There are an estimated 700 Million iPhones currently in use around the world and on average we spend three hours per day using them.
When we use our phones, we constantly update personal and private information on them, such as bank transfers, locations, who we are having conversations with to photos that we may be taking. Have you ever wondered what might happen if your iPhone where to fall into the wrong hands? We know that OSX is one of the safest platforms available, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t unhackable. Your phone may not necessarily even need to fall into the wrong hands, you may fall foul of a malicious hack that seeks to access your personal information. You may think that your phone is secure as you have a passcode in place, this isn’t always the case, the best security has multiple layers to it, rather than just one single backstop, here are 7 advanced tips to make your iPhone more safe and secure.
Create An Alphanumeric Passcode
Touch ID provides us with a very simple and secure way to access our phones without having to put in a passcode as frequently. The touch ID is exceptionally secure as it uses biometric data to authenticate the user. The update for IOS9 saw a change from a 4 digit passcode to a 6 digit passcode, whilst this does increase security, you can take it one step further. If you want your iPhone to be exceptionally safe and secure, in settings you can change passcode and select the option for the creation of an alphanumeric code, this increases the options of your passcode to infinite possibilities. Yes it may take slightly longer to enter, in the situation where you have failed to authenticate your finger print after 5 attempts or when you turn your phone on, but it no longer means that your birthday will be your passcode.
So, you’ve increased the security to get into your iPhone, you’ve set up an alphanumeric code that’s complex enough that your best friend won’t remember it, but you can still see all your notifications coming up on lock screen. These notifications can be anything, payments made, emails, location-based services or other private information that you don’t want shared. People can have information taken without their consent just by people looking at their lock screen or a thief can lock you out by turning on aeroplane mode. Head to control centre to turn off notification previews and turn off access on lock screen. These changes ensure that your home screen is kept private and if someone does steal your phone, they aren’t able to beat the tracking system by putting it on aeroplane mode.
Say Farewell To Siri, Well On The Home Screen Anyway.
Well, only for a little while. Having access to Siri on your lock screen can still allow people to extract information you would rather keep private, this could be asking about the reminders you’ve set or asking it to call a friend or spouses number. Be sure to disable Siri on your lock screen to give yourself more protection.
Why Have One When You Can Have Two?
On IOS devices you can impose two factor or two step verification. This can be used to shield your accounts and add another layer of protection. The deeper your levels of protection are, the more secure your accounts will be. The two step verification will ask you to authenticate yourself each time you use a particular service or application, whilst it may take slightly longer for you to access it, the security it will add to your account is absolutely worth it.
USB Restricted Mode
This is a relatively unknown and tricky to get to new feature. The USB restricted mode prevents any accessory from connecting to your device, these accessories can be a USB or even headphones. The USB restricted mode stops devices accessing and potentially bypassing your lock screen, it becomes active after 1 hour of the phone being locked and is invaluable if your phone is stolen, goes missing or the police want to access it. You can find the settings for this under Touch ID and passcodes, USB accessories.
We’re all guilty of not updating our iPhones, it usually happens at inconvenient times and usually we just write them off as minor updates that our phones don’t need. In actual fact, the updates are often patches for security problems that were found in the previous update or a total overhaul of the security features to keep hackers guessing. Make sure that you have turned on automatic updates to ensure that your iPhone is continually updated with the latest software.
If you ask 99% of iPhone users, they haven’t updated their passwords across any of their main accounts for a long period of time. Whilst you are adding these additional security features to your iPhone, look to update your passwords too. Apple will generate a strong password for you, and you can keep it secure in keychain. Remember, never share your passwords with anyone and certainly don’t write them down.
Security is best when you add depth, by depth we mean multiple layers of security. You may not think that unscrupulous people can access much information about you. Even by quickly glancing at the notifications on your lock screen, you would be horrified to find out how much information your notifications tell thieves or hackers about you. Removing notifications from your lock screen is just the first step. By adding strong passwords, alphanumeric codes and two factor verification you can be sure that this is the start to creating a safe and secure iPhone. By following these seven advanced steps to securing your phone, you can safe in the knowledge that even if you phone was to fall into the wrong hands or get hacked, the security you have added will render the phone useless in the hands of others.