you have reached this point, don’t despair. Here you can learn a few best practices to remove and protect your iPhone from spyware.
What Spyware Is
Spyware is apps that monitor your phone activity and send it off to a third party. Parents often use this kind of software to keep an eye on their children, but sadly, nefarious types use it to do the same. Data is very valuable and can be used to commit fraud and identity theft. This is why it is important you take swift action to prevent and purge spyware.
There are in essence three ways spyware can be put on your device. They are:
- You put it there– Scammers are very good at tricking you into installing it. Apple has the best app security in the world vetting apps that are featured on the store and only allowing store apps to be available to users. Scammers, however, are good at finding workarounds so you install an app and bam! The spyware is ready to go.
- Another person put it there– If someone else has access to your phone they could have accidentally or on purpose put spyware on your iPhone.
- Hacker – It is almost impossible for a hacker to put it on your phone remotely but if you’ve jailbroken your phone it becomes possible.
It is a good idea to determine how you feel spyware got on your phone so you can avoid allowing it to work its nefarious magic in the future.
Removing Spyware From Your iPhone
Typically, spyware infects the iOS of your phone. One way is to do a factory reset of your phone purging every byte of data. This can cause much sadness especially if you have personal memories that you want to preserve.
Happily, there is a workaround:
- Go to the Settings App.
- In General, you’ll find Software Update, Download and install.
- Follow the prompts and your phone will start updating.
- Once it has rebooted double check you have the right iOS.
This should purge the spyware and your phone should be happily spyware free.
But what if it hasn’t worked?
If the phone is still going wild then the only answer is to wipe the phone completely. You can restore from a backup but this is not advised as you may restore the spyware.
To do a hard wipe:
- Plug the phone into an electrical socket and ensure you have a very good network connection as you’re going to need it.
- Under General, tap Transfer or Reset iPhoneand then tap Erase All Content and Settings.
- Follow all prompts to reset your phone and then go through the setup process.
For more information on spyware visit Apple Support.
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