In times gone by, IOS devices rarely were ever hacked. Owners worried little about having to protect their information located on them. But times have changed and hackers have more tools and avenues to infiltrate these devices.
IOS devices have security features built-in. We need to know how to take full advantage of them and other measures that are available. A few simple actions will go a long way to protect the information you have stored on your IOS devices. In today’s world, an intruder doesn’t even have to physically have your device in their hands to access the information on it. Opening phishing emails and downloading unscrupulous apps can comprise your information. Public Wi-Fi and charging stations are also opportunities for your information to be stolen.
Very Important – Keep Software Updates Up-to-Date!
One of the most common ways hackers access computer systems is finding weaknesses in operational coding that they can exploit. A major reason software updates are provided is to strengthen the IOS code to eliminate flawed coding. By keeping your software updates current, you are making it harder for your device to be hacked.
To keep up with the latest updates:
- Open Settings and select General
- Select Software Update
- Turn on Automatic Updates
You will be notified of new updates. After downloading them, they will automatically download overnight as long as your device is connected to the internet and fully charged or charging.
Further wisdom: App developers provide updates for their apps for similar reasons. Apps can also be hacked and information was stolen. Keep your app updates current.
Use Strong Passcode Options for Unlocking Your Device
There are 10,000 possible passcode combinations using 4-digits. When using a 6-digit passcode, the possibilities jump to one million. You can see the added advantage of having at least a six-digit numerical passcode. Now add the combination of letters and numbers and the passcodes available become innumerable.
The more complex the passcode, the harder for your device to be broken into.
Modern IOS software provides various options for producing a secure passcode. You can now customize the makeup of your passcode. To create a strong passcode, follow these steps:
- Open Settings and select Passcode
- Enter current passcode and select Change Passcode
- Enter passcode again and select Custom Options
- Choose either Custom Alphanumeric Code to create a passcode combining letters and numbers, or Custom Numeric Code to create a passcode with the amount of numbers to your liking.
Note: For your convenience, you can still use Face or Touch ID to quickly unlock your device. Strong passcodes keep other people out.
Secure Your Pubic Wi-Fi Use With a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a tool that protects you while on public or other non-secured Wi-Fi. A VPN provides encryption of the information coming into and going out of your device. This makes the information useless to those who are trying to intercept your transmissions.
Even though public Wi-Fi is a useful convenience, don’t forget this: A person with a laptop sitting near you at work, in the airport, or at the corner coffee shop can intercept your wireless transmissions and steal your passwords and credit card information without you knowing it.
A VPN for iPhone will protect you as you use your iPhone in different wireless networks. You can connect all of your devices to the same VPN account.
To add VPN security to your device, open up Settings, choose General, and then choose VPN. Enter the configuration information given to you by your VPN provider.
Turn on Find My Phone
In case your device is lost or stolen, the Find My Phone feature provided in IOS devices can help track it down. Another IOS device will show up the missing one on a map. But more importantly, it gives you access to the missing device.
The Find My Phone feature allows you to lock the missing device. For further protection of your information, this feature gives you the ability to remotely erase the data off of it. So, you may never find the lost unit, but your information is protected.
To activate Find My Phone:
- Go to Settings and tap on your account name
- Choose iCloud
- Scroll down to Find My Phone and turn on.
Turn on Find My Phone on all of your devices and computers. The devices under the same account can be used to locate and access a missing one.
Charging Stations Can Be Used as Hacking Stations
Another helpful convenience that is being used to steal people’s private information today is free charging stations. It is called Juice Jacking. Hackers hijack the charging station and install spyware that can either capture your information and/or upload malware to your device.
The thing to remember is that charging cables double as transmission cables. So, while you are charging, information can freely flow.
Here are some recommended ways to avoid being hacked while charging in public:
- While charging, lock your screen and do not use your device.
- Buy a data-blocker for your charging cable.
- Bring your power wall plug with you and plug it into an electrical outlet.
- Carry a charged battery pack and charge your device with it.
Other Helpful Measures You Can Take
- Disable Siri on Lock Screen. She may give your information to others asking her.
- Be careful of how much information you allow apps to access.
- Do not open messages or emails where you do not know the sender, the preview shows only a link or strange message, or for some other reason just seems suspicious. Delete without opening.
- Set your device locking feature to a shorter time period to require passcode access. Settings, Passcode, Require Passcode.
- After ten failed passcode attempts, your IOS device can be set to erase all data. Settings, Passcode, Erase Data.