12 iPhone Security Tips for iOS 12

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Every year – you could almost set the clock accordingly – Apple brings out a new smartphone and a new iOS for all previous iPhones. This year it was iOS 12. This is an exciting time for iPhone users – a new operating system means new functions, gimmicks, apps and much more.

With all of these new enhancements, it’s important to keep in mind that these new features can be conducive or inconvenient to your security and privacy.

We took a look at the new iOS and put together a few tips and tricks to help you make your device, your data and your password usage more secure.

1. Activate the restricted USB mode

USB Restricted Mode is a newer feature on iOS that you may not be familiar with. This security feature prevents USB accessories that are connected to the device from making data connections to an iPhone, iPad or iPod. This helps prevent so-called „juice jacking”, in which malware can be installed on a device or information can be accessed via the USB charging connection.

To enable USB Restricted Mode:
Tap Settings> Touch ID & Passcode, then enter your device passcode. Scroll down and under „Allow access when locked” make sure „USB accessories” is disabled. (On an iPhone X, you’ll need to check your Face ID settings instead.)

2. Make sure to enable automatic iOS updates

Keeping apps and operating systems up to date is critical to the security of your device. Not only are new updates installed, but so-called software security gaps are also fixed. Software security gaps are weak points in an operating system or an application program.

Cyber ​​criminals can exploit these vulnerabilities by writing program code that specifically targets such a security hole. These so-called „exploits” could infect your device without any action on your part – all you have to do is visit a website, open a manipulated e-mail or play infected media.

To check if automatic updates are turned on:
Go to Settings> General> Software Update and enable Automatic Updates.

3. Activate „Find my iPhone”

„Find my iPhone” is Apple’s integrated location software. It uses GPS to locate a lost or stolen smartphone. In addition to tracking, it has other built-in security functions such as the activation lock, which prevents unauthorized persons from using your iPhone. The user’s Apple ID and password are required for access. Without this information, nobody can turn off Find My iPhone, erase the data on your device, or reactivate and use the device.

To
turn on Find My iPhone: Tap Settings> your username> iCloud. Scroll down and tap Find My iPhone. Swipe the screen to turn on Find My iPhone and Send Last Location. When asked to sign in, enter your Apple ID.

4. Disable lock screen options

There are controls on the iPhone’s lock screen that allow quick access to some functions such as the camera, wallet, and WiFi and Bluetooth connections. Although they do not grant a user unrestricted access to the smartphone, someone can still get some personal data with these functions.

To turn off controls on the lock screen:
Tap Settings> Control Center. Disable the controls that you don’t want to be accessible from the lock screen.

5. Use a VPN in public WLAN networks

A virtual private network (VPN) gives you the ability to have a more private and secure connection to the Internet wherever you use it. A VPN acts as a kind of tunnel that encrypts the data that you send and receive on public WiFi, e.g. B. in a café or at the airport.

6. Use additional encryption when backing up

Your smartphone contains a lot of sensitive data. In addition to keeping a copy of this data, you want to protect it as well. The best way to back up your Apple devices is to connect to your computer and use iTunes. Make sure iTunes is set up to encrypt these backups. This way your data is encrypted and you can create a separate password.

To use extra encryption when backing up Apple devices
Open iTunes when you connect your device to your computer. Select your device from the iTunes drop-down menu. In the „Backups” section, select the „Encrypt iPhone backup” check box. You will then be asked to create a password.

7. Check your privacy settings regularly

Sometimes you install apps that are only used for a short time and then just take up space. You should check your device for such apps as they can also be a security risk. Unwanted apps can drain your battery and slow down your device. Sometimes the privacy policy changes in the apps. This could pose a privacy concern if you don’t carefully read the fine print.

To check
your privacy settings: Tap Settings> Privacy. Here is the master list of all permissions, along with the apps to which you have granted them. Go through this list regularly and revoke any permissions that you think a particular app doesn’t need.

8. Set a more secure code for the device

The iPhone has a four-digit numeric code by default. Did you know you can now change this and use alphanumeric passwords on your phone?

To set a more secure passcode for
your device: Tap Settings> Touch ID & Passcode, then enter your passcode. Define an individual numeric code.

9. Set up two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication – also known as 2FA – is a method of verifying your identity that uses a second form of authentication in addition to the password for the respective account. It consists of two of the following three components:

Something you know – a PIN, password, or pattern.
Something you have – a debit or credit card, cell phone, or security token such as a bank card. B. a key fob or a USB token.
Something you are – biometric authentication, e.g. B. a voice sample or a fingerprint

To set up 2FA:
Under Settings, tap your name, then tap Password & Security. Tap „Two-Factor Authentication” and follow the instructions.

10. Use Touch ID or Face ID

In addition to a secure code, you can add another layer of protection by enabling both Touch ID and Face ID, if available.

To set up Touch ID or Face ID:
Tap Settings> Face ID & Passcode. When prompted, enter your code.
Tap Configure Face ID, then follow the on-screen instructions.
Tap Settings> Touch ID & Passcode, then enter your passcode. Then follow the instructions on the screen.

11. Make sure your iPhone screen locks quickly

It is safest to set the „Request Code” option to „Immediately”. This means that you or anyone who picks up your smartphone will have to enter your code, regardless of how long it has been since you last unlocked the smartphone.

To set up auto-lock:
Tap Settings> General> Auto-Lock.

12. Change passwords that are used repeatedly

The iOS 12 Password Manager has a new feature: password verification. One of the main difficulties with passwords is choosing a different, unique password for each individual account. Unfortunately, this rule is not always followed. With the new function for checking passwords, Apple is helping to make it easier for you to manage the many different passwords. This function checks your saved passwords and informs you if you have duplicates.

To change your re-used passwords:
Tap Settings> Passwords & Accounts> Website & App Passwords. Then enter your device code. A small warning icon will appear next to any account that recognizes a reused password. Just tap the „Change Password on Website” button then you are done.