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Apple generally has a reasonably good reputation for data security. However, it’s fair to say it’s gone downhill a little recently, after a run of newly discovered vulnerabilities in the company’s devices and operating systems hit the headlines.
While it’s fair to say that Apple devices are (at least subjectively) more inherently secure that their Windows and Android equivalents, it would be a fallacy to believe your iPhone couldn’t ever get hacked. They can get hacked and they do get hacked. So, this article presents you with five ways to reduce the chance of this happening.
1. Use a six-digit unlock code
It’s a really obvious thing to do, but if you activate a six-digit unlock code on your iPhone instead of one with four digits, you make the code exponentially harder to crack. Apple has recently started requesting six-digit codes by default, but if you still have a four digit one, get it changed to make life more difficult for any chancer who tries to steal your phone. If you want to make logging onto your phone even more difficult for an opportunist, you can select an alphanumeric code. Provided your device is reasonably modern and has TouchID or FaceID, you won’t have to keep putting the code in yourself, so this extra security step shouldn’t inconvenience you unduly.
2. Keep your iOS patches up to date
It sometimes seems as if there’s an update waiting to be installed on your iPhone almost every time you look at it, and it’s fair to say the frequency of updates is pretty regular. However, the reason for these updates is often because Apple has discovered a vulnerability that puts your data security at risk. So, tempting though it may be to continually tap the update requests away, asking iOS to “remind you later,” try to update as soon as you’re asked to. This could save you from getting hacked.
3. Disable access to Siri from the lock screen
If you’re in the habit of using Siri as a digital assistant, it can prove useful to have the feature available on the home screen so you can just grab your phone and ask a question. However, this also means other people could do the same, and people seem to keep discovering ways to access personal information by making use of Siri’s clever features. If you want your phone to be more secure, disable lock screen access to Siri.
4. Use a VPN when you connect to public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi makes life awfully convenient and gives you a way to keep connected almost all the time. The trouble is, public Wi-Fi is a common target for hackers, who can sit on the network and (very easily) look at data belonging to the people who are connected. The way around this is to install a VPN app on your iPhone. What this will do is encrypt your connection so anyone snooping on the Wi-Fi network sees encrypted garbage instead of your passwords and personal details. If you use public Wi-Fi with any kind of regularity, doing this is a must.
5. Use two-factor authentication
It’s possible to switch on two-factor authentication (2FA) from the “Password and Security” settings menu on your iPhone. What this will do is force anyone who tries to use your Apple ID to get authorization via one of your existing devices.
This means you get a “heads up” if someone out there tries to use your Apple ID, where otherwise you could have remained completely unaware. It won’t affect the day-to-day use of your iPhone but will be made you far more secure.While nobody could give you advice that will 100% protect you from hackers, following these suggestions will put you many steps ahead of those who make no effort to improve their security – so put them into practice now!
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