Protect yourself – enable “Filter unknown senders” on your iPhone

Read about “The Pegasus project” at the Guardian and thought about what you can do to protect yourself. Not so much it seems. No more than the usual advice to keep your iPhone updated and also to keep apps installed on the phone updated.

Pegasus spyware is thus a software that installs itself more or less invisibly on your mobile phone and then can access basically everything on your phone. Even intercepting you even if you are not using the phone and tracking yourself via GPS in your phone.

Pegasus is developed by a company in Israel called the NSO Group and is intended to be a tool for preventing crime and terrorism. It has been sold to a number of countries and is suspected in the article series of spying on critics of the regime, etc. If it were used in that way, it would be a frightening development. Then it is only a matter of time before no one can feel safe.

Pegasus is a high level spyware and I’m probably not in sight to suffer from it but it does not hurt to keep my eyes open and stay informed. This type of technology tends to spread quickly once it takes hold.


That said, keep your phone and apps up to date. On the iPhone, iMessage is painted as an app that can be used to spread spyware with, for example, messages with links to suspicious content. Personally, I have received some shady messages and also via e-mail with links that look clearly shady. Do not click on links you are not sure where they lead. Emails and messages can look very professional and still be carriers of links to spyware and malware.

One thing you can do with iMessage to secure yourself a little snap is to turn on the “Filter unknown senders” feature.

To do this, go to Settings -> Messages on your iPhone and enable Filter unknown senders. See the picture above.

With this feature enabled, messages from other than those in your contact book are sorted as unknown senders. You can not open links in messages from an unknown sender until you add the sender to your contacts or reply to the message.

I want to believe that Apple works hard with the security of its products, but considering how complex the products are, they can not predict everything and we who use them run the risk of being exposed to crime or, in this case, being involuntarily monitored.

By Håkan Dahlström

Hi! I am Håkan. I am the author of this website. I work with IT and photography is my hobby. I also like to travel and cooking. Living in Malmö, Sweden.

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