As an iPhone owner, I was recently the victim of a phishing attack. When I clicked on a link in an email, I felt frustrated and panicked about what might have happened. As a result, I decided to do some research and testing to find out what happens when you click on a phishing link on an iPhone. In this blog post, I will share with you what I learned and the steps that I took to keep my device and information safe. I will also provide some tips and advice to help you protect yourself in the future.
Typically, the phishing link will take you to a web page where you supposedly need to provide your personal information. In any case, don’t! Refrain from sharing your data, most especially your Apple ID and password, and close the link immediately.
|Event||Action to Take|
|Clicked on phishing link||Close the link immediately, do not provide any personal information|
|Gave away personal information||Change your password|
|Provided Apple ID||Change your password, set up two-factor authentication, check personal details|
|Recognizing a phishing email or text||Check for general titles, urgency, errors, mismatched URLs, and email address|
|Reporting and deleting suspicious emails||Report to firstname.lastname@example.org and delete the email|
|iPhone possibly infected with malware||Clear browser data, delete suspicious apps, restart phone, restore backup|
What Happens If You Clicked on a Phishing Link on Your iPhone?
A single click on a phishing link won’t likely affect your iPhone. This is due to its built-in security and privacy feature that efficiently protects your data and makes sure only you have access to them.
iPhone’s Security Features Against Phishing Scams
The built-in security and privacy features of the iPhone that will protect your data after clicking on a phishing link are:
The passcode heightens your phone’s security by turning on data protection and encrypting your data.
Mail Privacy Protection
This feature will protect your mailing activity by hiding your IP address, which scammers typically use to determine your location.
Another benefit of mail privacy protection is it prevents the sender from knowing if you’ve already opened the mail they sent you.
Scammers will mark you as a high target profile once they’re notified that you’ve opened the mail along with the link enclosed in it.
Operating System Protection Against Malware
iPhones are designed to protect your data. They’re not susceptible to malware as long as you haven’t tampered with their operating systems, also termed jailbreaking.
How to Detect and Remove Malware
If your iPhone is jailbroken and you think it got infected by malware, these signs may strengthen your suspicion:
- Your phone is overheating more often than usual.
- Your data usage shoots up unreasonably.
- Pop-ups keep appearing even when your browser isn’t open.
- There are unfamiliar apps installed on your iPhone.
If your iPhone shows these signs and you want to make sure your phone is free from malware, you can try the following remedies:
- Clear your browser data and history.
- Delete any suspicious applications.
- Restart your phone (Turning off and then back on).
- Restore your phone’s earlier backup version.
- Reset your iPhone to its factory settings.
Don’t forget to back up your phone’s data first to iCloud or your computer if you’re left with no choice but to reset your iPhone to factory settings.
What If You Gave Away Your Personal Information?
If you provided your information on the destination page of the phishing link, there’s a reason to panic.
In any case, entering your information to a fraudulent page means handing them to the people behind this scheme. The best you can do is to beat them before they can get to your accounts.
Immediately go to the legitimate website of that company, change your password, and ask for an authorized personnel’s assistance in protecting your account.
What to Do If You Provided Your Apple ID?
Read more: Where is the clipboard on my iPhone?
You’re able to seamlessly access Apple services through the use of your Apple ID. This is your account, which means it has your personal information, and it’s how Apple recognizes you as one of its users.
Once your Apple ID is compromised, your information and all in it are at risk. Scammers can use your Apple ID to make purchases under your name or access your bank accounts.
Again, immediately change your password and set up two-factor authentication if you haven’t already. Make sure your personal information, such as your name and email address, as well as your rescue email addresses and phone numbers, are all correct.
If the password was changed, sign in to your Apple ID account and reset the password to a stronger one. It’s also advisable to coordinate with your email provider to ensure you have control over all email addresses linked to your Apple ID.
How to Recognize a Phishing Email or Text
Usually, the scammers will craft an email to make it look like it’s from a legitimate reputable company.
These are some signs an email is actually a scam attempt:
- The email addresses you with a general title and not your specific name.
- It’s unsolicited but sounds very urgent.
- It’s full of grammatical errors and misspelled words.
- It has an attached link with a URL that doesn’t match the website of the company they’re trying to emulate.
- The email address of the sender doesn’t match the name of the company they’re claiming the email is from.
Report and Delete Suspicious Emails
Report suspicious emails to email@example.com. It’s also best to delete them afterward to avoid the risk of accidentally clicking on any phishing links.
What to do if you clicked on a phishing link on your iPhone? What happens then?
Just clicking won’t affect your iPhone as long as it’s not jailbroken. If you’ve tampered with its security features, your device may be susceptible to malware, but there are ways to reliably remove them.
If you provided your information, you’ll need to change the password of your accounts to secure them right away.