Your iOS security can be breached, and here’s how
A lot of iPhone users tend to think of themselves as unhackable. But that’s a myth — even Apple users should be cautious. Cybersecurity experts discuss the most common ways in which your iOS device can be breached.
Unfortunately, the past few years have shown that our phones can be exposed to different vulnerabilities. Google Project Zero security researcher Ian Beer proved the case by bringing to the public an unseen vulnerability of various iPhones and other iOS devices. The flaw allowed rebooting and taking control of devices remotely, enabling attackers to read emails, download photos, and even potentially spy on users through their mic and camera.
The hack was possible due to a technology called Apple Wireless Direct Link, which uses internet connection to allow users to send files and photos over AirDrop and share screens with other iOS devices. Luckily, Apple fixed the issue in May, and all up-to-date devices are secure.
“This case has proven that no one is ever fully safe. And even though there are no recordings of hackers using such a vulnerability, many Apple users should be more cautious and maybe forget the fact that iPhones are unhackable,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN.
And yet there are other ways someone else can take control of your device, or at least of your Apple ID. The most common method is to guess your password. This can be easily done, especially if it can be found in the list of the most common passwords. Moreover, hackers can try using your previously leaked credentials from older data breaches.
“To avoid this, never reuse old passwords. Set up only strong ones, with numbers and a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters. Most importantly, make sure two-factor authentication (2FA) is enabled on your Apple ID. This prevents others from logging in to your account even if they know your login information,” Daniel Markuson comments.
Besides these few hacks, the most common ones rely on smartphone users’ human error, like opening a suspicious link or a message, which tend to ask for the user’s sensitive information. People might also be giving away personal information to seemingly safe apps that ask to grant permission to location services or the camera, when in fact they don’t require those to function.
“Once the access is granted, the app can do whatever it wants with that data. So, build a routine to review your iPhone app permissions, and think twice before agreeing to an app’s demands,” Daniel Markuson, the digital privacy expert at NordVPN, emphasizes.
Other iPhone dangers can be lurking on unprotected internet networks. Hackers often position themselves as free Wi-Fi hotspots, which allows them to steal personal information, credit card details, or other data. If you absolutely need to connect to public Wi-Fi, it’s advised to use a VPN to protect your connection.