How to Detect Spyware on iPhone (Updated 2023) (2023)

apple last yearPublished two security reportsHighlights vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to take full control of iOS devices. Although the company has since released security updates to address these issues, many Apple users remain concerned about the safety of their phones and personal information.

It's not just skilled computer technicians who can hack your iPhone. Almost anyone can do it these days. All they need is access to cheap software and the ability to follow a few simple instructions, and they can access your personal messages and photos, your financial details, and even steal your identity.

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However, there are ways to improve your phone's security and make it harder for hackers to access it. In this article, we discuss:

  • Is someone watching everything you do on your iPhone?
  • How easy is it for hackers to spy on an iPhone?
  • Who Can Install Spyware on Your iPhone?
  • Why would someone hack your iPhone?
  • How to Detect iPhone Spyware
  • Types of iPhone Spyware
  • iPhone Spyware Removal
  • How to Protect Your iPhone from Hackers

Is someone watching everything you do on your iPhone?

If someone hacks into your iPhone with spyware, they can access all of your personal information.

(Video) How To Detect Spyware & Malware On Your iPhone

This includes emails, text messages, browsing history, photos, online account details (passwords and usernames, etc.), GPS location and other personal information. Furthermore, most iOS spyware can evenlisten to the phone.

Basically, hackers can access anything stored on your iPhone.

How easy is it for hackers to spy on an iPhone?

Contrary to what most people think, anyone with the right tools can become a hacker.

The bad news is that the spyware needed to crack an iPhone is cheap. Hackers can gain access for as little as $30 a month.

Hacking is no longer restricted to experts. Today, anyone who knows how to use an iPhone can install data-stealing spyware. All they need is physical access to your phone for a few minutes to download the spyware onto your device.

Who Can Install Spyware on Your iPhone?

Anyone can be a hacker. You could be a jealous spouse or a nosy employer, or even a total stranger like a professional hacker, stalker, or liar. You really can't tell, especially since spyware is so readily available and easy to use.

However, a survey shows that most people are more likely to be attacked by someone they know50% of AmericansHer partner's phone was accessed without her knowledge.

It's also worth noting that if you have access to valuable data or are a well-known person, your risk of being hacked by a professional may be greater.

Why would someone hack your iPhone?

There are many reasons why someone might decide to hack. However, the most common reasons are to collect information about some aspect of your personal life or to obtain financial gain.

Here are some examples of why someone might install spyware on your iPhone, and how they might misuse your private information:

1. Cyberstalking.Cyberstalking is the most common use of spying apps, usually by someone close to you. Some examples of cyberstalking include:

  • Access private text messages for your divorce proceedings
  • GPS location monitoring for jealous spouse
  • Unauthorized full supervision of equipment by employer

2. Identity theft.After obtaining your personal information, hackers can steal your identity. They can use your details to open new bank accounts, apply for loans, or worse. This can completely ruin your life and leave you with a mountain of debt that you haven't dealt with—or at least cause a lot of stress and waste a lot of time.

(Video) How To Check iPhone for Viruses and Malware and Remove Them

3. Steal money.If hackers manage to steal information related to your finances, they often use your information to buy things online, ask your contacts for money, or withdraw money from your bank account.

4. Selling your data.Hackers can make quick money by collecting data from multiple victims and then selling it to others. Complete ID packages can be sold for as much as $100 each, and hackers often sell the data in bulk.

5. Blackmail.Hackers can use the stolen data for ransom. This tactic usually involves threatening to share personal photos, videos or text messages with your contacts unless you send money to the hacker.

Detect spyware with Certo AntiSpy

If you're concerned that someone has installed spyware on your iPhone, run a quick scan with the award-winning Certo AntiSpy program.

Our industry-leading spyware detection detects threats that traditional security apps go undetected.

Download Certo AntiSpy

How to Detect iPhone Spyware

There are some signs that your iPhone may be at risk, such as: B. The battery is draining rapidly or the device is overheating.

(Video) How To Check For Virus On ANY iPhone! (2023)

But these signs are far from foolproof, especially since batteries wear out over time and devices can get hot when running resource-intensive apps like gaming or streaming.

Now that iPhone spyware is better at evading detection, you need dedicated anti-spyware such asSecurity AntispywareDo the hard work for you.

