iPhones have consistently maintained a reputation for being secure, even leading up to trouble with key law enforcement agencies like the FBI, for Apple’s refusal to provide data. iPhones constitute the first choice of users who place a high priority on their privacy. However, using an iPhone does not guarantee ultimate security and the elimination of vulnerabilities.
Even though Apple’s hardware gets new updates every year, enhancing its security with new features, all of it can fall apart if you are not exercising caution and have poor cybersecurity habits.
The following seven tips can go a long way towards making your iPhone truly impenetrable – a digital vault that safeguards all your data.
Security Tips for iPhone
Use a lengthy password
Most people set up a four-digit or a six-digit PIN to maximize the security of their phones. It may give the illusion of adequately acceptable protection, since what could go wrong possibly? The chances of an intruder guessing correctly in the first ten attempts are incredibly low, and there are 10,000 combinations.
However, you need to realize that not all attacks involve endlessly poking at numbers into the screen. A lot of devices exist for the sole purpose of retrying the PINs for an unlimited number of times, taking full advantage of the present vulnerabilities. For instance, a GrayKey device can crack a four-digit PIN in an hour or two, while a six-digit one in three days.
If there’s one cybersecurity strategy that all experts unanimously agree on, it’s that when it comes to passwords: the longer, the better. Ideally, you should be using a lengthier alphanumeric password instead of a PIN code. Each additional character increases the time required to break the password.
To add a longer password, you can open the Settings app, go to Touch ID & Passcode, enter your current PIN, tap Change Passcode on the ensuing screen. Now, enter your passcode again but rather than entering a different passcode, tap Passcode Options. You will now get the option of choosing a unique code with alphanumeric characters.
Secure your Apple Phone with 2Factor Authentication
The two-factor authentication, otherwise known as 2FA, is a state-of-the-art security method, which gives you an additional layer of protection through a one-time-only code. An attacker cannot access your account without having both – your password and the OTP.
Your Apple ID holds all your secrets – it is linked to all devices you own, the iCloud account and its passwords,and probably your credit card information too. Therefore, it’s a good idea to use two-factor authentications.
Apple offers 2FA on Apple ID, and we highly recommend you take advantage of it. It means you will need to go through two security checkpoints when accessing your iPhone; both your password and a six-digit code sent to a trusted device before you log in to your device. 2FA makes it incredibly difficult for a hacker to access your Apple ID and the trove of crucial data it hosts.
Keep Upgrading your iPhone
We can’t stress enough the importance of keeping all your apps up to date for staying secure. iOS goes through frequent updates to fix any vulnerabilities that could help hackers and cybercriminals from attacking your device. Some of these could be minor, while others are significant issues. Recently, there was news about China’s endeavor to infect the phones of Uyghur people by taking advantage of iOS vulnerabilities. Most of these vulnerabilities had been fixed by Apple already, but since many of the victims had yet to update their phones, these vulnerabilities still existed.
Use a VPN when on Public WI-FI
Public Wi-Fi can prove to be a big nuisance since anyone present on the same network can see the unencrypted transmission of data, and an untrustworthy system can set you up for malicious attacks including, but not limited to phishing. For instance, if you try to log on to your bank’s site, thinking of it to be the official one, it might not be the real one. It could be a malicious site made to look like the original one by the hackers within the Wi-Fi network.
A solution is to resort to cellular data whenever you are moving about or travelling, but that is not a practical solution given that data caps and high charges on cell data plans. However, a viable solution is to use a VPN for iPhone. Using a good VPN can alleviate all troubles associated with public Wi-Fi. A VPN creates an encrypted connection, enabling your traffic to pass through different locations worldwide, rather than the one where you are currently present.
There are a lot of insecure or untrustworthy VPNs available across the Internet. It would beat the purpose of your VPN is logging your data or otherwise does not have the best possible 256 – bit encryption available. Therefore, you must choose the right VPN for the job after careful consideration and research. Make it a thumb rule to follow a series of steps. Figure out the purpose you need the VPN for, assess each VPNs feature, check which devices are compatible, find a VPN with a user-friendly interface, ensure that the VPN covers important locations worldwide, and has the robust 256 – bit encryption.
Rely on Additional Encryption
The encryption that comes with the iPhone is one of the best in the world, but it’s certainly not perfect. So long as there is even a little chance of cracking the passcode, or getting access to the unencrypted backups, your data is under threat. For your sensitive data such as passwords, social security numbers, credit card numbers, etc., you will need additional encryption.
Using a password manager that has encryption of its own can be exceptionally helpful. A trustworthy password manager that can store a vault in iCloud and is encrypted independently means that an attacker searching for your passwords would need to first break into your phone or iCloud account to access the vault.
Moreover, Apple’s very own Notes app also allows you to create encrypted notes, that you can secure with a unique and robust password of your choosing.
Inspect privacy settings routinely
When you install apps on your iPhone, knowingly or unknowingly, you grant many permissions for access – the camera, microphone, contacts, and location being some of them. It’s best if you keep track of which permits you are giving to the apps and revoke any of the ones you don’t need anymore. For instance, if you used Instagram to post a photo once but don’t use it regularly, it’s a good idea to remove its right to look at your pictures through the Instagram app.
Go to Settings > Privacy, access the master list of all permissions, and the apps that have those permissions. Go through all these permissions one-by-one and revoke any permissions granted to unused apps.
Be Wary of Scams
iPhone offers a lot of protection but none against scam phone calls, emails, or text messages. Always be careful when dealing with messages coming from unknown senders. You must treat any links that you receive via text messages with doubt. If you visit a site through a relationship and the site wants you to log in or provide information of a personal nature, confirm the authenticity of the sender. If it’s a site you are already familiar with, do consider visiting it through an already saved bookmark.
The Most Secure Phone
It is quite alright if you are comfortable using an iPhone and feel a sense of safety with it; so do millions of others. iPhones are some of the safest smartphones in the world right now. However, as we have given numerous examples here, there are several ways that you can fall prey to cybercrime. Therefore, its idiotic to consider yourself safe by default, only out of being an iPhone owner. Taking all precautions and being cautious is the key to maintaining the maximum security on your phone.
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