Organizations that rely on Apple devices for their day-to-day operations typically monitor how employees use the respective devices. In other words, if your employer distributes an iPhone to you to use as a work phone, chances are they are constantly monitoring and supervising the device.
Of course, some employers just prefer to trust their employees and don’t resort to any behavioral tracking tools. After all, trust is even more important these days because most people work remotely.
In this guide, we are going to show you how you can check whether your iPhone is supervised or not. We’ll also talk about activities and data your employer can track.
How do I know if my iPhone is supervised or managed?
- On your iPhone, go to Settings and select General.
- Then press About.
- If your phone is supervised, you should see a message telling you “This iPhone is supervised and managed by [company name]“.
If there is no such message, it means your iPhone is unsupervised.
How to check what your administrator is overseeing
If you’re curious about what your admin is overseeing on your iPhone, check your iOS settings. Move towards Settings, select General then press Profile and device management.
If your administrator uses a profile to control what features you can access, tap that profile to check the changes they’ve made.
What can my admin track on an iPhone?
Your administrator or employer can monitor various things on your iPhone. Here is a list of some of the most common activities they usually follow:
- The location of your phone.
- Your Internet traffic.
- The apps you use regularly.
- The time you spend using your phone.
- Your browsing history.
- Administrators can also remotely install and remove apps from your iPhone.
⇒ Quick note: Your administrator must put your iPhone in Managed lost mode to be able to check your current position. The good news is that when they do this, your iPhone will automatically lock itself and display a message on the lock screen. So at least you’ll know when they’re tracking your location.
Can my employer see my iMessages?
Your employer can see the number of iMessages you’ve sent or received, but they can’t open and view your messages remotely. So, you can breathe a sigh of relief regarding this matter.
Can I remove supervision from iPhone?
If your iPhone is supervised, in most cases only the company that owns the device can disable supervision through Apple Business Manager. This service allows businesses to manage their devices, accounts and applications.
As a regular user, you normally don’t have access to your company’s Apple Business Manager. If you have any questions or requests regarding the supervision policy, you can contact your IT administrator.
However, if your business uses Apple Configurator 2 to deploy devices, you may be able to reset your iPhone to factory settings and remove supervision. But if the company deployed your iPhone through Apple Business Manager, you won’t be able to remove supervision even if you restore the phone.
Additionally, Apple Configurator 2 and Apple Business Manager offer a dedicated setting that administrators can use to block access to the reset function. So, you might not be able to reset your iPhone after all.
Buying a used iPhone
If you decide to buy a used iPhone, check whether the device is supervised or not. If so, don’t buy the phone. A device still locked to a business account indicates that the seller does not have the legal right to sell that iPhone. Legally speaking, this device still belongs to the company, and it is not the seller’s personal device.
If you use an iPhone as a business phone, don’t expect any privacy during business hours. Most likely, your employer is monitoring your device, especially in today’s working from home environment. The best approach is to avoid using your business iPhone for private purposes. And if you want to enjoy the peace of mind, turn off your iPhone after calling it a day.