How to check your iPhone for spyware
I’m interested in spyware detection software from Certo Software, a company that claims to develop the only iPhone spyware detection tool in the world – and yet, I’m a little anxious about it.
Are you being hacked?
Certo Software’s spyware detection solution claims to give iPhone users a way to check their devices for spyware, which Apple, doesn’t provide by default.
The company was founded by a pair of security geeks in the UK, and its solution for this problem is available now.
The challenge is that most iPhone spyware is readily available for under $100,” the developers say. “Setup takes a matter of minutes and is invisible to the user,” they warn.
That’s true, of course, but in most cases you need physical access to the device – though network-based attacks which required no user interaction where disclosed at a recent security conference.
Certo promises a range of features:
- Jailbreak detection
- Spyware detection.
- App permission review – who is accessing your location?
The software doesn’t run on the device. Instead, it runs on your Mac or Windows device and works by exploring iPhone backups you have on the computer, as detailed in this video:
The challenge of security
When used, Certo only looks at your device backup and doesn’t make any changes to the device you use – what concerns me is that once you let software look at your backups it’s not clear what happens to your data. I’d be inclined to use an app such as this alongside Little Snitch, in an attempt to control what data leaves my machine.
I contacted the developers on this concern, and this is what they said:
“I also understand your concerns about the privacy of customer data and this is something our customers also ask us from time to time.
“We are trying to build the go-to iPhone security solution and in order to do so it’s extremely important to us that we build trust in the industry.
“We therefore have no interest in selling our customer’s data as it would only damage the company.
“You may have seen on our website that our software works by analysing a device from a computer. This means that all device data remains on the computer and we therefore do not have access to it.”
You’ll find more information here.
What else can you do to protect yourself from hacks and spyware?
- Install software updates as they are released.
- Change your device passcode to a longer alphanumeric code.
- Change Apple ID and other important account passwords frequently and always use complex passwords.
- Never install apps you don’t trust.
- Never input your password for any service using a link received in an email – always visit the site manually in your browser as any credible request will likely be flagged there.
- Create an email alias to use when signing up to mailing lists.
- Never share confidential information over public Wi-Fi.
- Regularly monitor App permissions.
- Use a reputable VPN service.
- Always use private browsing.
- Sign out of social networks when you aren’t using them.
- Enable Erase Data in Settings>Face ID & Passcode.
- Set Auto-lock to 30-seconds to make it harder for others toget temporary access to your device.
- Lock down the Lock screen so only apps you want to have available there are.