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How to secure your iPhone and iPad in eight easy steps

21 Mar 2023 News
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Apple's iPhone and iPad are considered some of the most secure mobile devices on the market. But that doesn't mean they're foolproof, far from it. So here are some tips to ensure better security for your data on your iOS-enabled tools.

Your cell phone is now a goldmine of personal information. It contains your address, phone numbers, personal messages, passwords, bank cards, and a host of other data that you should always try to keep to yourself. If it is not properly protected, a hacker or thief can get hold of this information and take advantage of it, or use it against you.

The links throughout the text will take you to the steps to follow for each method.

1. Enable automatic iOS updates

Every day, researchers and volunteers discover bugs and vulnerabilities in all sorts of systems included with iOS. Updates are the only way to close these loopholes and prevent hackers from using them. It only takes a few minutes and can even be done automatically 

2. Activate the screen lock

Screen lock is the basic security measure for a mobile device. It ensures that no one can access your device without knowing your password. If you're not already using it, hurry up and activate it!

There are several options for locking on iOS: a passcode, a fingerprint, or facial recognition.

A quality password including letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols is generally considered the most secure way to protect a device.

3. Activate the two-step validation

Two-step validation is a security measure that is increasingly considered essential on the web. Although it does not completely eliminate the risk of hacking, it aims to reduce it as much as possible while being quick and easy to use. Several methods exist, including receiving a unique code via text message, using an authentication app, or even using a security key.

Since your iOS device is linked to your Apple account and is used to access many services, it is important to protect it with two-step validation.

4. Check the privacy options

The applications you use need your permission to access different tools on your mobile devices. For example, Skype needs your explicit permission to use the camera and microphone on your phone.

The catch: these permissions remain valid forever unless you revoke them or uninstall the application. So it's a good idea to do permissions check every now and then to make sure the list reflects your intentions since these apps are often easier to hack than your phone itself.

To do this, go to "Settings" and then click on "Privacy". Once in this menu, click on the different options offered to find out which applications use them. Pay special attention to the location service, contacts, calendar, photos, microphone, and camera.

Be aware, however, that features can hurt some apps if you take away permissions. A weather forecasting application could lose its ability to display the weather based on your location if you remove access to geolocation.

5. Protect yourself from USB accessories

Many USB devices are capable of bypassing a mobile device's lock and accessing the data on it. To protect its customers from this problem, Apple offers an option that requires you to unlock your device before a USB accessory can connect to it.

Please note: to use this protection, the "USB Accessories" option must be disabled, in the Face ID and passcode menu (or Touch ID and passcode, depending on your model).

6. Disable the Control Center

Even when your phone is locked, there are many features that can be accessed through the Control Center. While this tool is convenient, it is still a risk, as someone with access to your phone can use it to activate Bluetooth, wi-fi or even to open Wallet (virtual payment cards).

To disable it only from the lock screen, go to settings, then click on "Touch ID and code". Scroll down to the "Allow access from the locked screen" section and uncheck "Control Center". Use this opportunity to remove access permission to any other options that are not absolutely essential to you.

7. Use VPN for an Extra Layer of Security

A VPN, or virtual private network, encrypts and secures all of your internet traffic so that no one can see what you're doing online or from where you're doing it. For all of your online activities, a customized VPN for Mac, iPad, and iPhone adds an extra degree of protection and anonymity. Do you wish to discover more about VPNs in general?

8. Disable Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and geolocation

There are several systems on your iOS device that can identify you, intercept your communications, or even hack into your data. Bluetooth technology is regularly singled out for its many security flaws that could unduly give hackers access to your devices.

Similarly, wi-fi can be used as an attack vector, especially when you connect to a public network. Finally, geolocation can track your every move, posing privacy and security risks.

If possible, turn off these services when you are not using them.

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