Continuing our posts on iPhone safety, it looks like there has been a “hackfest” going on this season. Most recently, Apple's Dev center security was compromised leading to a shutdown that lasted for a few days. A little later, iTunes Store also stopped activating iPhones.
Although this doesn't really concern normal iPhone and iPad users, it's time to review your security. These recent “developments” are more like reminders for users to reset and check their iPhone/iPad security measures.
About two months back, we had a Chinese developer post that one could inject malicious code into the iPhone via chargers – which kind of makes it clear that your iPhone/iPad or any iOS system isn't really fool-proof in terms of security. If you use a jailbroken iPhone and install tweaks right, left and center, there's a strong chance that your iPhone data gets compromised at some point.
Now obviously, Apple takes security very strictly and enforces a bunch of stuff that makes sure your data is safe at all times. Nevertheless, you cannot be overly cautious. Which is why we have here a run-down of the most important things you should do to protect and safeguard your iPhone data.
- Change Apple ID Passwords
- Change iPhone Passcode
- Review Find My iPhone via iCloud.com
- Remove iTunes Credit Card Info if not in Use
- Set Content Restrictions on iPhone/iPad
Change Apple ID Passwords
Since it's the Apple website whose security has been compromised (even though it's just a part of it), it makes sense to review your passwords of all the Apple ID accounts that you use. It's also a good time to change the passwords to something that you can remember but nobody can guess. Follow the usual password guidelines while not making it an easy-to-guess data (do not include birthdates, character-number transcoding etc.)
Change the iPhone/iPad Passcode
It's not often that your iPhone/iPad goes into other's hands but to avoid any fallout, make sure you've set up an iPhone/iPad passcode. On the face value, this seems like a poor defense but it's one of the strongest defense mechanisms just in case your iPhone gets lost or stolen.
Passcodes should be equally hard to guess as passwords for your email ID. Passwords like 1111, 1234 or 9876 – totally avoid them. Also, don't have passwords that are number-variants of common four-letter words like LIFE, LOVE, PASS, FONE etc. And definitely no birthdays.
Review “Find My iPhone” via iCloud.com
“Find My iPhone” is the tech that lets you track your iPhone wherever it is. It also lets you lock down the iPhone or erase data just in case it falls into the wrong hands.
Find My iPhone is really one-time setup and forget but it doesn't hurt to review the settings once again. To do this:
- Make sure Find My iPhone is turned ON in Settings → iCloud → Find My iPhone
- Open iCloud.com on your PC/Mac and click on Find My iPhone.
- Check to see if your device is listed and also, test if it's trackable.
Remove iTunes Credit Card Info if not in use
A lot of users don't purchase stuff but their credit card info stays on the account. If you're not using your account to purchase anything, make sure you login to your Apple ID account, then in the credit card info, change it to None so that even if your account gets hacked, no one can make purchases through it.
Setup Content Restrictions
One of the easiest ways to prevent accidental in-app purchases or access to apps is to set up content restrictions on your iPhone/iPad via Settings → General → Restrictions.
You can setup content restrictions for apps like Safari, Mail or you can prevent apps from showing up on the homescreen. This will also prevent others from snooping into your mail, downloading stuff without your permission and accessing or editing your photos, calendar etc.