In this post I want to look at security on your iPhone. I’ll dispell some myths along the way but to begin with I will show you some ways to stop someone reading your text messages on iPhone.
Text message security is usually someone’s first stop. They worry that their SMS message are being intercepted and read by someone else. But I’ll show you that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Everything on your phone can be at risk!
I’m not a big fan of Apple and the iPhone in particular. Mostly down to their restrictive practices and extortionate pricing. But that’s just me. I do have to concede that they are more secure than any other operating system especially Android.
Unfortunately this leads to almost arrogance with some iPhone users. They think this means they are secure.
Well, your iPhone is still very vulnerable.
Can My iPhone Be Spied On?
The idea of someone getting into your phone to read your texts is pretty horrifying for most of us. Depending on the type of texts you get, this may even keep you up at night. So, it gets worse when you realize that spying on your iPhone is not only possible but it is relatively easy.
There are several ways someone can read your SMS text messages on an iPhone. But here is the scary part. Once they get into your phone they have essentially hacked your iPhone. Now they can do so much more than just see your text messages.
I’ll cover what else can be hacked later in this article but first here are the main ways someone else can get access to your texts on iPhone:
- Your phone gets physically stolen.
- Someone has access to your synced iCloud backups account.
- There is spyware on your phone that someone has installed to gain remote access to your data, including text messages.
Your iPhone can get hacked in other more sophisticated ways but spy apps are probably your worst threat these days. These apps are designed for parents to legally monitor their kids cell phones. But they are often used illegally to target other’s phones.
I have an article covering hacking apps for the iPhone – it will show you what you are up against. I also have a main guide on how to hack a phone – it covers ways a phone hack can happen. The more you learn how this all works the better prepared you’ll be to protect your phone.
How Do I Protect My Texts?
As I mentioned the iPhone is generally more secure than Android for example. Part of this is down to Apple’s “closed” system. On the iPhone you can only install apps from the Apple Store – vetted by Apple. This does add a level of inbuilt security.
Of course there are ways around this limitation. Jailbreaking is a technique many iPhone owners use to be able to install other third party apps. Needless to say this can lead to reduced security.
If security is important to you – Do Not Jailbreak your iPhone. Many Spy apps in particular need the iPhone to be Jailbroken for them to work. Ever wondered how to tell if your iPhone has been Jailbroken – I have that covered in detail.
So no Jailbreaking is a first step to protect your security. Now let’s look at some built in security features on the iPhone that will help keep your texts secure (and everything else!).
Lock Your iPhone Securely
The iPhone comes with a built in Passcode lock feature but not everyone uses it. Turning Passcode on will mean you have to enter your unique code every time the phone goes to sleep, restarts and a few other occations. Basically this code is another layer of security.
Different iPhone models have slightly different options but to turn it on:
On your phone -> go to Settings -> tap on General -> select Passcode Lock -> on the top of the screen you will see ‘Turn Passcode On’.
You might also see the option under your Face ID settings.
Now enter a unique passcode and re-enter it to confirm the code. Where most people fall down her is they use short passcodes or include easy to remember numbers or dates. Use 6 alphanumeric characters and use capitals or @ signs etc. You will need this code to unlock the phone every time so remember it.
There are new technologies now to help with locking your iPhone such as Face ID and Touch ID. Make use of them to stop anyone accessing your phone and messages.
Adding a Face ID or Touch ID will present another layer of challenge to any intruder. It can also be used to authorize (or not) payments and purchases or sign-in to some apps.
Secure iCloud Backups
iCloud is a great free way to keep all your iPhone data backed up. Unfortunately it is not as secure as most people think. New versions of spy apps actively target monitoring your iPhone backups. To do this they need your Apple account details but they have ways to hack your Apple ID – I cover some in that post.
Due to limitations of Jailbreaking this is now the most popular way to monitor text messages on iPhones. But you can make it more secure.
Enable Two Factor Authentication 2FA. This means any time your iCloud account is accessed you’ll receive a code by text to confirm. It stops third parties from getting into your backups.
Better still, if you are worried about spy apps in particular I recommend using a different backup method for your iPhone. There are many free and paid alternatives and they are not targeted by spy app companies.
Disable Text Fowarding – text fowarding is great if you use multiple devices and want your messages available on all of them. But it adds a security risk. Any other users on your iCloud account could get to see all your messages.
You can do this by going to Settings -> tap on Messages -> select ‘Text Message Forwarding’ and swipe off.
Other Tips to Secure Your Texts
Use the Find my iPhone feature which can help if you lose your phone physically. You can then stop the hacker from activating your phone and getting into your device.
Never show previews of your messages on your locked screen. This is a security risk because no one even needs to unlock your phone to read the texts.
Do this by going to Settings -> tap on Notifications-> select Messages -> then go into Show Previews -> tap on ‘When Unlocked or Never’
Limit your data and location sharing. This can be reviewed and adjusted individually so that you can control the exchange of data in general. The more you share with other apps the more you open up to potential risks.
You can try any anti-intruder app that will sound an alarm if anyone tries to snoop around or tamper with the credentials. These apps have all sorts of customizations so check them out.
What about the Other Data on My Phone?
This guide is mainly aimed at stopping someone from reading your text messages on an iPhone. So, I’ve covered some threats and some security steps that will definitely help you. But you must understand the bigger picture.
Two of the main ways your texts are vulnerable involve the use of spy software programs. Either by someone installing an app on your phone or by someone gaining access to or hacking your iCloud account.
In both cases, your SMS text messages are only a small part of your problem! These apps allow someone else to monitor everything you do on your iPhone. They can see everything you type on the phone keypad – called keylogging.
They can track your phone in real time … accurately! They are able to see all communication on the phone including WhatsApp, Facebook and Snapchat etc. Read emails, access all photos and in some cases even listen to and record your voice calls.
Make no mistake these are very powerful tools. It pays to be aware of what they can do and also learn how to find spyware on an iPhone. Then see how to remove that spyware on your iPhone. Have a good look around my security information – lots of useful information.
So I hope you understand that even though the iPhone has some great extra security features, you still need to do more. People focus on things like someone reading their text messages as a security threat. It is, but there is much more to worry about.
Thankfully you can use technology to help protect your privacy. Add in some common sense and you are a long way to securing your iPhone.
Thanks for reading and take care.