Security is something we may overlook more than we should. We carry extremely sensitive information in our pockets, yet we assume that our iPhones are secure enough on their own. Do not get me wrong; Apple does its best to keep all their devices as secure as possible. However, it doesn’t matter what we do if we don’t take the time to check what kind of information we give to third-party apps (or Apple itself).
There are many things you can do to keep your iPhone as secure as possible. If you simply explore the privacy settings, you will be presented with a lot of information that you may not want to share.
If you don’t even know where to start, here are 14 settings you can change to keep your private data secure.
How to secure your iPhone & iPad
#1. Use a strong password instead of a 6-digit code
The easiest and most efficient way to protect your data is to use a strong password instead of a simple six-digit PIN to unlock your iPhone. It is a good idea to use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. It is even better if the password is requested immediately after the lock screen, without delay. As an additional option, you can also enable the “erase data” function, so that the device erases everything from the memory after 10 failed passcode attempts. However, keep in mind that all data will be erased forever and you will not be able to recover them so it’s best not to forget your password.
How does it help? It reduces the chance that a criminal can guess your password.
Where can you make these changes?? Go to “Settings” -> “Face ID & Passcode” (or “Touch ID & Passcode”) -> “Require Passcode: Immediately”;
While you are there, go to change passcode > passcode options > custom Alphanumeric code.
#2. Turn off notifications on the lock screen
Any password, even the strongest one, will not prevent your data from being revealed when shown on a lock screen. Messages, emails and other information in your apps can contain sensitive data, such as confirmation codes, private appointments, financial data, etc. The less your iPhone is shown on a lock screen, the more secure your data is.
How does it help? It doesn’t allow strangers to see information on a lock screen.
Where can you make these changes? Go to the “Settings” -> “Face ID & Password” (or “Touch ID & Password”) -> “Allow Access When Locked” section.
#3. Enable two-step verification for Apple ID and iCloud
One step is good, but two are better. Therefore, it is highly recommended to set up two-step verification when it is available for Apple ID and iCloud. When you set up two-step verification, you register one or more trusted devices (devices you manage) that can receive 6-digit verification codes via SMS or the Find My iPhone service. Every time you sign in to manage your Apple ID, sign in to the iCloud, or make an iTunes, iBooks, or App Store purchase from a new device, you need to verify your identity by entering both your password and a 6 -digit verification code.
How does it help? It prevents your Apple account from being used by someone who is not authorized.
Where can you make these changes? Go toappleid.apple.com -> “Manage your Apple ID” -> “Password and Security” -> “Two-Step Verification”.
#4. Turn off Siri on a lock screen
Anyone can use Siri on a lock screen while you’re away from your iPhone.
Siri is a great feature, but sometimes this nice personal assistant can give away information you’d rather keep confidential. There’s no need to turn it off completely, but you’ll be much more secure if you prevent it from being activated from a lock screen or with a ‘Hey Siri’ voice command. Remember: Siri can communicate with anyone, not just an owner of the device it is working on.
How does it help? It eliminates the possibility of data extraction from the smartphone with Siri.
Where can you make these changes? Go to “Settings” -> “Face ID & Passcode” (or “Touch ID and Passcode”) -> “Allow access when locked” section -> “Siri: off” and “Settings” -> -> “Siri & Search” -> “Listen for Hey Siri” “: off” “Allow Siri when locked” “: Off”.
#5. Discard automatic WiFi connections to known networks
iPhones have a very good feature that allows you to automatically connect to known WiFi hotspots without your permission. On the one hand, this is a very handy option, because you don’t have to do anything to switch from mobile internet to local Wi-Fi. But on the other hand, there is a chance that a cybercriminal will set up his own fake wireless network with the same name as a trusted public hotspot. In this scenario, you may not even recognize that your iPhone is working within the malicious WiFi network and give all your data away to the scammer. That is why we recommend that you be well aware of every WiFi hotspot you are in or disable this option.
How does it help? It reduces the risk of connecting to a malicious wireless network. Put it simply, it helps to secure your iphone from hackers.
Where can you make these changes? Go to “Settings” -> “Wi-Fi” -> “Ask to join networks: on”.
#6. Get used to VPN
We talk about VPN quite often on this blog. A virtual private network is an indispensable tool that can provide additional security to anyone using an iPhone across a variety of wireless networks, including unknown ones. Some VPN services are free, others aren’t, but a few dollars a week is more than a fair price to protect your data. For UK users, you can learn about the best VPN services at thebestvpn website.
