How Can I Stop Someone Reading My Messages?
Luckily, there are a few methods you can use to prevent people reading your text messages:
Use a strong passcode.
This prevents anyone that steals your phone from accessing and reading your messages and makes it much harder for someone to guess your passcode. The longer your passcode, the better. According to this article from the US Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, you should consider using the longest passcode permissible by your device.
We recommend using a custom alphanumeric passcode, which is a combination of numbers, letters and symbols. It’s also important to avoid easily guessable combinations or sequences, like “123456” or “password”.
Disable text message forwarding.
This is a feature that allows other devices logged into the same iCloud account to receive iMessages. This is great if you are using multiple Apple devices, but if you are sharing your account with another person or family member, this means that they will receive your messages on their device.
The best way to combat this is to not share your account with anyone. It’s much more secure for everyone to have their own accounts.
Alternatively, you can simply disable text message forwarding by tapping Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding.
Turn off lock screen message previews.
Having new message previews appear on the lock screen of your device is a potential security risk. This makes it very simple for someone to just read your text messages without even having to log into your iPhone.
To disable this feature, tap Settings > Notifications > Messages > Show Previews and change to ‘Never’ or ‘When Unlocked’.
Use an anti-intruder app.
Apps such as iAntiTheft will allow you to use an alarm to catch or deter any would be snoopers from tampering with your phone by using different triggers to detect interference (e.g. when the device is moved or when the power cable is unplugged).
Enable two-factor authentication for iCloud.
Enabling this feature adds an extra layer of protection on top of just using a password. This feature requires any attackers to also have physical access to your device as any login attempts require inputting a unique code that is displayed on the device associated with the account.
This prevents any hacking attempts even if the attacker knows the account credentials.
Additionally, enabling this feature will also allow you to block iCloud monitoring tools, which are used to steal data from your iPhone that’s been synced with iCloud.
Check paired Bluetooth devices.
Bluetooth devices paired with your iPhone could be used to read your text messages and other notifications if they have been given permission to do so. Check for any Bluetooth devices that may have been added without your consent and remove them. To do this:
- Go to your Bluetooth settings (Settings > Bluetooth > My Devices).
- Check for any devices you do not recognize. Specifically, look for any device that has the options Show Notifications or Share System Notifications enabled.
- Tap Forget This Device to unpair it from your iPhone.
Use security software to protect your device.
Sometimes the only way to fully protect yourself is by installing some protective software that will be able to check your device to ensure that nothing malicious has been installed.
Software such as our own Certo AntiSpy is designed to protect you against outside threats and scan for any installed spyware on your device, along with any other signs of hacking.
Once you’ve scanned for any spyware on your device using Certo AntiSpy, keeping your iPhone updated, using a strong passcode and also enabling two-factor authentication will go a long way towards keeping your phone strongly protected in the future.