Use it to thoroughly scan your iPhone to find out if someone has installed spyware and get help removing the threat permanently. Here's why it's perfect for protecting your iPhone:

  • Discover spyware, suspicious applications, keyloggers, and more.
  • Unique technology means Certo AntiSpy can detect threats that other applications cannot.
  • Award winning and trusted by over 100,000 users to protect their devices.

Watch the video below to see how Certo AntiSpy scans your iPhone or iPad for spyware in minutes.

Types of iPhone Spyware

1. Hidden Spy Apps

Hidden spy apps are the most common type of spyware for iPhones. It's an easy buy for just $30.

They can hide on your iPhone, giving hackers access to a wealth of personal information, including instant messages, emails, real-time location, photos, and more.

This type of spyware requires the hacker to physically access the victim's device for a few minutes before it can be installed. Once installed, hackers can remotely monitor all activities of the infected device, and in some cases even turn on microphones and cameras to listen and watch remotely.

2. Don't use iCloud

Another way hackers want to steal your iPhone data is iCloud attacks. This happens when hackers attack data synced to your phone and stored in your iCloud account instead of your physical device.

This type of attack doesn't require access to the device, but the hacker needs the victim's Apple ID credentials. And because it's done over the internet, it's nearly impossible to track down.

Fortunately, it's easy to protect yourself by enabling two-factor authentication with your Apple ID. This type of authentication requires two pieces of information to gain access to your account, such as B. Your Apple password and a six-digit code sent to one of your trusted devices, making it harder for hackers to gain access.

3. Deceptive enterprise apps

This type of hacking involves circumventing the App Store's strict security measures by installing suspicious apps in different ways. It uses an approach usually reserved for application developers and large corporations that need their own custom applications.

This method allows hackers to install malicious apps that have not been approved by Apple on your phone.

(Video) How to check & remove an iPhone Virus! [2023]

Rogue enterprise apps aren't completely invisible, but hackers often give these apps innocent-sounding names or hide them in tools folders to go unnoticed.

These apps are not as powerful or intrusive as hidden spy apps, but they are compatible with a wider range of devices and are often the preferred attack vector due to their ease of installation.

4. Abuse of legitimate applications

Preinstalled apps like Find My and Google Maps can be hijacked to share the victim's location with the hacker. To do this, hackers need brief access to the victim's device.

Hackers can also change the accounts they are logged into in the device's web browser to collect browsing history and account login information.

Without installing malicious applications or code, these types of attacks can easily go unnoticed for months or even years, while hackers gather vast amounts of information.

5. Zero-day attacks

Zero-day attacks are relatively rare, but they can be devastating to those affected.

They are called zero-day vulnerabilities because they have not been discovered by security researchers, and thus no patches have been released for the affected apps or devices.

Zero-day exploits are usually created by hackers when they discover vulnerabilities in the operating system or third-party applications.

Once this vulnerability is discovered, it will be exploited immediately, and developers must fix it as soon as possible to minimize the risk of user data.

A zero-day attack on a popular application or device can affect millions of users. In some cases, more advanced attacks can even remotely infect a device with malware, without the hacker needing to touch the victim's device.

Remove iPhone spyware with Certo AntiSpy

If you're concerned someone might have spyware installed on your iPhone, use the award-winning software for a quick scanSecurity Antispyware.

This industry-leading spyware detection tool finds threats and helps remove suspicious apps and spyware from your iPhone. It can also be used to run system scans and analyze the operating system, as well as check application permissions to identify potential vulnerabilities.

How to Detect Spyware on iPhone (Updated 2023) (1)

How to Protect Your iPhone from Hackers

iPhone hacking is a real threat that can give hackers access to your personal information, messages, financial information, and more. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of your phone being hacked.

  • Regularly scan your device for spyware and malwareSecurity AntispywareAlerts you to signs of a hack in just a few clicks.
  • Update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS. This will keep your device safe from newly discovered bugs and vulnerabilities.
  • As mentioned above, make sure the apps you install are up to date.
  • Use a strong password that is difficult for anyone to guess. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters, and don't use your birthday as a password.
  • Only install apps from the official App Store. Apps installed from third-party app stores can often contain malware.
  • Use two-factor authentication with your Apple ID. This account often contains data synced from your iPhone, so it's important to protect it as well.
  • Don't click on links in emails or text messages from people you don't know. Also, be careful about the links you click on while surfing the web.


