The text message: the simplest easiest way to communicate with anyone and all within 160 characters per data packet. Texting has really taken over as the prime medium of our entire daily chit chats, reminders, and even formal small talks. And without us really ever realizing when and how, text messages have become keepers of our most personal and guarded information. You may not fret so much over someone going through your email or Facebook account but the moment someone starts looking through your phone’s message inbox you’ll start feeling that sensation quite similar to a stroke. The same reason why keystroke loggers are so dreaded; they can read every message you type out.
And so of course it’s needless to say how momentously important it is that our text messages be kept safe from prying eyes and hackers. The latest text message scare drives this point home harder than ever before. Thanks to an Apple employee who did not follow company protocol while fixing an iPhone, we learned that a bizarre security flaw in iPhones allows user’s access to each others text messages just by inserting the other person’s SIM into their own iPhones. Just imagining what would happen if it were your messages showing up on someone else’s iPhone, that’s enough to give anyone anxiety. So here’s what you can do to ensure that your messages don’t fall prey to iPhone spyware and whatever Apple security flaws and vulnerabilities that may exist.
Safety: Say No to Jailbreak
What most people don’t care to mull over when purchasing second hand iPhones are whether they are jail broken or not. Many even consider it an advantage since now they can allow third party apps onto the device. But the fact is doing this puts everything in the device, including all your personal text messages, at risk of being exploited through some iPhone spyware. Using non- jailbroken IOS devices will also cut down to a great extent the possibility of installing a keylogger and hence getting at your messages that way.
Precaution: Put in a Spy App for Spy Apps
Before someone gets at your personal info by reading your texts, take matters into your own hands. Firstly, make sure your phone doesn’t have texts dating back to your college rebel days that you would be mortified if anyone found out. Lewd or sexually explicit messages really shouldn’t be held onto since those are the first to go public once someone successfully gets into your message log. A precaution one can take is to self-install an iPhone spy app-monitoring app. In other words, apps which will notify you of any and all apps being installed on your iPhone, allowing you to investigate whether they are suspicious or not on your own. Such apps give you pop-ups so you’ll be sure not to miss them and are easy to use.
Cure: Once You Know
If your iPhone security has been compromised there are a number of things you can do to minimize the data theft or the damage. But let’s suppose you’ve taken all the precautions and necessary steps. And once it’s back in your hands, the security flaw which enables hackers (or just about any dandy really) into your private messages is giving you nightmares. Here’s what to do until Apple thinks up a real solution:
- Use the Remote Wipe option and then de-register via your cell phone carrier. Make sure you do this within 24 hours of using the Remote Wipe Option.
- Instantly activate a replacement phone with a replacement SIM too using your stolen phone number.
- If you are an iMessage user, then change your Apple ID password.
And finally, pray all those squeamish texts that you knew you shouldn’t have saved don’t show on a public forum one day.
Natalia David, an author significantly contributes towards Cell phone and PC security, mobile phone spy and spy software for blackberry. If you want to know more about Natalia you can follow her on twitter @NataliaDavid4