The process of detecting and identifying spyware on your iPhone or iPad can be a tricky process.  However, it is an important task to undertake since spyware can reduce your battery life, increase data usage and steal your personal data and communications.  iPhone spyware removal isn’t a difficult process if you read the following information.

Although spyware on an iPhone or iPad performs similar finctions to that on a computer, the process of getting the spyware on your IOS device differs.  Spyware is broad term describing a number of types of harmful applications or software on a personal computer.  Fortunately the iPad and iPhione are not vulnerable to most adware, malware, and viruses.  The iPad and iPhone are however vulnerable to some spyware applications that are able to record your location, conversations, text messages and more.  This data can then be sent remotely to someone who whishes to monitor or spy on you without your knowledge.

An important thing to note is that this type of software cannot typically be installed on your device like a normal virus that may be contained in a download or malicious website.  Apple actually has a rigorous screening that apps must pass for inclusion in the  App Store. Apple notoriously scans each new app for malware before inclusion to keep users safe from the dangers of malicious apps.

iPhone and iPad spyware is usually installed by someone who has physical accessibility to your device whether it be a co-worker, boss, or relative.

Identifying Spyware on your iPhone

While there are very few apps to help detect iPhone spyware, they are few and far between.  One such app is Clueful which helps identify how apps installed on your device use and possibly abuse your information.  With few tools to help IOS users identify spyware, it is reassuring to know there are a number of built in protective measures to prevent it in the first place.  The iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch are designed with multiple layers of security.  Low-level firmware and hardware features help protect against viruses and malware.  High-level operating system functions allow secure access to your personal info and corporate data.  The OS features also help thwart attacks and prevent unauthorized use.  These features portect data while still allowing synching and third party applications.  While there are built in security features in IOS – the iPhone and iPad operating system, spyware can still be installed on your device.

Identifying Spyware on your Device

This is best done with a simple inspection of your device and being aware to the signs that may indicate spyware or malware.

Have you been in any of these scenarios?

  • A jealous partner or ex- with physical access to your iPhone.
  • You have jailbroken your iPhone or iPad.
  • You lent your iPhone to a friend or family member who is tech savvy.
  • You lent your iPhone to someone you do not trust.
  • Someone else has recently synced your iPhone apps and/or music.

 iPhone Spyware Symptoms

The above scenarios, in combination with the following symptoms from the iPhone, likely indicate iPhone spyware:

  • Slow to respond. If your iPhone freezes or takes a long period to respond, starts extra slow or refuses to shut down, this may indicate spyware.
  • Location Icon. If you see the location icon on the top bar of your phone when you are not using an app requiring location services, it could mean there is GPS tracking spyware on your iPhone.
  • Excessive battery drain. The iPhone can go through battery life quickly depending on use but it will go through battery even faster when spyware is installed.  Spyware may be monitoring and transmitting data which drains the battery quickly.
  • Your phone bill increased.  A higher phone bill could indicate that spyware running without your knowledge is using large amounts of data and text messages.
  • Internet Activity. There is a small “swirling” icon on the top bar of your iPhone screen, if it is swirling when you are not knowingly transferring data or accessing the web, this is another indication you may have spyware.

How to Remove Spyware from your  iPhone or iPad

iPhone Spyware Removal

At the time, there are not any reliable programs for removing spyware from your iPhone or iPad but several may be in the works.  However, there are several methods of iPhone spyware removal.

  1. Back up your data. Back up any important iPhone such as pictures and contacts. This requires syncing the iPhone or iPad with iTunes to back up photos, contacts, etc. It is not necessary to back up applications as they may contain the spyware and can easily be re-downloaded from a clean file afterwards.
  2. Restore the iPhone. Do a complete restore of the iPhone with iTunes. Do not do an upgrade or simply clear the data, is unlikely to remove any spyware.  An complete restore is normally required to remove iPhone spyware.

Another method to remove spyware would be to update IOS.  If there is an IOS update available for your device, doing the update can have the welcome side effect of removing spyware and jailbreak apps.  Keep in mind updating IOS will also un-jailbreak your device.