How to make your iphone more secure when locked

Account Information

Share with Your Friends

How to improve the security and privacy of your iPhone: 5 steps

How to improve the security and privacy of your iPhone: 5 steps

Protecting the data on your smartphone is paramount. Here are five simple changes you can enact to make your iPhone more secure.

For most users, smartphones are a treasure trove of personal data and private information. With the concept of mobility expanding to include more forms of communication than ever before, these phones become a central point where many aspects of life converge.

As such, smartphones have also become a prime target for hackers and thieves. The hardware itself is valuable, sure, but the data within could give someone access to credit cards, bank accounts, and more.

The iPhone is known for its security, due to Apple’s closed ecosystem and the company’s stance on encryption, but there are some additional steps you can take and settings you can change to further improve it. Here are five quick tips that will help you boost the security and privacy of your iPhone.

1. Enable ‘Erase Data’

One way that an iPhone user can further limit an outsider’s access to their personal data is to enable data wiping in the event of a passcode failure. If enabled, this feature will erase all the data on your iPhone after 10 failed attempts at guessing the passcode.

To turn it on, tap the Settings icon, and then tap the “Touch ID & Passcode” option. After being prompted to put in your current passcode, scroll to the bottom of the page. Then, simply tap the slider next to “Erase Data” to enable the feature.

If you plan on using this feature, make sure your data is regularly backed up to your computer, or to your iCloud account. Also, make sure you don’t forget your passcode!

2. Limit access on the lock screen

One of the more useful features of the iPhone is that it enables glanceable notifications and access on the phone’s lock screen. However, this also creates privacy and security concerns, as thieves can access important information, including your Apple Wallet, and perform functions through Siri, without your password.

To limit what is available to view on the lock screen, follow the same steps to get to the Erase Data feature above. Tap the Settings icon, and then tap the “Touch ID & Passcode” option. After being prompted to put in your passcode, scroll to the bottom of the page. Under “Allow Access When Locked,” you will see a list of features you can enable or disable. The features with the green sliders are enabled and viewable on the lock screen, so tap them to turn off their lock screen access.

3. Limit advertising

Much like other tech vendors, Apple uses your data to provide targeted ads. To disable this, start by tapping the Settings icon, and then tap “Privacy.” Scroll to the bottom of this page, and tap on the “Advertising” option. Next, simply tap the “Limit Ad Tracking” slider to turn it on, and you’re all set.

4. Turn off location tracking

One of the ways that mobile devices provide contextual information is by leveraging your location data. To limit or disable location tracking on your iPhone, go into the Settings and tap on “Privacy.” Toward the top of the screen, you’ll see a “Location Services” options, which you should tap.

If you want to customize and limit which features and apps have access to your location, tap the “System Services” tab at the bottom of the page. If you pursue this option, disabling features such as “Share My Location” and “Frequent Locations” are good places to start. However, if you just want to disable Location Services as a whole, at the top of the Location Services page, simply tap the slider next to “Location Services” so that it isn’t green. Keep in mind, though, this will limit the functionality of some apps and services.

5. Authenticate like a pro

Most iPhone users who have a passcode use a simple four- or six-digit code. But setting a longer and more complex passcode can improve your security. To do so, from Settings, tap “Touch ID & Passcode,” and enter your current passcode. Tap the “Change Passcode” option and follow the prompt to enter your current passcode again. When you’re given the option to input a new passcode, tap the “Passcode Options” link, and you can set a longer numerical or alphanumeric passcode there.

If you want to improve your authentication even further, consider setting up two-factor authentication as well.

Harry Guinness is a photography expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience. His work has been published in newspapers like The New York Times and on a variety of other websites, from Lifehacker to Popular Science and Medium’s OneZero. Read more.

Locking your iPhone does a pretty good job at keeping people away from your personal information, but there are still some things someone unscrupulous can do without typing in your passcode.

  • See your Today View with all your Widgets.
  • See your recent notifications.
  • Use the Control Center.
  • Use Siri to make phone calls, set alarms, search the web, and everything else that doesn’t require you to unlock your phone.
  • Reply to Messages.
  • Control your smart home.
  • Try to use Apple Wallet (although they won’t be able to actually make a purchase).
  • Return Missed Calls.
  • Take photos.

When you think about it, while they might not be able to go through your photos or text messages, someone who has access to your phone can still do quite a lot. If they want to make some cash they could call a premium rate number; if they just want to prank you, they could set a few dozen alarm clocks for 4 am.

If you want to make sure your phone is properly secure when it’s locked, here’s what to do.

Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and enter your passcode. (On an iPhone X, this will be Settings > Face ID & Passcode, and on older iPhones, it will be Settings > Passcode).

Scroll down to “Allow Access When Locked”. By default, everything will be on. Toggle off anything you don’t want to be available when your iPhone is locked. The only thing you can’t turn off is access to the camera. That will always be available from the lock screen if you swipe to the left.

There are a few slightly deeper options. If you want notifications to appear on the Lock Screen, but not show the preview, you can do that too. It’s probably a pretty good balance between hiding notifications and leaving them available for everyone to read. