Help! I Opened A Phishing Email On My iPhone- Consumer Boomer (2023)

You’re casually browsing your email inbox on your iPhone and (without even thinking) you accidentally open an email that initially looks legit. However, upon closer inspection, you now suspect that it’s a malicious email.

Your fears are not misplaced – Google discovered over 2 million phishing websites in 2021. Hackers are at work trying to steal your information 24/7.

Don’t skip over this article if even if you think you might be safe. It is likely that some of your personal information is already exposed on the web. We’ll help determine if you’re at risk and tell you what to do to protect yourself.

How Spam and Phishing Emails Work

Help! I Opened A Phishing Email On My iPhone- Consumer Boomer (1)

Amongst the 300 billion emails sent every day, there are malicious emails designed to steal user data such as username, passwords, credit card numbers, etc. These emails are popularly known as phishing emails.

Phishing emails are disguised as emails from genuine companies in order to trick you into thinking they are legitimate messages. The goal is to get you to open the email and follow the instructions in the email such as submitting a form with your personal information in it.

For example, a phishing email might send you to a page to “verify” your information – such as personal or financial information. Sometimes, a phishing email will not even require you to do anything but download an attachment.

Once the hackers have this information, they most often sell your information on the dark web to fraudsters. The fraudsters will then use your information to apply for credit cards and the like – raking up debt in your name and ruining your credit.

(Video) How to block a sender in Mail on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch – Apple Support

Some phishing emails are very sophisticated, and it is nearly impossible to tell that they are from hackers.

The best way to identify malicious sites is to use an identity theft protection service like Aura, which gives you a safe browsing tool that will stop you even before you visit a malicious phishing site. They have protected over 47 Million people over 20+ years.

To further protect you in case you’ve already given out your personal info, you’ll get:Help! I Opened A Phishing Email On My iPhone- Consumer Boomer (2)

  • A team monitoring the dark web for people selling your personal information, and alerting you if anything appears.
  • Monitoring of your credit reports (fraud usually shows up on your credit reports and ruins your credit)
  • A personal case manager that can help you recover from any identity theft problems.

This means that your financial situation will remain SAFE EVEN IF fraudsters have your personal information (they won’t be able to get away with it).

Try Aura for Free

Phishing is an increasing problem not only for businesses but also for many individuals. What many people do not realize is that the majority of malware is sent through email. The 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report found that credential theft and social attacks, which include phishing and business email compromise, cause 67% of the data breaches that took place in the past year.

I have an iPhone, Can I Get Hacked by Opening a Phishing Email?

Help! I Opened A Phishing Email On My iPhone- Consumer Boomer (3)
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The iPhone uses a unique operating system called iOS. Created by Apple, this operating system was marketed to be more secure than other mobile operating systems. Because of this, many iPhone users have a false sense of security that it is impossible for their iPhones to be hacked.

If you search online “Can you get a virus from opening an email on your iPhone?”, you will find user forums saying that it is rare for this to happen. However, more recent events proved this to be untrue.

So, can iPhones get viruses or malware?

Yes, iPhones can be vulnerable to malware attacks and these can lead to data theft.

One of the most popular iPhone hacks that shocked the world was when the iPhone X of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was hacked. In January 2020, it was announced that a forensic study of Bezos’ iPhone revealed that the hack was caused by a video that was sent in 2018 through WhatsApp.

This video had a code of malware that gave the hackers access to Bezos’ texts and photos. So, if the iPhone of the wealthiest man in the world can be hacked, then it is not impossible for an average user to also fall victim to these attacks.

Another finding that challenged the security of iPhones was raised by cybersecurity firm ZecOps. According to the ZecOps report released in April 2020, the iPhone’s default Mail app is vulnerable to hackers due to bugs (error or flaw in a software).

The firm said that they noticed suspicious activity in the Mail app dating back to 2018 and after investigation, they found that an iPhone could be vulnerable if the user just opens the email on the app – even without clicking anything.

Unlike other phishing emails that require you to click a link or enter some information, the email that ZecOps encountered was an empty message. Once you open this message, it will cause the iPhone to crash so you would need to reboot.

