The vast usage of iMessage service between IOS user would make iMessage security an important issue. If you are one of the users you probably would concern it. iMessage is an instant messaging service that is an alternative to traditional text messages. Messages through iMessage are sent through Apple’s servers. The fundamental difference between text messages and iMessages is that iMessage service uses data to send messages.
Since your sent iMessages pass through Apple’s sever they can be accessed on more than one device. By the mean you can access your iMessage conversations via iPhones, iPads, iPods, Mac computers and Apple Watches while they all are synced.
The biggest limitation of iMessage is that it works between Apple devices it means that You only can’t send and receive iMessages from Android phones, PCs, or other devices.
What are the benefits Of Using iMessage?
You might ask that why you should use iMessages at the first place that think about iMessage security? Here is a brief list of iMessage benefits that may convince you to use it to have contact with your friends.
First of all it is very important that iMessage supports sending photos, videos, files, locations, and a lot of other data types using the Messages app, this can improve user’s accessibility and provide lots of good experience.
Second you can send iMessages without using your cellular data or text messaging plan or you even can receive medias and download them via Wi-Fi without paying huge bills.
Third iMessages are way more fast. You can send photos and other large files faster using iMessage than MMS messages since iMessage is using a different technology rather than SMS and MMS while iMessage does not require any kind of setup and it is available for all users by default, so the number of iMessage users is closely matching the number of iPhone users.
Finally iMessages are encrypted and they can’t be accessed by anyone else, while regular text messages are not encrypted, and are often recalled through a court order to help dispute legal matters. If your messages are sent without end-to-end encryption the content would be accessible to advertisers, hackers or goverments.
How can iCloud risk your iMessage security?
It does not matter that it is a professional hacker or it is your friend that wants to track or spy you iPhone messages, iMessages security can be in risk using iCloud. Hacker can link the iPhone’s iMessage account to iCloud and then link this same iCloud account to another apple device so that all iMessages on the targeted user’s iPhone will be reviewed on any linked device that the hacker is using.
How can iTunes risk your iMessage security?
It is possible to access iMessages via iTunes. Hacker can obtain the from your device by creating a local backup through iTunes. The good news is that it is not that simple for hackers to do so since they have to access directly to your device and must know the passcode. You always can set backup password to protect your privacy. In order to protect backups in iTunes, you can use password protection and encryption.
How to set password for iTunes backup encryption?
Here is how to do it with following simple steps.
- Enter iTunes.
install the latest version of iTunes and open it.
- Connect your device.
Connect the device you want to backup to your computer.
- Select the device.
Select your device as it appeared. Try disconnecting and reconnecting if you can’t see the device.
- Enter the Summary screen.
- Select encrypt backup
select “Encrypt [device] backup” in the Backups section.
- Create a password.
make a password. Remember that there’s no way to use your iTunes backups without this password.
What is iMessage encryption?
your messages are already going to be secure thanks to the encryption keys Apple already keeps in iMessage
using iMessage service for chats and conversations means that you are using encryption. It turns your data into encrypted text that can be read only by those with the right key. Apple company is one of the first companies to automatically include native operating system disk encryption with data protection in iOS.
According to apple company end-to-end encryption is used to protect iMessage conversations across all apple devices. Your messages are encrypted on your device so that they can’t be accessed without your passcode. iMessage is designed in a way that there is no possibility for anyone to decrypt users data when it is transiting between devices.
Messages that go through this level of encryption are only readable in sender’s and recipient’s devices while they would not be stored on company servers. The messages can’t even be read by law enforcement officials or with any kinds of warrants.
Remember that in case you use iMessage to send text messages to anybody that uses an Android device, those messages are not encrypted since they are text messages by the mean the end-to-end encryption feature is only available and used by iMessage users.
Does Apple data syncing risk iMessage security?
As it was mentioned earlier in this topic all of your iMessage conversations will be synced automatically across all of your apple devices. But would automatic syncing cause security challenge that Apple will be able to read your messages?
According to Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi this is not possible, since apple is able to synchronize information across users different apple devices in a way that they each generate and share keys with each other that Apple does not have it. This is a big deal with launch of iOS 11 that improves user’s privacy and security to higher level.
Do third party apps using iMessages risk iMessage security?
According to apple company security and privacy section third-party apps that use iMessage for any reason on IOS devices do not have access to user’s contact information or conversations.
iOS provides each app with a random and specific identifier for each user. As the app is uninstalled the identifier would be reset. iMessage and SMS messages are backed up on iCloud for user’s convenience, however backup process can be turned off at any time. Apple also would never store the content information on any servers.
Are your iMessages secure and private after you delete them?
In case you delete iMessage conversations, messages are properly deleted from iCloud. However there is still some time after the message is deleted by the mean the deleted iMessages would still be available in the cloud for a short while, around several days. Deleted data can be still recovered from local device backups but certainly the can’t be recovered through iCloud.
How can your iPhone be hacked by iMessage?
Earlier on 2016 the company reprted that hackers could send a type of photo file using iMessage that would access to victim’s device to get the saved passwords and internal information. The image file could execute remote code so you did not have to click on it to activate it. Since iMessage automatically render images by default, the remote codes would access the browsers.
You can always disable iMessage service if you think it is not private an secure enough. You can do it by going to your apple device settings and simply toggle the iMessage option in the Messages settings to stop receiving iMessages and you will not be able to send messages through the service too.