10 Tips on Securing Your iPhone
Just a day after iOS released its latest version, iOS 11.1, security researchers were able to breach the operating system. That’s right, one day. On top of that, it isn’t the first time Apple has had security breaches.
So what’s the big deal, you might be asking, it’s just a phone, right? Wrong. Your smartphone is so much more than a traditional phone. Today smartphones are like your assistant, helping you send emails, shop online and pay the bills. If your iPhone was to fall into the wrong hands, it could be catastrophic for you, disrupting your daily life. What’s worse, it could mean your sensitive data is a free-for-all.
Apple might pride itself on having a high standard when it comes to user privacy and securing your data, but the risks are real. Thankfully there are ways to keep it protected. Before you Google ‘how to secure iPhone’, read on for all the answers on how to secure your iPhone from hackers.
#1 Use the Screen Lock
If it’s there, why not use it? It cannot be stressed that the most important thing to do is to set a passcode and use it. People often cannot be bothered, but it only takes a few seconds to unlock your phone each time. It would take a lot longer to get all your affairs in order after a security breach.
Also, these fancy fingerprint locks and facial recognition features are great if you are the lead in a spy movie, but the most foolproof option is to enter six digits and make them a smart choice. Don’t go typing in 1-2-3-4-5-6, that’s not going to fool anyone. Your girlfriend’s or pet’s birthday isn’t going to help either. Don’t even think about entering your bank PIN. Six random numbers, something that you will remember. There, you’re one step closer in knowing how to protect your iPhone from being hacked. Stick around, there’s more to come.
#2 Make Your iPhone Lock Faster
Do you hate it when you’ve just been using your phone for something, put it down for a minute and then have to type in your passcode again? Yeah, so do hackers.
That really annoys them. If you are tempted to let your screen lock after half a minute, or a minute, don’t. It might be frustrating at times to type in that passcode every now and again, but if you leave your phone unattended it could be the difference between having a phone that’s hacked and a phone that is secure.
Your best bet is to go to Touch ID & Passcode in Settings and change your Require Passcode to Immediately. This will mean that anyone will have to type in a passcode into your phone as soon as they pick it up.
#3 Disable Lock Screen Features
Siri is great, but honestly, she can share too much information. Did you know that just by asking “who does this iPhone belong to”, Siri will get all your contact information up on your iPhone screen within seconds. From your contact numbers, emails, address, where you work and even who your mother and father are. Nobody needs to know that about you. She needs to go from your lock screen.
There are other features that you should also consider removing from your lock screen, such as text and other app previews which can be viewed in their entirety on your lock screen. You can also buy yourself some time from hackers breaking into your phone by enabling Airplane mode from the Control Center on your lock screen. This will essentially mean you cannot track its location via the Find my iPhone feature.
#4 Use the Two-Step Verification
Two-step verification will be able to secure the information you have previously stored with Apple, including all your payment information as well as any files and photos found in iCloud. Even if a third party gets hold of your password, they would need another one of your devices to log in.
This extra layer of protection comes in the form of a four-digit code which will act as a barrier to keep your information secure. Here is how to do it:
- Visit the Apple ID Settings Page. Click on “Manage your Apple ID”.
- Log into the account which will have two-step verification.
- Hit the “Password and Security” option and then “get started”.
- You will be taken through a few pages where two-step verification is thoroughly explained.
- Read and acknowledge the guidelines you have just read.
- You will receive your recovery key. This will grant your access to your account should you ever forget your password, so make sure you have it written down and put away safely.
- This is your final step, where you will once more be asked to acknowledge that you understand the implications of enabling two-step verification.
If you ever decide to put your iPhone up for sale, it is imperative that you visit the page and delete two-step verification.
#5 Activate Find My Phone
With this feature, you will be able to track your iPhone from any computer and find its whereabouts. This will be an incredible help if you misplace your phone, or worse it gets stolen. On top of that, if you suspect your phone has been stolen you can always delete all the data found on it. To do so just log into your Find My iPhone app, choose Select Your iPhone, then go Actions, Erase iPhone and Confirm.
Whenever your iPhone connects to the internet next all of its data will be cleared. This means you can be sure that nobody will be logging into your mobile banking and stealing all your financial information.
#6 Get a VPN – The Best Security for iPhone
This might be the single most important step you take in how to protect your iPhone from being hacked. Why? A VPN will mask all of your online activity by channeling it through to another IP address. That means nobody, not even your ISP provider, will know about your internet activity.
You should be careful in choosing your VPN service provider when it comes to iOS, because not all VPNs offer the same security advantages. For example, there are many free VPNs out there, but don’t fall into a trap just because of the term “free”. Instead of paying for your VPN, you will pay with your data, most if not all of which will be monitored and even sold to third parties.
