Blog/Expert Analysis/

Can iCloud be hacked?

Dec 01, 2021

It doesn’t take a genius to see that there’s a massive difference between James Bond and a digital stalker. Unfortunately, spying is no longer reserved to government agents. You don’t need special gizmos, needle-sized cameras, and custom Aston Martins. iCloud access is now enough to track everything a person does online.

iCloud hacked: how does it work?

Technology companies want you to be synced up. There are more devices to track, more engagement time, more data. This way, they never lose you. But if you’re not careful, this seamless syncing technology can set you up for spying not only by the companies but by the people you are or were close to.

One of the ways people are spied on is through iCloud. It’s a cloud service that syncs all of the user’s messages, photos, browsing history, notes, and calls across all devices. The web is full of creepy stories about spouses and ex-boyfriends logging in to their partners’ accounts from another device and secretly tracking their every move. Sometimes, for years.

The worst thing is that, to track you, the “spy” doesn’t need to be tech-savvy. Maybe you’ve used their device once before? Or maybe they just looked over your shoulder while you typed in your password? That’s how easy it can be to track someone’s digital life via iCloud.

Is iCloud safe?

We want to make it perfectly clear that iCloud is reasonably safe from hacks. Like NordLocker Cloud, Apple’s cloud services are also end-to-end encrypted and can’t be easily penetrated by an outside party.

But iCloud is not safe from spying because all you need to get to the trove of personal files, messages, and online history is the user’s password. Which is often surprisingly easy to get because, instead of a hacker thousands of miles away, the spy might be someone you trust and maybe even live with. To make matters worse, people still use easy-to-guess passwords and choose convenience over security.

Beware: iCloud can be hacked with spying apps

Spy apps are another way iCloud can be hacked into without a password. To use them, the person needs access to the target’s device to download and install a spying app. These apps prey on the “spy’s” insecurities, ensure that their worries are reasonable, and then lie about the activity being safe and legal.

It is not. Spying apps pretend to be legal but, without exception, all of them forget to mention that monitoring someone’s device without their knowledge is illegal and punishable by a fine or jail.

What’s more, these anonymous apps get to suck up all the personal data first, decide what they want to keep, and only then share the data with the “spy”. And, if they are ever caught in a lie, they can rename their app and relaunch as a new company.

What to do if you suspect your iCloud account has been hacked?

Whether you’re using iCloud or other services that sync your files and messages across your devices, there are a few things you should be doing to protect your accounts.

  • Check what devices have been authorized to sync your data
  • iCloud lets you see all the authorized devices. To check which ones are connected to your account, go to Settings and Apple ID. Then, scroll down to the list of authorized devices and remove any that you no longer use.

  • Log out of all devices
  • You can do that by simply changing your password. Most services will log you out of your devices and ask you to log in with your new credentials.

  • Enable multi-factor authentication
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) makes a huge difference to cybersecurity online. Even if a service you use accidentally leaks your passwords, not only would it prevent the attackers from getting into your account, but you would also be notified about their attempt.

  • Act on your suspicions
  • If your device feels weird, don’t be quick to dismiss this feeling. Maybe your smartphone started using much more data or drains your battery faster? These may be signs of a spying app on your device.

John Sears

John Sears

Verified author

John believes that the best things in life are simple. He uses the same approach when he’s writing about online security. John says that his #1 pet peeve is phishing scams. Ironically, his favorite non-work related activity is fishing.