(Video) How to prepare your iPhone to trade in | Apple Support

The hackers will reportedly get access to your phone during the reboot and could take control of your device. ZecOps disclosed that this type of email hack victimized at least six high-profile individuals.

What to Do if You Accidentally Opened a Phishing Email on Your iPhone

Help! I Opened A Phishing Email On My iPhone- Consumer Boomer (4)

Your information could now be exposed to others, so your first step should be toset up identity theft protectionwith services such asAura.

Here’s how they’ll help :

Help! I Opened A Phishing Email On My iPhone- Consumer Boomer (5)

  • Monitor the dark web to see if your personal info has been exposed to fraudsters.
  • Monitor your credit (as fraud usually shows up on your credit report as new credit card, mortgage applications etc).
  • Set up alerts on your bank accounts for any suspicious transactions.

You’ll also get a $1 million insurance policy and stolen funds reimbursement so that you won’t be financially ruined even if something bad does happen.

Try Aura for Free

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Next, you’ll want to check that your devices are clean and report the suspected phishing site. Which one you should do depends on what actions you took leading up to this point:

Did you just open the email or did you click on it? Did you download an attachment? Did you actually enter any personal details like your username, email address, verification code, phone number, financial information, etc.?

If you just opened the phishing or spam email by mistake without clicking anything:

You’re probably wondering the steps involved in how to scan your iPhone for malware. If you are not sure whether your iPhone is compromised, follow the steps below.

  1. Check your phone for unfamiliar apps or downloads that happened recently.
  2. Delete these apps or downloads if you do not recall downloading or using them.
  3. Turn off background app refresh to minimize the risk of unwanted apps running without your action required. This will also save battery life.
  4. Change your passwords on your online and financial accounts linked to your iPhone.
  5. Monitor your phone for any change like apps not working properly or battery draining easily.
  6. If you see any of these phone issues, you can back up your data and do a factory reset on your iPhone. This will wipe all of the data on your phone. Be careful about restoring your backup again as your files may have been compromised already. If you used a backup and the same problem occurs, do another factory reset and download your apps again.
  7. Always update to the latest iOS version and latest apps because the newer versions usually fix any detected security bugs.

If you opened a phishing email and clicked on a link or downloaded an attachment:

  1. If you downloaded an attachment, immediately delete it from your phone.
  2. If you clicked on a link that redirected you to another website, close the website.
  3. As an added protection, wipe off the history of your browser on Chrome or Safari.
  4. Change your passwords in your online and financial accounts linked to your iPhone.
  5. Monitor your phone for any change like apps not working properly or battery draining easily then do a factory reset process if necessary.

If you opened a phishing email, clicked on a link, and took action by entering your financial details or login credentials:

Hackers often send phishing emails disguised as emails from banks or other companies requiring you to verify your financial information. Some emails will even look like a warning that your account has been compromised so you need to take immediate action by following the steps indicated.

However, these are often phishing emails created to gain access to your financial accounts.

  1. Change your passwords immediately on your financial accounts on your iPhone.
  2. Change your passwords on social media and other online accounts that may be linked to your Apple Pay, PayPal, or other money apps.
  3. Contact your bank or credit card provider to inform them of the possible breach. If you inform them as soon as possible, they could stop suspicious transactions from taking place.
  4. Regularly monitor your banking activity in the next few weeks to see whether there are suspicious transactions taking place. You can ask the bank to send you text notifications for any purchase so it will be easier for you to review any transaction. Be wary of small amount transactions because sometimes hackers will charge very small unnoticeable amounts like $1 to $2 repeatedly so you won’t notice but eventually this could add up.

If you opened a phishing email, clicked on a link, and took action by giving away personal details:

Some phishing emails are designed to dupe you into giving private personal information such as your full name, birth date, social security number, complete address, etc. Once the hackers gain your personal information, they can use this to perform fraudulent acts like get into your financial accounts or commit identity theft.

  1. If you’re worried that your Social Security Number is compromised, you can go to my Social Security webpage to check your account for any inconsistencies. You can also check our complete guide on “How to check if someone is using my Social Security Number for employment”.
  2. If you gave away your personal information and you are worried that you could be a victim of identity theft, you can go to identitytheft.gov, the U.S. government’s online portal where you can report such crimes.

