7 Useful Tips to Improve iPhone Security

The post highlights several tips that every user must know to prevent sensitive data from internal and external vulnerabilities. It also explains the procedure to get access to all iPhone security features. 

If we look at the data being stored or accessed using an iPhone, this explains how we neglect the security of the sensitive information. The applications running on the iPhone as well as the nature of the information on the device process can be highly confidential. It may include information about online accounts, bank details, browser search history, passwords to online accounts, videos, and pictures, details of recent visits, corporate emails, and much more. 

It is essential to protect this information and personal particulars at all times using advanced security features offered by Apple; however, we fail to follow even the basic security measures. Both basic and advanced level iPhone security tips and actions for protecting the integrity of data are discussed in the upcoming sections.

Tip#1: Enable Passcode Lock on iPhone

This is undoubtedly the core security measure that we all know but does not implement in reality. Since passcodes are not required by default on iPhones, people do not set passcodes for the ease and convenience of accessibility. As a matter of fact, once you make it a habit of setting passcodes, it will slowly become a second habit, and you will hardly find any difference.

But, the passcode you select to lock your personal information must be strong enough to serve the purpose. Avoid using passcodes that are easily predictable. To set up the passcode, click on Settings, then General and then select Passcode Lock. Now, tap on Turn Passcode On. When the device prompts you to key in a four-digit passcode twice, provide one which is difficult to guess.

Tip#2: Disable Geotagging to Hide Location Info

Location-based data stored on the iPhone incorporates information on longitude and latitude within the images and is referred to as Geotagging. iPhones integrate both cameras as well as GPS locator technology and due to this, the device automatically adds geolocation information to the images it captures. Disabling the feature will hide this information, and would not reveal even if the image is posted and shared on 
social networking sites. 

To overcome the issue of location tracking on jailbroken devices, you can use Untrackered application from Cydia. The application installs a daemon that wipes the consolidated .db files by running in the background. To disable Geotagging, go to Settings and then click on Location Services. Next, toggle the Camera to OFF, and the process is completed. 

Tip#3: Update iPhone’s Firmware on Regular Basis

iOS Firmware is known to be the Operating System integrated into the iPhone devices. Frequent Firmware updates are provided by Apple about bugs fixes, security fixes, and advanced security features as well.  It is recommended to have the latest version of Firmware installed on the device. With this, you may be able to remove vulnerabilities to security issues.

To check the version of Firmware being installed on your iPhone device, go to Settings, then select General and then About. Now make note of the version information displayed in About window. Registered Apple users may receive the information about latest Firmware updates via emails. When iPhone is connected to iTunes, it prompts for Firmware updates (if they are available).

Tip #4: Enable Safari Security & Privacy Settings

Apple’s default browser Safari provides basic security settings that can be accessed by navigating to Settings>> Safari. In the window that appears, enable the Block Pop-ups option (make sure that the option is set to ON) iPhone can remember, and auto fill the particulars of an online form. This option can be disabled for avoiding caching of sensitive data. 

To disable AutoFill feature, navigate to the Settings, select Safari, and then click on AutoFill to toggle it to OFF option. For extended security features, ensure that Enable Fraud Warning option is toggled OFF. Also, you can select to clear cookies, browsing history and cache whenever you visit banking sites or corporate accounts. Unnecessary databases may also be deleted by navigating through Settings, then Safari, and then Databases. 

Tip#5: Enable Restrictions

iPhones are widely used presently. A number of the iPhone capabilities can be locked down using Restrictions options. This is a helpful feature that concerned parents can use to restrict the usage of the device. To access this feature, go to Settings, then General, and then Restrictions. 

Several lock-down capabilities offered by iPhone devices includes restricting users from accessing YouTube, Safari, Camera and other built-in features. This also prevents users from making changes to the accounts, downloading and deleting any applications, prevent access to content based on rating such as PG, PG-13, etc.

Tip#6: Enable Find My iPhone Option

Apple offers free of cost Find My iPhone service that helps track lost iPhones. To make this option work, it requires installing and then setting it so that it can successfully track the device when it is lost or stolen. To locate the device, the application utilizes GPS settings. To install the application:

  1. Launch AppStore. Download and install Find My iPhone application 
  2. Go to Settings, then Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and then click on Accounts
  3. Next, add MobileMe account 
  4. Using your Apple ID and Password, log in to the MobileMe account
  5. After connecting, set Find My iPhone feature to ON
  6. Next, navigate to the installed application and log in using your Apple ID & Password
Tip#7: Disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth When Not Required

Several applications utilize iPhone’s Bluetooth functionality for sharing files and information as well as for gaming. Attackers may send uninvited messages from Bluetooth enabled devices. In worst cases, they can steal sensitive and crucial information from the device using BlueSnarfing and BlueJacking attacks. 

Likewise, it is highly recommended to disable Wi-Fi when not in use, else the chances of network spoofing is likely. If the Wi-Fi network requires HTTP form authentication, it can cause iPhone to persevere crucial credentials on the disk. In the instance of data loss, the confidentiality of this crucial data and the accounts and resources protected through them will be at stake. 

An Additional Tip

Often, it is heard that iPhone users show carelessness in backing up their iPhone data to iClouds. It is beyond reasoning as to why iPhone owners face data loss situation in spite of the availability of iCloud storage? If you have a habit of backing up the iPhone to cloud storage, then you will easily avoid spending the money on iPhone data recovery software to restore your deleted files. Since an iPhone offers a number of security features that helps prevent unauthorized access. Therefore, it is essential for you to understand and utilize these features to the fullest.  


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