Apple is one of the most popular producers of mobile devices and tablets, all designed to make the life of the user that much easier and more enjoyable along the way. However, the influx of smartphones around the world and the amount of data stored on each one has created an environment where security breaches run rampant. Mobile phone users may feel as though their data is safe so long as a phone is in their hand, but that may not be the case.
Mobile phone hackers are becoming more vigilant in their efforts to access data, generating privacy and security concerns across the board. Fortunately, iPhone users have several features at their literal fingertips to safeguard their data, and their privacy, from bad actors.
Boost Your Passcode
The first step iPhone users can take is to strengthen the passcode required for any mobile device offered by Apple. In recent years, the standard passcode increased from four to six numbers, but many mobile users are unaware they can create a longer passcode or one that includes letters as well. To update a passcode, users can go to Settings then Passcode and Security on their device. You will need to enter the Passcode before you can select a customized numeric or alphanumeric code. Having a longer or more complex code on a mobile device thwarts hackers ability to access data on the phone if it is lost or stolen.
Multi-factor Authentication Options
Multi-factor authentication is another option for increasing security of one’s mobile device. This feature requires not only the passcode to be input when accessing Apple ID or a specific mobile app, but an additional form of verification. In many cases, multi-factor authentication sends a unique code to the user’s device or e-mail address that must be provided before full access to Apple ID or a mobile app is allowed. Setting up this security feature is simple. Navigate to the Apple ID account settings, or on a specific mobile app, and follow the instructions for setting up multi-factor authentication.
Pay Attention to App Permissions
One of the ways hackers gain access to personal and private data among mobile device users is through nefarious mobile app permissions. Apple has cracked down on allowing app developers to access data without disclosing the access to the user, but there are some mobile applications that can slip through in terms of security. When downloading a new mobile application, take care to select Do Not Allow when prompted for access to your device’s phone, contacts, or other data. If you aren’t fully aware of what apps are accessing specific information, head to Settings and then Privacy, and revoke questionable permissions as you see fit.
Turn Off Vulnerable Features
In addition to understanding mobile app permissions, Apple users can also boost security by understanding what features may be exposing them to hacks unnecessarily. Experts suggest that while Siri is helpful in certain ways, the Apple feature may not require verification from the user before providing access to specific data. Similarly, the auto-fill feature in Apple’s browser, Safari, can be used against a device user should hackers gain access. Both Siri and auto-fill can be turned off in Settings on your device.
No one wants to go through the pain of having a data breach on their personal or work mobile device,
and there are instances when a device is stolen and it cannot be protected after the fact. Fortunately, a finance expert from Money Pug, a site used to compare mobile phone insurance, explains that having the appropriate cover on an iPhone will help reduce the financial impact of a lost or stolen device. Many insurers provide variations of cover, depending on the age of the device and the type of security one wants with a policy. It is necessary to compare these features from a mobile insurance plan, alongside the cost and restrictions of the plan selected.
Having a smartphone is a staple for millions of consumers, as it provides easy access to nearly everything one needs to manage their life. However, having so much data in a single place leads to vulnerabilities that leave mobile users at risk. Taking the simple steps above can help boost your iPhone’s security both now and in the future.