Protect Your iPhone from Phishing Emails and Malware

In this day and age, no piece of technology is safe from malicious attacks- and that includes your iPhone. It is very important to protect your phone and yourself from being a victim of malware and phishing emails by always being wary of the messages you’re receiving.

Avoid opening or clicking on links in emails and messages from unknown sources. This will greatly minimize the risk of falling victim to a malware attack. You can also install antivirus apps for IPhones that can warn you in case there are any suspicious attacks.

FAQs

What happens if you open phishing email on iPhone? ›

Clicking on a phishing link or opening an attachment in one of these messages may install malware, like viruses, spyware or ransomware, on your device. This all happens behind the scenes, so it is undetectable to the average user.

Can you be hacked by opening an email on iPhone? ›

No, you can't get hacked by simply opening an email. This was possible before when emails would run JavaScript in the preview pane allowing malware to spread without any action from the user.

Can you get scammed by just opening an email? ›

Just opening the phishing message without taking any further action will not compromise your data. However, hackers can still gather some data about you, even if all you did was open the email. They will use this data against you to create more targeted cyber attacks in the future.

What if I clicked on a phishing link on my phone? ›

Review where a phishing link redirected your Android phone, noting the site address or any files downloaded. Do not interact with the suspect webpage. Delete any downloaded files. Scan the device for malware using a trusted app.

Does iPhone block phishing? ›

iPhones aren't safe from phishing attacks, either, since that doesn't require an app to be installed. Click a bad link in an email or text message and it could lead to trouble.

Can I scan my iPhone for malware? ›

Due to security restrictions on iOS, it is not possible for any app to scan the system or other apps for malware. Apps are not allowed those kinds of permissions, and for that reason, antivirus software on iOS is not possible.

What happens if I opened a phishing email? ›

What Happens If You Click on a Phishing Link? Clicking on a phishing link or opening an attachment in one of these messages may install malware, like viruses, spyware or ransomware, on your device. This is all done behind the scenes, so it is undetectable to the average user.

What if I open a spam email? ›

The good news is that opening a suspicious email, while not ideal, is relatively harmless. Spam emails only become a serious cyber threat if you've committed any of the following actions: Downloaded any malicious files or email attachments.

What if I clicked on a phishing link but did not enter details? ›

If you clicked on a phishing link that took you to a spoofed page and did not enter any personal information or credentials, then you should be fine. However, one danger is that scammers usually know whether or not you clicked on the link. So, they may determine you're a good target to continue pursuing.

Can hackers see when you open an email? ›

Hackers and other malicious users can see when you open an email! As an email user (pretty much everyone) there are several security concerns in your mailbox to be aware of. The biggest risk to email accounts are malicious users.

How do I scan for viruses on my iPhone? ›

Since an iPhone cannot have a true virus there is no way to scan for one. If your iOS version is up-to-date (currently iOS 15.5) and you have not jailbroken your iPhone or side loaded apps you have no risk of malware either.

Can you get hacked by reading an email? ›

Yes. There are some types of emails that can cause damage immediately upon opening, but if you know what to look for, you'll usually be able to avoid them. This typically happens when an email allows scripting, which allows the hacker to insert a virus or malware directly into the email.

Should I reset my phone if I clicked on a phishing link? ›

2. Should I reset my phone if I clicked on a phishing link? Yes, restraining the phone after you have disconnected from the internet and removed all unknown apps is a good idea. After that, scan the device for malware or even set it on automatic scans (if available) to make sure you are protected in the future.

How do I scan my phone for malware? ›

You can also manually scan your Galaxy device to check for security threats:
  1. 1 Go to Settings.
  2. 2 Tap Battery and Device Care.
  3. 3 Tap Device protection.
  4. 4 Tap Scan phone.
  5. 5 All of the apps and data on your device will be scanned.
  6. 6 Once the scan is completed you will be shown whether or not your device is secure.
  7. 1 Tap Apps.

Can iPhones get viruses from links? ›

The risk of viruses on your iPhone is very low. To protect your iPhone from viruses, keep your iOS updated and don't click on suspicious links. If you have a virus, try clearing your browser data or performing a factory reset.

How can I see where my Apple ID is being used? ›

From the Devices section of your Apple ID account page, you can see all of the devices that you're currently signed in to with your Apple ID, including Android devices, consoles, and smart TVs: Sign in to appleid.apple.com,* then select Devices.

