5. Delete unrecognized profiles
Configuration profiles can be used by businesses and schools to set up specific settings and restrictions on devices.
However, hackers can exploit this feature and also install malicious code and profiles on your iPhone. Check to see if you have any unrecognized profiles and delete them immediately.
To uninstall a configuration profile on an iOS device, follow these steps:
- Open the Settings app on your iOS device’s home screen.
- Go to General > VPN & Device Management.
- Under the Profiles section, you’ll see a list of all the configuration profiles installed on your device. Tap on the profile you wish to remove. Please note that profiles won’t be visible until at least one profile is installed.
- Tap on the Remove Profile button. If your device has a passcode, you’ll be prompted to enter it.
- A confirmation prompt will appear, asking if you want to remove the profile. Confirm the removal. Restart your device to apply the changes.
6. Delete unrecognized custom keyboards
If you suspect that your iPhone has been hacked, you should check for and delete any unrecognized custom keyboards.
This is because a hacker could have installed a malicious keyboard on your device that can be used to track your keystrokes and steal sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers.
To delete unrecognized custom keyboards on your iPhone, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.
- Tap Keyboards.
- Tap Edit.
- Tap the red minus button next to any keyboard that you don’t recognize.
- Tap Delete.
Fig 1. Locating a custom keyboard on iOS.
7. Unpair unrecognized Bluetooth devices
Bluetooth technology is everywhere—we often don’t even realize we’re using it. But Bluetooth is prone to hacking in certain situations and can give hackers access to your phone.
It’s crucial to unpair any unrecognized Bluetooth devices if you suspect your iPhone has been compromised. Here’s why:
⛔ Data access and transfer: Once paired, some Bluetooth devices can access sensitive data on your iPhone or even send data to your device.
⛔ Eavesdropping: Certain Bluetooth-enabled devices, especially headsets or car systems, can be used to listen to your calls and read your text messages.
⛔ Remote control: Some Bluetooth devices can exert control over certain iPhone functions, like taking over your keyboard, calls and audio functions.
To unpair unrecognized Bluetooth devices on your iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth and check for unfamiliar devices. If any are found, click on the (i) icon next to the device and select Forget This Device.
Fig 2. Checking for unrecognized Bluetooth devices on iOS.
8. Remove additional saved Face IDs
Stored Face IDs should be limited to your face only.
If you suspect your iPhone has been hacked, remove any additional saved Face IDs. This is because a hacker could have saved their face to your iPhone and could be using it to unlock your phone without your knowledge.
Here are some of the things that a hacker could do with an additional saved Face ID:
- Unlock your phone and access your personal information, such as contacts, photos, and messages.
- Make purchases with your Apple Pay account.
- Install device monitoring spyware so they can keep tabs on your activity remotely.
To check for and remove additional saved Face IDs on your iPhone, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.
- If you see the option to Set Up an Alternative Appearance then only one Face ID is setup and no further action is required.
- If you don’t see Set Up an Alternative Appearance then a second Face ID is setup.
- To remove a second Face ID, tap Reset Face ID to remove all stored faces, then setup Face ID again.
9. Disable message forwarding
Message forwarding on iOS devices is a feature that allows texts and iMessages sent to one device to be automatically forwarded to another.
This is especially useful for people who own multiple Apple devices. With message forwarding enabled, you can receive and reply to messages from any device, even if they were initially sent to just one specific device.
This feature can be exploited to forward your messages to another device discreetly. A hacker can exploit this feature in many ways, including:
⚠️ A privacy breach: Hackers can read personal and private conversations.
⚠️ Obtaining 2FA codes: They can gain unauthorized access to accounts using intercepted two-factor authentication codes.
⚠️ Financial gain: A hacker could intercept bank alerts, one-time PINs (OTPs), and transaction details.
⚠️ Blackmail: With access to personal or sensitive messages and media, a hacker could potentially blackmail you.
⚠️ Impersonation: With access to your messages, a hacker could impersonate you and send spam or phishing messages to your contacts.
⚠️ Resetting your passwords: A hacker could request a password reset for one of your accounts, receive the reset link or code via message forwarding, and subsequently take over that account.
To disable message forwarding on your iPhone, go to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding, and ensure it’s disabled or only enabled for devices you trust.
Fig 3. Disable Text Message Forwarding on iOS.
10. Disable calls on other devices
The ‘Calls on Other Devices’ feature on an iPhone allows you to make and receive calls on other devices that are signed in to the same Apple ID, such as your iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. This can be a convenient feature, but it can also be a security risk if it’s exploited by hackers.
Similar to message forwarding, hackers can exploit this feature to spy on you and steal valuable personal information.
If you suspect that your iPhone has been compromised and want to disable this feature, follow these steps:
- Tap on the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and tap on Phone.
- Tap on Calls on Other Devices.
- Toggle off Allow Calls on Other Devices. This will prevent calls from being forwarded to any other devices signed in with the same Apple ID.