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Has your iPhone been hijacked?

Did you click an address or link in a text on your iphone only to have it refresh and open an infinite number of tabs?

Was this before the 14.4.1 iOS update? (or another security update?)

Can't swipe to another window?

Can't cancel, can't close and can't power off?


You've been hijacked.



Innocent links can be compromised, even something as simple as an address. If this happens to you, the problem is either already on your phone or it came from the sender.


How to fix a hijacked phone:


  1. Hard boot your phone.
    Press the Power and the Home Button at the same time.

  2. After you've shut the phone off, wait about a minute before powering back on.
  3. Check your OS updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update.
    Is there an update available? Plug your phone into a wall charger (not into your computer or tablet) and download the update. Depending on the size or how long your phone has been out of date, this could take awhile and will probably restart.
  4. After your phone is updated. Run your security scanner. Don't have one installed? Now is better than never. Here are some great iOS options:
    * Avast Security & Privacy
    * McAfee Mobile Security
    * Norton 360
    * AVG Mobile Security
    * Kapersky Security Cloud & VPN
    * Avast Security & Privacy

  5. In most situations, I would highly recommend insuring your icloud storage backup is on. Perform a factory reset on your phone if you want to be certain your phone is secure or if you continue to see unusual behavior. If unsure or worried how to proceed, contact Apple Support at:



Check out McAfee's list of additional classic signs / symptoms your device (not just phone) has been the victim of a hijack:

  •     1. Filled screen – a screen that’s become filled with a matrix of numbers or skull-and-crossbones accompanied by ransom instructions are consistent with being infected by ransomware.

        2. Spikes in Data Usage - if your data usage is increasing but you're not sure why, malware may be to blame. This could mean that a program is running in the background, likely stealing your information and transmitting it back to cybercriminals.  

        3. Browser pop-ups – while pop-up ads for the most part aren't harmful (just annoying), if you’re seeing these ads when your browser is closed, you could be dealing with malware.  

        4. Overheating – phones and computers are high-performance devices, but if your device unexpectedly gets hot and you’re not doing anything intensive or charging the device, it’s possible that malware could be stealing performance from that device and using those resources for cryptomining or other nefarious acts.

        5. Faster Battery Drain – similar to overheating, if your battery life becomes unexpectedly short, it could be because malware is running in the background and draining your power.  

    In all these cases, there’s a strong possibility you’ve been hacked. The sad truth is that hackers now have a multitude of ways to get into your devices, without ever touching them.

    With access to your computer, hackers could retrieve your passwords and open the door to your accounts. For example, an intruder could sign in to your accounts as you, spam your contacts with phishing attacks, add new mobile lines or even request credit cards.

  • That’s why it’s important to be able to recognize when your PC or phone has been hacked, especially since some of the signs can be subtle.

  • The good news is that many of these attacks can be avoided with a strong security software that’s purpose-built for that device to detect and remove these threats before they can attack, whether it’s a Windows PC, Mac, iOS device or Android device.

TNW Creations is a Web Development & Media Publishing Agency in Austin, Texas. Web Development, cyber security, web design, clean energy web host, Advanced SEO, Digital Marketing and more since 1995.

I've been programming, designing, writing and publishing professionally online since 1995. I've worn many hats throughout my life, but the common core of my career has always been media. Besides the portfolio you see on TNW Creations, my internet presence has been substantial for over 2 decades. In 1995, while still in college, I founded TNW Creations and became part of the grassroots development for teaching the Lakhota language online. By 2004, my bilingual work was listed on many sites, including National Geographic , Encarta and Touchstone Pictures Hidalgo. When I'm not developing and writing, you'll find me managing MagicStoryLand.Com, creating kid-friendly game & video content, investigating and initating hostile website takedowns, posting salty articles about cyber threats, moderating UnifyLife.Org and enjoying my  community, church & family.