How do you know your iPhone is hacked? ›

Signs your iPhone is hacked
  • Your battery doesn't last as long as it used to. ...
  • You're using more data than usual. ...
  • Your iPhone is acting weird. ...
  • Someone has jailbroken your iPhone. ...
  • Enterprise or Developer apps are installed. ...
  • Background noise or electronic interference.

How do you know if your iPhone is infected with malware? ›

Potential signs of malware on your iPhone
  1. Sudden drops in battery life:
  2. iPhone is getting hot for no reason:
  3. New apps you don't remember installing:
  4. Apps frequently crashing:
  5. Random pop-up messages:
  6. Sudden increases in data or call use:
  7. Have you jailbroken your device?
8 Dec 2021

How can I check my iPhone for spyware? ›

The only way to know for sure if spyware or other malware is on your phone is to use a dedicated cybersecurity tool. Avast One features award-winning threat detection that can flush out even the very latest and most advanced privacy and security threats.

Can opening an email infect your phone? ›

A questionable email alone is unlikely to infect your phone, but you can get malware from opening an email on your phone if you actively accept or trigger a download. As with text messages, the damage is done when you download an infected attachment from an email or click a link to a malicious website.

What do I do if I clicked on a phishing link on my Iphone Reddit? ›

If you clicked a link that downloaded a file, delete the file. Generally these files aren't harmful unless opened after downloading. If you've clicked a phishing link and have provided credentials to a service, change the password for that service. Say you've been tricked into giving someone your Amazon credentials.

Can someone hack my bank account with my email address? ›

It's also possible hackers could use your email account to gain access to your bank account or credit card information, draining funds from an account, or racking up charges. They might even use your email and password to sign up for online sites and services, sticking you with monthly fees in the process.

Can iPhones get hacked? ›

Your iPhone can be hacked, though it isn't very common, and iPhones are safer than Androids. To protect your iPhone, don't click on suspicious links or give out your personal information. If your iPhone has been hacked, you might need to factory reset it or get a replacement.

Can I get hacked by opening a message? ›

Merely opening the message wouldn't do any harm, but if you click on those suspicious links, you might be redirected to some untrustworthy webpages or sites. Some texts messages might also contain links that can trigger the download of an unwanted app.

How do I empty the cache on my iPhone? ›

Delete history, cache, and cookies
  1. To clear your history and cookies, go to Settings > Safari, and tap Clear History and Website Data. ...
  2. To clear your cookies and keep your history, go to Settings > Safari > Advanced > Website Data, then tap Remove All Website Data.
16 Dec 2021

Do you need an antivirus on iPhone? ›

Since both iPads and iPhones use the iOS operating system, neither type of device needs antivirus software. However, Macs use a different operating system, macOS, so yes, you do need antivirus software for Macs.

How do I get rid of malware on my iPhone? ›

How to Remove Malware From iPhone – 9 Effective Methods
  1. #1) Restart Your Phone.
  2. #2) Delete Apps Downloaded From Outside App Store.
  3. #3) Delete Suspicious Apps.
  4. #4) Check Permissions Asked By Each App On Your Device.
  5. #5) Clear Your Browsing History.
  6. #6) Clear Your Data Until Previous Backup & See If It Works.
7 Aug 2022

Should you open an email from someone you don't know? ›

Unexpected or suspicious email attachments should never be opened. They may execute a disguised program (malware, adware, spyware, virus, etc.) that could damage or steal your data.

How can I clean my phone from viruses? ›

How to remove viruses and other malware from your Android device
  1. Power off the phone and reboot in safe mode. Press the power button to access the Power Off options. ...
  2. Uninstall the suspicious app. ...
  3. Look for other apps you think may be infected. ...
  4. Install a robust mobile security app on your phone.
15 Aug 2022

Can phishing be done by phone? ›

A mobile device's inherent design and features have made it possible for phishers to create ways on how they can get into users' heads and get their hands on vital personal and business data.

How do phishing emails work? ›

In a phishing attack, bait often appears as a compelling email. Attackers go to great lengths to ensure that their emails appear as legitimate as possible. These emails most commonly direct target recipients to an attacker-controlled website that delivers malware or intercepts user credentials.

