Today, most of us spend a large portion of our day on our iPhones. That leaves us with an increased risk to hackers. The iPhone is one of the most secure phones on the market today. Because of it closed the App store which requires approval to distribute an app on the iPhone.
The iPhone comes already encrypted when you start using it which is awesome because they really don’t give you a choice in the matter. Privacy and Security are built into the iPhone so you can be more secure in your communication. But, it is not 100% safe.
Let’s review some configurations you can do with your iPhone to lower your risk of hackers accessing your iPhone.
Protect your phone
Our iPhone is so valuable to day-to-day activities that we need to make sure we protect the phone from damage. First, this is to get a rugged case and screen protector to give your phone some added protection from mishaps such as drops and water (even though newer iPhones are more water-resistant than their predecessors). You want to protect your investment and this goes a long way of helping with the day-to-day mishaps that can happen physically.
Use two-factor authentication
On your iPhone, make sure to enable two-factor authentication with the touch id or face id. That gives you an extra layer of protection since passcodes can be stolen. Two-factor authentication requires you to log into your iPhone with two forms of identification.
Use a strong Apple ID password
When you use an Apple product, you create an Apple ID and a password. Make sure to create a password that is complex and unique. Maybe even use the password recommended by the iPhone. iPhones have a built-in password manager for those of us who cannot remember all the different passwords we have today.
Use a strong passcode
Use a strong passcode that is not part of your Personal Identifiable Information (PII). Keep your passcode secure so no one can get it. Too many people use their dog’s name, kid’s name, their birthdate, anniversary date, etc. If a hacker knows enough about you, they can guess your passcode so please be security-wise.
Secure your apps
Even though Apple puts Apps through a rigorous process of approval, Apps can still have security vulnerabilities. Also, enable two-factor authentication on all your apps that you use to lower your risk. Apps that you need to be concerned about are your social media and game apps if provided. Apps can be leaky and buggy and accidentally give access to a hacker so be aware that Apps are more secure than other devices but not 100% safe.
Protect your Mail
A neat new feature in IOS is the ability to use Mail Privacy Protection on your iPhone. Enable it. It is very rare a phone with email has a way to protect your sending and receiving of emails by hiding your IP address. It makes it hard for someone to track your email activity which is critical since email is still the most insecure activity we have in our communications.
Use Find My
Why should you enable Find My on your iPhone? If you have lost or someone stole your iPhone, how are you going to find it or erase private information on it?
Let me share a little story. We were driving to visit my family in CT. When we travel, we travel with the six of us so it is hectic to stop. We stopped at a rest area and my wife put her phone down and left it. We did not have to Find My enabled at the time. Thankfully, someone found it and answered our call and we were able to retrieve it.
A second time with no Find My enabled we left her phone at a Walmart but we had no idea it was left at Walmart because we shopped at multiple stores that day. Once we discovered the phone was lost we had to trace our footsteps. Our last stop that evening was Walmart, We talked to a manager and thankfully someone turned it in. We were lucky. We were able to retrieve the lost phone – not once but twice. We now have it enabled on all our phones. Please enable it so you do not go through what we went through. It was a nightmare, to say the least.
You should enable Find My on your iPhone. It is an asset tracking app that allows you to track the location of your iPhone, notify the person who finds it, lock down your iPhone, and also erase the iPhone if needed. It is a great app to have in case you lose your phone.
Use iCloud Private Relay
When browsing the Web, websites use something called cookies to track your visit and also collect information on your browsing history. By turning on iCloud Private Relay, you are hiding your identity from websites and others and their ability to track you is limited.
Limit your data and location information sharing
Your iPhone goes out of its way to help you protect your privacy. Be very selective on what you share with your Apps. Location data is very sensitive information and you don’t want hackers snooping when and where you are and where you have been.
Use a VPN
Even though your iPhone provides a lot of privacy and security right out of the box, you still need to protect all your communication. I would still recommend using a VPN to lower your risk even more. Your iPhone does come equipped with a VPN client but more vendors have their own.
Apple designs privacy and security right into their products and provides innovative ways to help you protect your privacy. Privacy and security come built-in. So, when you start using your iPhone you are more secure than ever but please don’t lower your security sense. Don’t give anyone any personal data that could help make you vulnerable to hackers.
I am DrM, founder of http://techninjamasters.com. I have been working, learning, teaching, coaching, consulting, writing in technology for over 40 years.