You may have heard of the infamous iPhone calendar virus, which technically is not a virus but a phishing scam. Nevertheless, depending on how gullible the victim is, this could be a pretty damaging attack. In today’s article, we’ll explain the iPhone calendar virus and how you can protect yourself from this kind of scam. Read on for details…
What is the iPhone calendar virus?
As mentioned above, the iPhone calendar virus is basically a phishing scam — which is a type of attack in which a hacker pretends to be a trusted person so that he/she could get access to the victim’s personal information.
To perform the iPhone calendar virus, the hacker needs to know your email address to send you a fake calendar invite that has a link in it. And by clicking on that link, you get pulled down the spiral all in an effort to extract your personal information.
So the instant defense against this attack is to delete the unknown invite from your calendar and block the email address from where the invite arrived.
You can also unsubscribe from that calendar — which would be the calendar of the person sending you the invite. From the Calendar app, tap the unwanted event and select “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of the screen.
The problem is that this won’t stop the iPhone calendar virus from appearing again in the future. And if you don’t change your email address, there is little you could do to block these attacks from taking place again. You will have to unsubscribe from those shared calendars again and again.
What if I click on a link?
As we have said, you shouldn’t do it – but say you did it anyway, now what? Hopefully, you haven’t shared any details on the landing page — nor have you used your Google or Facebook credentials. Cause chances are, those are fake login pages designed to steal your key passwords.
If you did log in to these fake pages, you will have to change your passwords and also make sure to enable two-factor authentication for all key services. This way, even if someone manages to steal your credentials – they won’t be able to do much with that information.
Alas, if you did enter some information, make sure to keep your eyes on your beloved smartphone and how it behaves in the next few days or weeks. One particular thing to watch are popups in Safari, which are there to sell you stuff left and right — so that the attacker could earn some money along the way.
Just clicking on the link shouldn’t harm your iPhone, but it could tell the attacker a lot about you — including your location (from your IP address – if you’re not using a VPN).
If you want to be 100% certain you’re safe, you can:
- Log out from all apps and services – this will make it harder for anyone (hackers included) to track your Internet whereabouts.
- Change passwords everywhere – especially on key apps and services, and enable two-factor authentication wherever possible.
- Perform a factory reset – and start it all over again. This way, all temporary data will be removed, making it impossible for hackers to track you down.
- Take your iPhone to Apple or a good repair store – they could do the factory reset for you or bring your device to the state it was before the iPhone calendar virus.
How to stay safe from the iPhone calendar virus?
Your best defense against these kinds of attacks is to use your brain. Just because there is a link in a calendar invite that doesn’t mean you should click on it. Sure, if it’s coming from a person you know and there’s a scheduled meeting with that person – you are safe to do that. Otherwise, just ignore the link and make sure to delete and unsubscribe from meetings with people you don’t know.
It is also advisable to keep your personal and professional email addresses separate while maintaining overall good security hygiene. This means using strong, impossible-to-guess passwords that are further boosted by two-factor authentication.
Use a VPN to prevent online tracking
Another thing you should do is to get yourself a VPN if you already don’t have one. These days, it is a must-have tool all of us should use in order to prevent third parties from tracking us down all across the Internet.
A good VPN will also keep you secure when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks while also letting you access parts of the Internet that would otherwise be outside of your reach. This can be especially handy at universities and workplaces, as well as when traveling to high-censorship countries.
A VPN will encrypt all traffic coming to and from your device, thus making it impossible for anyone to decipher what you’re doing online. And there’s more, but we have to stop somewhere.
We’ll just point you to the page you must visit to get yourself a rock-solid VPN. It’s, obviously, called Best of the Best VPNs, and yes – you should be able to find a service for your needs there. Check it out!