Many iPhone owners are confident that they have nothing to worry about because their device is very well protected. Partly, that is true. Apple does all it can to provide top-notch security to its users. Additionally, iOS itself was designed in a way that makes it impossible for many modern threats to harm Apple devices.
However, it does not mean that you can relax and do nothing to secure your iPhone from hackers. No one can guarantee that you won’t lose your device or it doesn’t get stolen. You can’t be sure that somebody does not get access to the information on your iPhone when you leave it on the table for just a couple of minutes.
So, if you want to be sure nobody ever hacks your device it is better to take several precaution steps in advance. Keep on reading to find out how to protect your iPhone from hackers.
Don’t Make It Easier for Hacker: Never Jailbreak
If you want hackers to stay away from your iPhone, don’t even think about jailbreaking your device. No matter how tempting it looks to access apps and software not available in the Apple Store, remember that unauthorized sources will also expose you to online threats, including malware.
Also, with a jailbroken device you lose your warranty and thus, won’t get any support from Apple if you have issues with your iPhone.
Always Keep iOS Up to Date
So, to secure any device against existing threats, you should always use the latest software. That is also a matter for iPhone owners. The reason is simple: Apples’ tech specialists are continually monitoring the situation concerning new types of malware. And they improve the security features based on the data they receive.
Although that sometimes Apple team finds weak points in the update itself. They react quickly, but still, hackers do have some time to use the vulnerabilities to get access to users’ devices. Therefore, you may consider postponing an update for one or two weeks after the new iOS version becomes available. This time should be enough for Apple to fix all issues if any.
To update your iPhone to the latest iOS version, go to Settings app – General – Software Update. You will get a message whether you are using the most up-to-date iOS or need to upgrade it.
Secure Your Connection: Get the Best VPN for iPhone
Always use a reputable VPN service for your device. It is the best way to protect your online privacy by masking your real IP address and encrypting all the traffic that goes from and to your iPhone. Also, the best VPNs for iPhone use robust features which provide every single user with an additional layer of security (kill switch, firewall, dedicated IP, and more).
Protect Your Apple ID with Two-Factor Authentication
Two-Factor Authentication is one of the most progressive ways to protect iPhone from hackers. When it is enabled, you will have to use a device chosen earlier to log in to a new one.
That’s how it works. Let’s say you bought a new iPad. When you need to sign using your Apple ID for the first time, you will receive a notification on your old iPhone and will have to approve the sign-in action on iPad. If you grant the permission, a verification code will come to your iPhone. You will have to use the code on your iPad to approve the device.
Note that this feature requires iOS 9 or later and is used by default on all versions from iOS 11 (you may turn it off though).
To activate Two-Factor Authentication, follow the following actions chain: go to the Settings app – tap your name – choose Password and Security – tap Two-Factor Authentication.
Enable Find my iPhone
As an iPhone owner, you probably know that its Find My iPhone feature allows tracking the location of the device from a computer or another iOS device. So, if you are unlucky to lose your iPhone, you will know where it is. Of course, this will not protect you from hackers, but you will be able to erase all information on the device remotely.
To activate Find My iPhone, do the following: go to the Settings app – tap your Apple ID – choose iCloud – tap Find My iPhone below – slide the toggle to Find My iPhone.
Use Six-Digit or Longer Passcode
Have you heard about GrayKey? That is a hacking tool which can crack passwords on iOS devices. The most exciting thing is that law-enforcement agencies use it. Breaking a four-digit code is a matter of hours, while to crack a six-digit password GrayKey will need several days.
You may tell you there is no single reason for police to crack your phone. Great! But are you sure there are no similar programs which hackers use?
Of course, Apple is trying to take care of this issue too. But it is better not to wait until the company offers a solution and take precaution steps yourself. So, what you can do to stay secure?
- Think of a long password. The longer, the better. It will take ages to crack a long code even with the most sophisticated cracking tools.
- Choose letters and symbols rather than numbers for your password. Ideally, use a words mix which would sound odd to others. You will need a few extra seconds to unlock your iPhone when you want to use it. But does it matter when your security is at stake?
To create a long passphrase, follow the chain: Settings – Touch ID & Passcode – Change Passcode – Passcode options – Custom Numeric Code or Custom Alphanumeric Code. Enter and verify the new Passcode.
But what if you prefer using Touch ID or Face ID to unlock your device? You should still have a secure passcode to restart your iPhone, for instance. Once again, this is a necessary security measure.
Activate Erase Data to Protect Sensitive Information
Such a measure may be uncomfortable for some people, but it is a great way to protect your sensitive information in case someone tries to get access to it. When you activate the Erase Data feature, your mobile device will be ready to get rid of all the information on it if it detects ten incorrect passcode attempts. Therefore, it will become useless for a hacker.
If you are among those people who are afraid to be the ones to cause the iPhone cleanup accidentally, we advise you also to activate an automatic iCloud backup. If your data is erased (no matter what the reason is), you will be able to recover your files.
To turn the Erase Data option on, go to Settings – Select Touch ID & Passcode – Erase Data (toggle it on).
Disable Siri on Lock Screen
The chances that someone would want to hack in your device with Siri are minimal. But there are ways for snoopers to access users’ private information using Siri. So, it won’t hurt to close this loophole too, especially, if you are concerned that you may lose your device one day. If you turn Siri off, a hacker will need to enter your passcode to unlock the iPhone.
To turn off Siri on Lock Screen follow the following chain: Settings app – Siri – Access When Locked (turn it off).
Turn off Autofill in Safari
Autofill is a handy feature which allows browsing our favorite websites without entering credentials for different accounts. You don’t even have to type in your banking card information when shopping online because the Apple device will do it for you. Ant this is the moment to get worried. If a hacker accesses your iPhone, they will receive access to your login details too.
So, the idea to turn the autofill might sound quite reasonable. To deactivate this feature, go to Settings – Safari – Autofill and turn off each option.
Manage Information Displayed on the Lock Screen
With iOS 10, you may have plenty of information displayed right on the home screen. It is handy but also becomes dangerous if your phone appears in wrong hands. However, it is up to you how much information you want to see on your home screen. To control that, go to Settings – Touch ID & Passcode and disable all apps which you think should be hidden.
You may also customize your screen by using the Edit button down on the screen.
When choosing what should be there on the front window, consider not displaying Home Control. Also, leave Previews for your messages and email apps to avoid texts appear on the screen.
Finally, think of disabling Raise to Wake feature so that nobody can read your data if you leave your iPhone unattended for a couple of minutes.
Beware of Phishing Scams
One of the most popular ways for hackers to get access to users’ devices is by distributing malware links and scam emails. Rule number one is never to open links, messages, or emails coming from unknown sources. Never hesitate to delete anything that looks suspicious, including SMS and emails.
But hackers use many cheating schemes. For example, they may send you an email saying they are PayPal or Apple and that they’ve blocked your account. Then they prompt you to follow some link and type your login credentials there. Be careful with that.
Apple does a great job of protecting every single device they produced. Security is the top priority every time they provide a new version of the software for an update. The team reacts quickly to get rid of vulnerabilities. But still, you shouldn’t ignore simple things to protect iPhone from hackers. Don’t forget that you’re the one who’s responsible for your security.