When you consider these factors and the fact that smartphones have become one of the most prevalent devices that individuals use, it’s not surprising that security has become a high concern. Their popularity also makes them an ideal target for hackers and thieves. While IOS is typically more secure than Android’ s open source platform, you still must be aware of specific vulnerabilities that can get you into trouble with your iPhone.
Here are 15 tips that you can use to protect yours iPhone
Physically Protect Your Device And Its Security
While this may seem obvious, one of the easiest ways to make sure that your iPhone is secure is to physically protect it. Never take your phone to a public place and leave it unattended. Refrain from using your phone while you are getting on or off buses, subways or trains — there have been instances where thieves see that a person is not aware of their surroundings and snatch their phone right out of their hands.
In addition, take measures to get back your phone if it’s ever stolen by printing your email address on the back of your handset with a permanent marker. In case your phone ever goes missing, there’s a chance that an honest individual will see your email address and contact you. Also, it goes without saying that you should always be conscientious of your surroundings. Keep your phone in your pocket when you are in unfamiliar territory.
Keep Your iPhone Locked
While it’s convenient to keep your iPhone unlocked, it’s also a higher security risk. Try and create a positive new habit by keeping your phone locked when you aren’t using it. You can play with the settings and set the time limit for this to something convenient that will still be secure but not too annoying.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication For Your Apple ID
If you haven’t yet, be sure to enable Two-Factor Authentication for your Apple ID. When this is turned on, it requires you to use a trusted device if you want to log into another device that’s recognized as being new. For example, if you get a new iPhone and attempt to sign into it for the first time with your Apple ID, having two factor authentication enabled will require you to use another device like an iPod to gain access. A verification code will be sent to your iPod, which you’ll need to use in order to open your phone. In the future, if anyone attempts to gain access to your Apple ID account, you’ll receive a notification alert.
Secure Your iCloud Account And Apple ID Password
If you are backing up your iPhone to iCloud, be sure to have a strong password for your account. Hackers have been known to utilize a backdoor entrance into iCloud, which has given them access to various devices. Changing your Apple ID password on a frequent basis is just good practice. Note that this is different than changing the passcode for your iPhone.
Turn On The Find My iPhone Feature
This tip is really easy to perform, and it just makes sense. When you turn on the Find My iPhone feature, you’ll be able to locate your device from iCloud or your other devices. However, it’s probably safest if you don’t try to track down a stolen iPhone that’s been ripped off by a thief. This isn’t the purpose of this tip. The excellent aspect of Find My iPhone is that it provides you with the ability to remotely erase the data on your device, which will protect your personal information.
Revoke App Permissions
Turn Off Auto-Fill
While the auto-fill feature in Safari can be convenient to use, it’s also a detriment if your phone does get broken into by a hacker. They will have access to all of the auto-fill areas where you’ve typed in your login passwords. This could be a huge problem if they gain access to your credit or debit card information. It’s best if you turn off this feature.
Remove Unnecessary Certificates And Profiles
Typically, when you decide to install a new game or another type of app on your iPhone, you’ll do it at the App Store. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only place where apps are available. Some unscrupulous developers will trick you into installing their app or use a manipulative way to deceive you. The reason why this could cause problems is that unapproved apps may have a root certificate or regular certificate that can siphon off your data. If you use an app that requires a profile installation it may ask for high-security data such as passwords or details on payment information.
If you aren’t sure if you have any apps on your phone you can’t trust, you’ll need to go to your “Profile/s,” which is just past “Settings” and “General.” This area of your Settings will allow you to remove any Profiles and certificates that are unneeded. This will stop those apps from working and alleviate the possible threat of a security breach.
Take Time To Set A Stronger Passcode
You have probably heard this tip more than once, but it is still worth repeating. Avoid using a simple four-digit pin code to control your phone as this will be much easier to hack than a longer passcode with more characters. Your iPhone supports alphanumeric passcodes of any length. This means there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be setting a strong passcode on your device. The best practice for this is to combine both letters and numbers and use at least six characters, preferably longer.
Don’t Jailbreak Your Phone
You may be tempted to jailbreak your phone. Don’t! Jailbreaking your iPhone will only make it less secure by bypassing the security features that are already present. In fact, a large number of malware threats that have targeted iPhone users have only succeeded when users were jailbreaking their phones. Also, it’s easier for another individual to place a spy app on your phone when it’s jailbroken.
Avoid Public WiFi
Whenever it’s possible, avoid using public WiFi. Your data is much less secure on this type of network and never use it to perform any financial transactions. You really don’t want to have to deal with identity theft or worse. The cell network is a little more secure but should still be avoided when possible. If there are situations when you need to use public WiFi, for example, when you’re traveling or conducting business abroad, then it’s best to download a VPN client. This will ensure that your internet activity is protected.
In addition, when you do have to connect to Wi-Fi, make sure you’re connecting to the location’s official network. You don’t want to mistakenly get connected to a fake Wi-Fi router. If you’re in a café, check to make sure that your connection is secure. You may find signs in some airports that will indicate the appropriate network to use. If you’re unsure, check with someone at a security desk.
Be Cautious Using Public Charging Stations
When your phone is connected to a charging station, transmission of your data can occur. Unfortunately, your iPhone doesn’t have a Charge Only mode, which is available when you use an Android. It’s just good practice to avoid using a public charging station as there is always the possibility that it could be compromised by a hacker. Instead, carry an iPhone battery pack charger or utilize a convenient wall outlet that you find available.
Another alternative is to use a switchable cable that allows you to decide if you want to transfer data. There’s also the option of using a charge only cable. However, you should be aware that these methods are not approved by Apple. A third option is to enable the lock screen while you’re charging your phone at a public charging station. This will block the connection to your data and should keep your data secure while your iPhone is recharging.
Disabling Siri At The Lock Screen
If you frequently use Siri when your phone is still locked, you may want to stop this practice. There is a possibility that she can provide thieves with some of your data and information.
Also, disable the Notification Center and Control Center. Both of these areas can provide a backdoor entry to your iPhone by other individuals who know the technique to do this. It might be in your best interest to also disable Siri suggestions. These are just reminders that let you know you should perform a certain task like using your workout app, which really isn’t as important as your privacy and security.
Keep iOS Updated On A Regular Basis
One of the main reasons why you should be sure to update iOS as soon as a new update is available is because it will often provide a patch that takes care of a security issue. It’s just good practice to always keep your device updated with the latest security fixes that developers have created.
The easiest way to do this is by making sure that you have automatic updates turned on. However, if you’re aware of a major update that’s coming, you may want to wait a few weeks before allowing it on your phone. In the past, a few security problems have occurred when these major updates have been initially released.
Consider Using A Nuclear Option
You can also take drastic measures to ensure that your privacy is secure. It’s possible to set up your iPhone so that your device is wiped totally clean after 10 incorrect passcodes have been used. If you do decide to utilize this feature, you may want to have your phone backed up automatically to iCloud. A few individuals have been known to activate this feature accidentally and lose all their data. Also, be aware that this feature could be activated if you have a child that plays with your phone. If they accidentally press the wrong number too many times, you’ll wonder why your data has disappeared.
The one aspect that does make this option worth doing is that it will stop brute force attacks from occurring when computers are being used to guess your passcode. Just be aware that this is an extreme option and measure to take that you should be careful with.
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