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8 Simple iPhone Security Tips

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The iPhone contains huge amounts of detailed personal information about the owner, including emails, contact lists, banking information, personal notes, photos, and more, all of which you want to keep private and secure. Fortunately, iPhone makes using a protected device quite user-friendly, and even novice users can take a few fairly simple precautions to make sure their devices are safe and locked.

The approaches we’re looking at here will help keep curious glances at your personal information, even if someone gets access to your iPhone for theft or otherwise.

iPhone security tips

Are you ready for your iPhone to be a little safer? Then check some of these security tips that can improve your privacy and device security.

1: Use a password, the longer, the better

Almost everyone knows that they should enable a password on their iPhone or iPad, and this should be the first tip because many people ignore this. Always use a password!

Perhaps less well known is that users should strive to get a longer password whenever possible.

Newer versions of iOS want to use six-digit passwords compared to the four-digit password in previous releases, and you should definitely take advantage of that.

  1. Open Settings and go to Face ID and Passcode or Face ID and Passcode.
  2. Select “Enable password” if you haven’t already, otherwise select “Change password” and choose a six-digit or longer password (or use an alphanumeric number for more complex and secure)

Password on iPhone

Even if you just extend an existing four-digit password to six digits or longer, it’s better than nothing because it makes the password even harder to guess.

Most importantly, a longer password is more secure.

2: Disable the lock screen for notifications, certain features

Of course, it’s useful that the lock screen has access to notifications, Today view, Sir, Messages, and Apple Pay Wallet, but this can cause some potential security issues if someone wanted to take control of your device, as it might reveal important information from a text message or notification. An easy way to avoid this is to turn off these items if you don’t use them enough to find them valuable:

  1. Open Settings and go to Touch ID and Passcode
  2. In the Allow locked section, select OFF Today, in the Notifications view, Reply with message, Wallet, and maybe Siri *

* Personally, I leave Siri enabled because I find it very useful, but also because Siri’s lock screen lets users ask “whose iPhone is this?” to see the contact information of the owners, which can help an honest person restore a lost iPhone to you as the rightful owner.

3: Enable iCloud and Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone is one of the most useful services Apple offers through iCloud. It allows you to track and lock iPhone remotely if it’s lost or misplaced, and if device recovery becomes unwanted, you can even wipe iPhone remotely with the service.

  1. Open Settings and go to Your Name or iCloud (make sure you’ve turned on iCloud, if you haven’t already)
  2. Check that the “Find My iPhone” setting is ON

Use the Find my iPhone app

Don’t skip this, it’s very helpful. I know several people who have personally recovered a lost or misplaced iPhone using Find My iPhone, it works!

4: Use iCloud backups

Backups from your iPhone are essential, and iCloud makes it easy. When iCloud backups are turned on, your device backs up every night when it’s connected to a Wi-Fi network and powered on. In addition, iCloud backups are encrypted and secure, which means your data is secure.

  1. Open Settings and go to iCloud
  2. Make sure iCloud backups are turned on.

iCloud backups

Another obvious benefit of iCloud backups is that it allows you to quickly restore your data, photos, notes, messages, contacts, and any other odd case on your device if you lose, lose, or break your iPhone.

Backing up your data is very important, and iCloud makes it easy. By the way, I usually recommend using both iCloud and iTunes for backup, if possible simply for redundancy, but if you use iTunes (or use iTunes exclusively for backup), you almost certainly want to encrypt iPhone backups in iTunes as well.

5: Consider two-factor authentication for iCloud / Apple ID

Two-factor authentication means that even if someone gets your Apple ID password, they can’t sign in to your account or access your information without verifying authentication from a secondary trusted device or phone number. This is a little more advanced, but if you’re serious about keeping your device safe and locking your data, it’s one of the better ways to do it. You can enable 2-step verification for your Apple ID here.

Two-factor authentication token

6: Run a privacy check and remember what applications you want to use

Apple keeps the App Store locked fairly tightly, but every now and then a suspicious app is absorbed through cracks or performs a function you might not expect it to do.

Some applications may also want more information than what they actually need to perform a particular function. For example, some apps may try to use iPhone’s location, microphone, or iPhone photos for no apparent reason. Ask yourself, why might an app need access to an iPhone microphone or pictures if they aren’t clearly related to the app’s functionality? For example, an image processing application needs access to your images, of course, but does the image processing application really need access to your location or contacts? And would a simple game really need access to a microphone? It doesn’t have to be too paranoid, but check which apps you allow to use for which functions and features.

Simple app privacy checking for existing apps is easy:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Privacy
  2. Browse each section, focusing specifically on applications that require a “Location Services” connection, Contacts, Photos, Microphone, and Camera
  3. Disable certain features if something appears to be unclear or incorrect *

* Keep in mind that some apps will stop working properly if you remove their access to a required feature, for example, Instagram may not work without using a camera or photo, but it is a proper use because Instagram is a photography app.

7: Avoid breaking the prison

Many advanced users want to jailbreak their devices for a number of reasons, but if you’re concerned about privacy and security, it’s usually a bad idea to jailbreak. The reason is pretty simple, with the jailbreak feature you intentionally override the iPhone’s security features so other things can be installed, used, or adjusted – that means, at least in theory, that a bad actor might try to install junk or use something you don’t want to share. This is quite rare, but there are examples of this happening in the real world with malicious software from poorly verified sources. In addition, Apple may void the warranty for a broken device in jail.

Here are 7 special reasons not to disassemble your iPhone if you want more information on this. Basically, don’t do it because it’s not without risk.

8: Update your iOS software regularly

Almost every iOS update includes bug fixes and security fixes, so installing the latest versions of iOS on iPhone is an easy way to make sure you have better protection against a variety of potential threats. Apple is really good at fixing security holes, and the most reliable way to make sure these patches help your device’s security is to install available iOS updates.

As always, back up your device before updating your iOS software. The end is easy:

  1. Go to Settings and Software Update
  2. If a system update is available, install it

Software update for iOS

Do you have any other simple iPhone security tips? Let us know in the comments!

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James Hogan
James Hogan
James Hogan is a senior staff writer at Bollyinside, where he has been covering various topics, including laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more. During that period, they evaluated hundreds of laptops and thousands of accessories and built a collection of entirely too many mechanical keyboards for their own use.
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