Do you have an iPhone? If you do, you probably already know its one of the most commonly used cell phone types in the world. Just like any cell phone, it enables users to text others, make calls, and browse online. However, phone use can make your device vulnerable to the many security threats found online. These security vulnerabilities can be found on iPhones as well.
Why Care About Your iPhone’s Security?
As an iPhone owner, you don’t want your device to be targeted by the many different security threats that exist online. That’s why doing your best to make your cell phone secure is of the utmost importance. Here are some various security dangers to watch out for.
Hackers can use various tactics to gain unauthorized access to your cell phone. This includes using fake public Wi-Fi networks, software programs, apps, juice jacking, phishing, and more. Typically, they are looking to accomplish a number of things which may include:
- Obtaining your personal information which they can exploit or sell to third-parties.
- Gain control of your device and lock you out of it.
- Use your device to gain access to and hack your online accounts.
Identity thieves use personal identifiable information (PII) to steal and impersonate the identity of another. Why? Well, in doing so, these thieves can steal a person’s finances, commit fraud, and file for loans and credit cards in their name. According to Identity Force, in 2019, about 1 in every 15 people were the victims of identity theft/fraud.
Malware is a tool used by online criminals (including hackers and identity thieves) to exploit and gain unauthorized access to a device. It can be used to steal a phone’s data, crash the device, or infect other devices. Usually, malware is able to gain access through software, applications, websites, emails, advertisement, links, and more.
Scammers look to have their target complete a specific action which usually involves providing the scammer with payment, credit card information, or other personal information. Once this information is handed over to a scammer, they could use it in various ways including hacking, selling the data, identity theft, and more. Scams usually seem harmless, disguised in the form of an online form, fake website, contest/giveaway, or a great product/service deal. Also, scams aren’t always online, they can be accomplished through phone calls and text messages as well.
Essential iPhone Security Tips Your Should Consider
Only Connect To Private Wi-Fi Networks
The only way to securely use your iPhone and browse the internet at home or on the go is by using a private Wi-Fi network. These networks are password protected, and utilize better security protocols than public Wi-Fi networks. With public networks, you never know who else is using the network (possibly a hacker), what security measures it has, and/or if it’s actually a fake Wi-Fi network created by an online criminal.
Use A VPN
A VPN (virtual private network) is a great tool to ensure your iPhone internet browsing is secure. VPNs encrypt any traffic and data that is sent between your iPhone and the network you are using. This ensures that no hackers or other criminals spy on your online activities.
Keep Your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Location Off When Not Being Used
Hackers can easily gain access through an iPhone’s Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. Also, application and software programs can possibly track your location data if this setting is enabled. To ensure no one is tracking your iPhone or your whereabouts, make sure to turn off your Location, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth when not in use.
Keep Your iPhone’s Operating System Updated
It’s understandable to be wary regarding updating your Apple device’s iOS, especially if there are potential bugs. However, these software updates often patch up past operating system vulnerability and bugs, while providing new features to ensure iPhone security. That being said, it’s essential to update your iPhone when a new iOS version is available.
Know Where Your iPhone Is At All Times
Keep your iPhone with you at all times or at least always know where it is. When out in public, avoid placing it on a table, bench, or taking it to the bathroom as it can be easily forgotten in these places.
Be Careful What You Download and Click On
As said previously, online criminals often use apps, software, and links to infect a device and gain access to it. Before you download any programs and apps, or click on any links, do some investigating. Perform a quick Google search to look up the creators/company or to see if anyone else has fallen prey to this potential scam as well.
Protect Your iPhone’s Security With These Settings
Utilizing the “Find My” app, you can easily locate your device if it has been misplaced. You can use the app to find where your iPhone is (even if it’s offline), have it make a sound if you think it’s nearby, enable Lost Mode, lock your device, or erase the data remotely. It combines the features of Find My iPhone and Find My Friends.
When you are not using your iPhone, you can automatically lock the screen with a passcode. To unlock your phone, your six-digit passcode (that you created) must be entered.
Touch ID and Face ID
Touch ID involves using your fingerprint for authentication while Face ID involves scanning your face. These recognition methods can be used to unlock your iPhone, and make payments through Apple Pay, iTunes, App Store, and Apple Books.
In your iPhone’s settings, you can choose what apps get access to your phone’s location services data and when. For specific apps, you can choose when the app is allowed to access your iPhone’s location, such as only while you are using the application.
Limit Ad Tracking
Apple typically tracks its products users online as well as their app habits to better target ads that would interest them. However, if you would not like them to track you, you may turn on “Limit Ad Tracking” in the Privacy settings.
Two-factor authentication is available on anyone’s Apple ID account. It provides an extra layer of protection to protect an iPhone’s data in the event someone gets a hold of your account password. Once set up, if someone tries to log into your account on a unrecognized device, they will need to enter a code that is only sent to your trusted devices.
When you are using an application, they will often ask you in the form of an on-screen pop-up if you allow them permission to access your location, contacts, photos, and more. When these appear, make an informed decision before doing so. You have the options to “Allow While Using App”, “Allow Once”, or “Don’t Allow”.
Utilizing these various iPhone security settings and tips, you should never be worried about your device being compromised. Also, make sure to stay up-to-date with Apple’s latest privacy updates and new features to ensure your iPhone’s security.