When it comes to a reputable VPN service provider, you cannot go past ExpressVPN. They have been in the game for a long time and have solidified their place as one of the top VPNs in the world.
Here are some reasons why you will want to invest in ExpressVPN:
- Connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod to 160 servers in 94 countries
- Superior connection reliability
- Military-grade encryption
- Swipe right on your favorite server locations and save them under favorites
- Round-the-clock live chat support for any ExpressVPN for iOS questions
- Optimized servers for the fastest speeds possible
- Instant login without the need to retype your username and password
- Smart location connects you to the location with the best experience
- One-click connection
- Manual configurations available
Connecting your ExpressVPN cannot be any simpler. Just head over to their website, download the app and connect. ExpressVPN also offers a special deal, get 3 months free and 49% savings with their annual subscription plan! If you aren’t satisfied they also offer a 30-day money back guarantee. What more could you want?
#7 Do Not Jailbreak Your Phone
This is another huge factor in keeping your phone secure. Many Android users like the fact that their operating systems can be customized, and that is great, but it is the fact that you can choose apps from third-party platforms that will get you into trouble. This is the same for your iPhone. As soon as you jailbreak it, you will have the option to customize it and download loads of apps otherwise unavailable in the App Store.
Unfortunately, malware that attacks the iPhone operating system is usually found in these third-party apps, leaving your smartphone open to hackers. Apple strongly advises against jailbreaking your phone too, saying,
“Apple strongly cautions against installing any software that hacks iOS. It is also important to note that unauthorized modification of iOS is a violation of the iOS end-user software license agreement and because of this, Apple may deny service for an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that has installed any unauthorized software.”
If you do decide to jailbreak your phone (seriously, don’t), make sure to choose a trusted installer such as Cydia.
#8 Avoid Dodgy Public WiFi
Free public WiFi can be found anywhere these days, from public transport, local cafes, airports, hotels, gyms, and even tourist attractions. You might think this comes as a lifesaver, especially to those of you who are constantly on the go or are often traveling abroad. The facts are that free public WiFi hotspots can be breeding grounds for hackers spreading malware.
By creating fake hotspots, fake websites and sniffing out your information, hackers are able to create malware and send you fake invitations for updates which in reality is hidden malware, enabling them to steal access to your smartphone.
From there these cybercriminals can see which websites you have visited, your location, read your personal chats as well as your emails, find out who you are communicating with, get their hands on your documents and photos. The scariest thing is that they can track your movements and find out your login and password details and even find out your banking details.
The best advice for public WiFi on how to secure your iPhone? Don’t use it. Simply use the data on your phone from your mobile service provider and stay safe.
#9 Invest in an Antivirus Program for your iPhone
Security for Apple devices is tight, at least this is the case if you ask them. They claim that they have,
“designed the iOS platform with security at its core. Keeping information secure on mobile devices is critical for any user, whether they’re accessing corporate and customer information or storing personal photos, banking information, and addresses. Because every user’s information is important, iOS devices are built to maintain a high level of security without compromising the user experience.”
Instances in the past have proven that Apple is still vulnerable to various malware created by hackers. An antivirus program will be able to give you that extra protection and stop malware in its tracks before it even gets to your phone. So, what should you look for in an antivirus for iPhone?
The best antivirus will be able to:
- Protect your passwords
- Locate and destroy malware
- Secure your online banking and shopping
- Build a powerful remote firewall to keep hackers out
- Keep your inbox free of spam
- Automatically update your software
- Permanently destroy any sensitive data
- 24/7 Protection- real-time scanning
- Protect against phishing
- Protect against ransomware
- Protect against trojans
- Protect against adware
- Protect against spyware
Want to know which antivirus apps are the best security for iPhone? Check out our review here.
#10 Disable Location Tracking
It might be a no-brainer, but as soon as a hacker gets hold of where you’ve been, it doesn’t take a surgeon to map out your future plans making you vulnerable to various attacks. This is a whole lot of information that you do not want someone to sell on the data-selling market.
To fix this go to Settings, select Privacy and then Location Services. When you get there hit Choose Apps, which will then list out all your apps that have location tracking and those that don’t.
The Bottom Line
Apple may be proud of the security measures they have put in place to keep its users satisfied, but we now know that there have been several situations in which Apple’s tight security has been penetrated.
Luckily there are simple steps to take in order to keep your phone safe from third-party violations and rest assured that when you are using your iPhone there is nobody spying on your every move. Now that you know how to protect your iPhone from being hacked, you can apply these ten steps and have peace of mind.