How do I know if my iPhone 13 has spyware? ›

Here are a few things revealing that your phone has spyware:
  • Unusual pop-up ads and messages. ...
  • New unknown apps on your phone. ...
  • Fast-draining battery life. ...
  • Slow performance and bad battery life. ...
  • Spikes in data usage. ...
  • Your phone is often overheating. ...
  • Background noise on calls.
Mar 20, 2023

How do I know if my iPhone has spyware? ›

How to tell if someone is spying on your iPhone
  • Overheating. Well-functioning iPhones should not overheat. ...
  • Drained battery. Is your battery constantly dying? ...
  • Unusual messages. ...
  • Excessive data usage. ...
  • New apps. ...
  • Update your software. ...
  • Remove suspicious apps. ...
  • Perform a factory reset.
Jun 9, 2022

Can I scan my iPhone for spyware? ›

If you're concerned that someone may have installed spyware on your iPhone, run a quick scan with the award-winning Certo AntiSpy. This industry-leading spyware detection tool finds threats and helps you to remove suspicious apps and spyware from your iPhone.

How do I know if my iPhone is bugged? ›

How to Know if Your iPhone is Being Tracked? Check This!
  • For someone to monitor your phone's activity, they need to install spyware. ...
  • Fast Battery Drainage. ...
  • Strange Noise During Calls. ...
  • More Data Usage. ...
  • Random Phone Shutdowns. ...
  • Strange Messages in the Inbox. ...
  • Slow Speed. ...
  • Overheating.
Jun 25, 2022

How do I scan my iPhone for malware and spyware? ›

One of the easiest ways to check your iPhone for a virus or malware is by determining whether you have any unfamiliar apps on your phone, i.e. you should look for apps you're sure you didn't download and are not default Apple apps. Swipe through your home screen files and folders to identify suspicious apps.

How do I run a malware scan on my iPhone? ›

Due to security restrictions on iOS, it is not possible for any app to scan the system or other apps for malware. Apps are not allowed those kinds of permissions, and for that reason, antivirus software on iOS is not possible.

Is my partner monitoring my phone? ›

The signs/symptoms that your phone is being spied on.
  • Your phone feels sluggish. Hacking software (commonly called 'Spyware') can be very resource intensive on your device. ...
  • The battery is draining too fast. ...
  • High data usage. ...
  • Suspicious activity.
Jan 17, 2023

Does updating iPhone remove spyware? ›

Update iOS and apps

“The simplest way to remove spyware from an iPhone is to perform a software (iOS) update,” says Lurey. “If your phone has been jailbroken, this will [also] remove the jailbreak.” An important note: If you don't update your software regularly, you're leaving your phone vulnerable.

Can spyware be detected? ›

Option 3: Finding Spyware Through an Android Spyware Scan

Using antivirus software is the fastest and probably best way to locate spyware on an Android device.

How is spyware installed? ›

Spyware can make its way onto a device without the end user's knowledge via an app install package, file attachment or malicious website. In its least damaging form, spyware exists as an application that starts up as soon as the device is turned on and continues to run in the background.

Can my iPhone be bugged remotely? ›

In conclusion, it is technically possible for someone to remotely hack an iPhone, but it is highly unlikely to happen to most users. The expensive software and specialized techniques required for remote hacking make it a viable option only for high-value targets.

Is my iPhone eavesdropping on me? ›

Is it true that my phone is listening to me? Yes, it is true that your phone is listening to you through virtual assistants via your device's built-in microphone. In 2011, Apple introduced Siri, the first virtual assistant designed for iPhones. It paved the way for Alexa, Cortana, and many others.

How do you know if there is any hidden app on my phone? ›

Tap on the three dots that are present at the upper-right of the device screen. Click on the home screen settings. It will navigate you to the Hide apps menu; tap on it. Here, you will see the hidden apps that are not showing in the app list.

Is there a secret folder on iPhone? ›

On an iPhone or iPad, the Hidden album is on and visible by default. When you turn off the Hidden album, any photos or videos that you've hidden won't be visible in the Photos app.