How does it help? It encrypts all incoming and outgoing internet traffic, so it can no longer be intercepted and analyzed.
Where can you make these changes? Go to “Settings” -> “General” -> “VPN” -> “Add VPN configuration …”.
P.S .: All the information you need to enter is provided to you by your VPN provider.
#7. Disable cookies in your browsers
Cookies are small files that almost every website generates and leaves on your device. They may contain some information about you, your computer or smartphone and your preferences. It helps websites to keep you logged in or to show you relevant content, including advertisements, but in some cases they can be very useful to cyber criminals because they can contain credentials and other sensitive data. To be fair, disabling cookies can put you more stress than relief, but it helps your data by being more secure. In addition, any inconvenience is not the greatest price to pay for data protection.
How does it help? It reduces the risk of unauthorized use of your login details and some other private information stored in cookie files.
Where can you make these changes? For Safari: Go to “Settings” -> “Safari” -> “Privacy & Security” -> “Prevent Not Cross-Site Tracking: On”, “Block all Cookies: On.
#8. Disable the Autofill option in your browsers
The same goes for the Autofill option: if someone gets your iPhone, chances are they can log in like you on some sites. You don’t want this to happen, do you? Then take it out! Again, you will experience some inconveniences, but it is worth it.
How does it help? It reduces the risk of someone logging into websites with your credentials when your iPhone is stolen or given to someone.
Where can you make these changes? For Safari: go to “Settings” -> “Safari” -> “General” -> “autofill”
#9. Don’t trust most third-party keyboards
There are tons of Keyboards on the AppStore. Various companies offer keyboards with different styles and functionalities. Some are reliable, but you should be careful when using a keyboard from a developer you don’t know.
When you use a keyboard, you grant it full access. This means that the developer can access any type of information you enter on your keyboard. This includes your address, credit card and any other sensitive information you type with their keyboard.
To check which keyboards you have, go to Settings, then General and select Keyboards. The first keyboards you see are those from Apple, below those two are the other keyboards you have installed. Tap it to grant or deny full access.
#10. Choose which apps have access to your information
Sometimes, apps asks you to grant them access to certain types of information they don’t really need or just don’t want to share. More often than not, this could be a bug on the side of the developer. Still, it is recommended that you check which apps have access to your information.
Go to the privacy section of your iPhone’s settings. There you will see a number of categories that various applications have requested access to. You can tap these categories and see which apps have access to that information. You can also completely disable their access.
#11. Prevent USB accessories from staying connected
If your iPhone is connected to another device via USB, it could become vulnerable to certain types of hacking. If you need to connect your iPhone to someone else’s computer or device, blocking that connection after a while can be a great way to keep your data secure.
This feature helps in blocking the connection to your iPhone via USB if it’s been over an hour since you last unlocked it. To enable it, you have to go to Settings, scroll down to Touch ID & Passcode and turn on USB accessories at the bottom of the list.
#12. Control which apps use location services
Location Services is another option in the Privacy section of your iPhone. This feature uses GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspots from crowdsourcing and cell towers to determine your exact location and then use it in the apps that need it.
While some apps, like Google Maps, need location services to work properly, there are others that don’t necessarily require access to keep working.
In your privacy settings, tap Location services. You can choose which apps can use your location or disable this feature altogether. Although, this limits the functionality of many apps that need access to your location to work.
#13. Limit ad tracking
Have you ever googled something to see it as an ad seconds later? These are called targeted ads and they are basically how websites are able to offer free content to readers like you.
But while targeted ads may be necessary for websites to function, it can feel a little weird if they know exactly what you’re looking for.
Your iPhone has an ad option that uses your information to serve better targeted ads. Although Apple states that they will not provide your personal information to third parties, you can still disable this option.
In the Privacy option in your settings, scroll down and tap on Advertise. Once there, enable the Limit ad tracking feature.
#14. Turn off Significant Locations
Significant locations is a feature you may want to look into. When enabled, Significant Locations lets your iPhone and your iCloud connected devices learn which places are important to you. This means your iPhone learns which places you visit the most.
Apple says this is used to provide useful information to various apps like Calendar and Maps, but these apps work fine without this feature turned on.
To disable this feature, go to your privacy settings and tap Location services, then scroll down and select System services. Scroll down again and select Significant Locations. Use the Important Locations switch to turn the feature off if you want.
And that covers everything about how to protect private information on your iPhone. We also have plenty of other articles that I suggest you check right now. Read also