How to Find Out If Someone Secretly Has Access to Your iPhone or iPad

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Have you ever handed someone your phone and then regretted it? If you answered yes, you might want to check it closely to ensure it is still secure.

It’s easy for someone to add themselves to your Touch ID or Face ID with just a few pieces of personal information. Here’s how to find out if your phone has been tampered with.

Check Face ID

Some people may enjoy tinkering with your phone’s shortcuts or rearranging your Home screen as a prank. A more severe intrusion involves Face ID.

It only takes a few minutes for someone with access to your phone and your passcode to add themselves to your phone. Once their facial scan has been saved to your phone, they can unlock it whenever they want.

Follow these steps to see if someone has changed your Face ID settings.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Enter your passcode.
  4. Look for the option to Set Up an Alternative Appearance.

If you see Set Up an Alternative Appearance, then your phone is safe. This option only appears when one face is registered to the device. As soon as a second facial scan is added, this choice to add an alternative appearance disappears.

Keep an eye on your existing logins. If someone adds a facial scan to your iPhone, you also may notice that you need to re-authenticate those apps that use Face ID. For example, I added a secondary facial scan for when I wear glasses. After I added this alternative scan, I had to enter my password and re-enable Face ID for my bank, credit card, and password management apps.

Check Touch ID

If your phone doesn’t have Face ID, it likely has Touch ID. Touch ID is equally vulnerable to manipulation. The procedure to check Touch ID is the same as Face ID.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Touch ID & Passcode.
  3. Enter your passcode.
  4. Scroll down until you see the list of fingerprints.

You can add up to five fingerprints to your Touch ID-enabled phone, allowing you to scan your finger or thumb, depending on how you hold your phone.

You can confirm that all the fingerprints belong to you by touching the Home button (Touch ID sensor) with your finger or thumb. The matching print in the list will be highlighted briefly.

You also can rename a fingerprint, so it is recognizable to you. Tap on an exiting fingerprint, and you will be able to rename it. We recommend using a name that describes the fingerprint. For example, I’ve used my initials, my husband’s initials, or the finger I’ve used.

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