Can I run a diagnostic test on my iPhone? ›

Available for iPhone(Opens in a new window) and Android(Opens in a new window), Phone Diagnostics offers a range of tests to check your touch screen, camera, speaker, microphone, Wi-Fi, cellular access, and many other components.

How do you check if your phone has a virus in settings? ›

You can also use Google Settings to scan your phone for security threats:
  1. Open Apps.
  2. Tap Google Settings.
  3. Tap Security.
  4. Tap Verify apps.
  5. Tap Scan device for security threats.

What app scans for malware on iPhone? ›

Best antiviruses for iPhone – our detailed list:
  • TotalAV – the best antivirus for iPhone. ...
  • Norton 360 – antivirus for privacy and real-time protection. ...
  • Bitdefender – all-around cybersecurity package for iOS. ...
  • Avira – lightweight security app for iPhone with a free plan. ...
  • McAfee – beginner-friendly tool for threat removal.
Mar 24, 2023

What if I accidentally clicked on a suspicious link on my iPhone? ›

You mustn't reconnect the original device to the internet to avoid any malware spreading. Change Passwords: Hackers can access your credentials via phishing links, so if you think you clicked on one, changing your online passwords, particularly to things like bank accounts, is essential to avoid further damage.

How do I know if my iPhone is infected with malware? ›

How to check your iPhone for malware
  1. Look for unfamiliar apps. If you're anything like the average smartphone user, you've probably downloaded dozens (if not hundreds) of apps. ...
  2. Check your data usage. ...
  3. Check power consumption. ...
  4. Keep an eye on pop-up ads. ...
  5. Scan your phone using antivirus software.
Nov 6, 2022

Will Apple scan for malware? ›

Notarization. Notarization is a malware scanning service provided by Apple.

How do I check my phone for malware? ›

The best way to check for malware on your phone is to use a mobile security app like free AVG Antivirus for Android. Run a scan. After installing AVG Antivirus, open the app and run an antivirus scan to find malware hidden in your device's system.

Is my spouse monitoring my iPhone? ›

How can I tell if my husband is tracking my iPhone? To determine whether your location is being shared without your consent, go to “Settings” on your iPhone and tap “Location Services” to see if Find My Friends is accessing your system. For security: Turn off the Share My Location setting on your iPhone.

How do I stop my iPhone from being tracked? ›

Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Tracking. The list shows the apps that requested permission to track you. You can turn permission on or off for any app on the list. To stop all apps from asking permission to track you, turn off Allow Apps to Request to Track (at the top of the screen).

Does Apple alert you for spyware? ›

Apple Security Alert is a FAKE pop up, caused by a potentially unwanted application installed on your Mac. You may unwillingly ran it from deceptive pop up ads, free software installers or other third-party file downloads.

Will a factory reset remove spyware? ›

A factory reset will delete everything on your phone, including the spyware. Make sure you have a backup of your phone before you do this to prevent losing your photos, apps, and other data. You'll need to restore your phone to a backup from before you started experiencing the spyware issues.

How do I reset my iPhone to remove malware? ›

If you can't seem to get rid of the virus on your iPhone, you may need to reset it to its factory settings. This will erase all of the data on your phone, so be sure to refresh your iCloud backup before doing so. To factory reset your iPhone, go to Settings app > General > Reset. Select Erase All Content and Settings.

What are 4 symptoms of spyware? ›

How to detect spyware
  • Increasing sluggishness and slow response.
  • Unexpected advertising messages or pop-ups (spyware is often packaged with adware).
  • New toolbars, search engines and internet home pages that you don't remember installing.
  • Batteries becoming depleted more quickly than usual.

What does hidden spyware look like? ›

You'll see a small teardrop symbol in your phone's notification bar when an app is using your device location. If you see this appear when you're not using apps allowed to access location data, this could indicate spyware is running and tracking your location.

What are the three symptoms of spyware? ›

Common Symptoms of Spyware
  • Difficulty logging into secure web sites like ICON and MyUI.
  • Random advertisements that pop up on your computer.
  • Unusual slowness of your system.
  • Unusual instability in your system (computer crashes more than usual)

Can I scan my phone for spyware? ›

The quickest and easiest way to check your phone for spyware is to scan it with an anti-spyware app. Apps like AVG and Anti Spy for Android and Certo for iPhone offer spyware scanning and removal capabilities. However, spyware scanners aren't completely reliable and it's possible they can miss new or advanced spyware.