What do I dial to see if my phone has been hacked? ›

Use the code *#21# to see if hackers track your phone with malicious intent. You can also use this code to verify if your calls, messages, or other data are being diverted. It also shows your diverted information's status and the number to which the information is transferred.

Can someone hack my phone? ›

This can range from advanced security breaches to simply listening in on unsecured internet connections. It can also involve physical theft of your phone and forcibly hacking into it via methods like brute force. Phone hacking can happen to all kinds of phones, including Androids and iPhones.

Do I need antivirus on my phone? ›

There's no reason to download an antivirus app on your Android phone. The same basic rules for using any device safely apply to Android devices: Get your apps from the official source, the Google Play Store. Don't go to shady-looking websites. Don't click suspicious links in emails.

What should I do if I have opened a phishing email? ›

If you've opened a phishing email but have not clicked or downloaded anything, be sure to do the following: Don't just unsubscribe! Mark it as junk email so that your email client (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or another provider) can do a better job of sending malicious emails directly to your spam folder.

What if I clicked on a phishing link but did not enter details? ›

If you clicked on a phishing link that took you to a spoofed page and did not enter any personal information or credentials, then you should be fine. However, one danger is that scammers usually know whether or not you clicked on the link. So, they may determine you're a good target to continue pursuing.

How do I virus Scan my iPhone? ›

Since an iPhone cannot have a true virus there is no way to scan for one. If your iOS version is up-to-date (currently iOS 15.5) and you have not jailbroken your iPhone or side loaded apps you have no risk of malware either.

How do I scan my phone for malware? ›

You can also manually scan your Galaxy device to check for security threats:
  1. 1 Go to Settings.
  2. 2 Tap Battery and Device Care.
  3. 3 Tap Device protection.
  4. 4 Tap Scan phone.
  5. 5 All of the apps and data on your device will be scanned.
  6. 6 Once the scan is completed you will be shown whether or not your device is secure.
  7. 1 Tap Apps.

How can I scan my phone for viruses? ›

To run a virus scan on your Android phone, you'll need to download a mobile security software app . Most phones don't come with one installed. Android is an open-source platform, so there are many options for virus scanners, including McAfee Mobile Security.

Can iPhones get viruses? ›

Can iPhones get viruses? Though rare, iPhones can get viruses and other malware, especially if the phone is jailbroken or if the victim is targeted in a high-value spear phishing attack. For normal iPhone users, a malware infection is an unlikely event.

What do I do if I clicked on a phishing link on my Iphone Reddit? ›

If you clicked a link that downloaded a file, delete the file. Generally these files aren't harmful unless opened after downloading. If you've clicked a phishing link and have provided credentials to a service, change the password for that service. Say you've been tricked into giving someone your Amazon credentials.

Can I get fired for clicking a phishing link? ›

You Could Get Fired. One in four employees lost their job in the last 12 months after making a mistake that compromised their company's security, according to a report from email security company Tessian.

How do you know your iPhone is hacked? ›

Signs your iPhone is hacked
  • Your battery doesn't last as long as it used to. ...
  • You're using more data than usual. ...
  • Your iPhone is acting weird. ...
  • Someone has jailbroken your iPhone. ...
  • Enterprise or Developer apps are installed. ...
  • Background noise or electronic interference.

How do I know if my iPhone is infected? ›

Here's how to check if your iPhone or iPad has a virus
  1. Your iPhone is jailbroken. ...
  2. You're seeing apps you don't recognize. ...
  3. You're being inundated with pop-ups. ...
  4. A spike in cellular data usage. ...
  5. Your iPhone is overheating. ...
  6. The battery is draining faster. ...
  7. Run your iPhone through an antivirus software.

How do I know if my iPhone has malware? ›

If you're suspicious, try the methods listed below.
  1. Look for Unfamiliar Apps. ...
  2. Check if Your Device Is Jailbroken. ...
  3. Find Out if You Have Any Large Bills. ...
  4. Look at Your Storage Space. ...
  5. Restart Your iPhone. ...
  6. Delete Unusual Apps. ...
  7. Clear Your History. ...
  8. Use Security Software.
3 Mar 2022

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