Cell phones have become an extension of people’s lives – used to accomplish various tasks from the mundane to the essential. They store all sorts of data from photos to personal information and sensitive documents. Everyone aims to own the best cell phone available on the market, not just for its physical appearance and operating systems, but also for its security features. The iPhone is undoubtedly the leading phone out today which takes pride in its high-end and sophisticated security.
iPhones are highly secure, so why should iPhone users worry about their phone security? Apple indeed has outstanding security for its devices. However, keep in mind that there are criminals out there that use their technological skills to hack iPhones. Security, therefore, is mandatory and since Apple does its part in ensuring the security of their devices and users, you too must do your part.
iPhone Threats: What To Watch Out For
iPhone, as mentioned, is highly secure which often leads to iPhone users becoming too complacent. Hackers and other cybercriminals take advantage of complacency to find phone weak points which they can use to penetrate the device. Here are some threats that iPhone users must be cautious of.
While iPhone viruses are extremely rare, malware could still infiltrate an iPhone, particularly if it is jailbroken. Jailbreaking opens up your iPhone to potential threats especially from Apps that are downloaded from sources other than the App Store. Types of malware to watch out for includes spyware, viruses, trojans, adware, and more.
Vulnerabilities in operating systems are gateways for malware and similar threats. iPhone operating systems are not exempt from this. Often, new updates are meant to resolve previous security vulnerabilities and bugs. This is why it’s crucial to keep your iOS up-to-date.
Phishing is a widespread problem that can victimize anyone regardless of the phone they use. Phishing scams may use pop-ups, fake emails with malicious links or attachments, phone calls, or text messages to target their victims. Typically, these phishing attempts want the victim to complete a certain task including clicking on a link, downloading an app, or providing personal information.
Unsecured Wi-Fi such as Public Wi-fi could open up iPhone users for man-in-the-middle attacks which intercept information as it is sent to another device or a website. Also, hackers often create fake public Wi-Fi networks that look legitimate or belong to a local business to get access to peoples’ devices. To be on the safe side, only connect to a private Wi-Fi network like a mobile hotspot and use a VPN when on public Wi-Fi.
Trustjacking & Juice Jacking
Trustjacking is a new threat that happens when iPhone users plug into the USB port of an unsecured computer. “Trusting” the computer may exploit the iTunes Wi-Fi sync. Juice jacking operates on the same principle. Malware can be installed on your device via a USB charging port.
iPhone Security: What To Know and Do
iPhone is on top of the list of phones that offer the most stable and reliable security to its users. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t hurt to practice caution at all times. Take advantage of all the security features offered on the iPhone and modify them to fit your needs and lifestyle.
Set a Strong Password
It is still best to set a passcode on your iPhone for better security. Set it to unlock your iPhone when you turn it on or wake it. Setting a passcode also turns on data protection.
Simply go to Settings then tap Face ID & Passcode (for iPhones with Face ID) or Touch ID & Passcode (for iPhones with Touch ID); tap Turn Passcode On. The iPhone also allows you to erase all personal data after 10 consecutive failed passcode attempts which may likely happen if someone attempts to unlock your iPhone. Also, set it up to require you or anyone to enter a passcode no matter how long ago you last unlocked your phone.
Make sure to use a strong password and change reused passwords.
Face ID and Touch ID
Enabling Touch ID or Face ID adds an extra layer of protection to your iPhone. Go to Settings → Face ID & Passcode → Set-up Face ID then simply follow the instructions. The iPhone even allows you to set up an alternate appearance. For Touch ID, go to Settings then Touch ID and Passcode, then follow the onscreen instructions. You can add multiple fingerprints as well as name them.
Set-up Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a great way to prevent access to your account even if someone has your Apple ID and password. This is built-in on iPhones with iOS 9 or later. Just turn on the Two Factor Authentication in Settings and then enter a trusted phone number to which verification codes could be sent. Note that you can’t turn off two-factor authentication on your Settings after two weeks. You would need to click the link on your confirmation email to restore your previous security settings. If you wish to turn off 2FA, read this guide.
Find My iPhone
Find My iPhone is a helpful built-in feature to help locate a lost or stolen iPhone. Aside from possibly finding your iPhone, this would allow you to remotely lock and wipe the data on your iPhone.
iPhone Security FAQs
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about iPhone security that might help with your own queries.
Does the iPhone have built-in security?
iPhones have very sophisticated built-in security and privacy features including passcodes, Face and Touch ID, Find My iPhone, control over your data, and more.
Can my iPhone get a virus?
Yes, iPhones could be vulnerable to viruses and malware particularly if it is jailbroken. Other ways a virus could get on your iPhone include visiting compromised websites, clicking on unknown email or text messages links, or downloading apps and software not through the App Store.
Does Apple still use security questions?
Yes. It is an additional layer of security and a secondary method to identify yourself when contacting Apple Support.
How do I put a Firewall on my iPhone?
On iPhones with OS X v10.6 and later, go to Apple Menu → System Preferences → Security or Security & Privacy → Firewall. Click the lock in the lower-left corner then enter the administrator username and password to unlock the pane. Tap on Turn On Firewall or Start to enable. You may also customize the firewall configuration by clicking Advanced.
How do you know if your iPhone is hacked?
Several signs your iPhone is hacked include:
- Spike in data usage
- iPhone is slow
- The battery is draining quicker than normal
- iPhone stops working or shuts down randomly
- There’s suspicious activity on your iPhone accounts and apps
To surely find out, install a legitimate antivirus app on your iPhone to scan it for threats.
The bottom line is that you are the weakest point in your iPhone security, so make sure to educate yourself on the threats and measures to avoid such threats. Always exercise caution and be mindful of your phone activities especially online interactions and sharing of security and privacy information.
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