What are the 4 types of spyware? ›

Spyware is mostly classified into four types: adware, system monitors, tracking including web tracking, and trojans; examples of other notorious types include digital rights management capabilities that "phone home", keyloggers, rootkits, and web beacons.

What is the code to check if your iPhone is monitored? ›

How to know who is tracking your phone. You can immediately check if your phone has been compromised, or if your calls, messages etc have been forwarded without your knowledge. All you need to do is dial a few USSD codes - ##002#, *#21#, and *#62# from your phone's dialer.

What does *# 21 do on an iPhone? ›

When you dial *#21#, you are, in fact, activating a feature access code that quickly tells you the status of call forwarding for your phone. It's a quick way of seeing what, in the case of this particular 'setting interrogation code,' your call forwarding settings. That's it, nothing more or less.

What is the eavesdrop app on iPhone? ›

Ear Spy is a "Super Spy" application that gives you super-hearing and the ability to eavesdrop on those around you. With some Bluetooth headsets, you can eavesdrop from the next room. Ear Spy amplifies sound coming through your phone microphone straight to your earphones.

How do you know if someone is listening to your conversations? ›

Now let's discuss how you can investigate the issue further on iOS and Android devices.
Here are the signs of someone listening to your phone calls:
  • Low battery life.
  • Device running hot.
  • Performance issues.
  • Excessive mobile data usage.
  • Signs of an information leak.
  • Unusual third-party apps.
Mar 18, 2022

Does orange dot on iPhone mean someone is listening? ›

According to Apple, with iOS 14 or later, an orange dot means your microphone is being used by an app. But it doesn't necessarily mean anyone is listening in. But if you're worried about it, you can deny microphone access by going to Settings, Privacy, and Security and selecting Microphone.

How do I know if my iPhone 13 is being tracked? ›

Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Tracking. The list shows the apps that requested permission to track you. You can turn permission on or off for any app on the list. To stop all apps from asking permission to track you, turn off Allow Apps to Request to Track (at the top of the screen).

Does iPhone 13 have tracking device? ›

Turn GPS on your Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max iOS 15.0 on or off

Your phone can determine your geographical position using GPS (Global Positioning System). The information about your location can be used by a number of applications on your phone such as navigation, the search function or weather forecast.

Does my iPhone 13 have virus protection? ›

This is all controlled by Apple encryption, making your iPhone security rather impervious to malicious apps. You might also notice that there are no antivirus apps in the App Store, which isn't a coincidence!

Can I tell if my phone is being monitored? ›

However, if someone is spying on your phone, there are common signs you can look out for. You may notice a rapid increase in your phone's data usage, suspicious files or applications, or strange text messages that you don't remember sending. Your device may also show signs of malfunctioning behavior.

What is the code to see if your phone is being tracked? ›

Press *#*#4636#*#* or *#*#197328640#*#* to see if anyone is watching your movements. These are Utility Net Monitor Codes. Dialing these codes can tell you if you're being tracked or monitored through your mobile phone.

Can I be notified when someone is tracking my iPhone? ›

If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, Find My will send a notification to your Apple device. This feature is available on iOS or iPadOS 14.5 or later. To receive alerts, make sure that you: Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services, and turn Location Services on.

Can iPhone detect all tracking devices? ›

To ensure that your iPhone or iPad can alert you to any unwanted tracking devices, you'll need to make sure you are running iOS 14.5 or later and make sure the following settings are in place: Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and turn Location Services on.

How do I turn my iPhone into a tracking device? ›

FollowMee GPS Tracker converts your iPhone or iPad into a GPS tracking device. Installing this app to the device that you want to track, you can monitor its whereabouts on the web site. Using this app, you can track your family members, company devices, or even your employees.

How do I scan my phone for malware? ›

The best way to check for malware on your phone is to use a mobile security app like free AVG Antivirus for Android. Run a scan. After installing AVG Antivirus, open the app and run an antivirus scan to find malware hidden in your device's system.


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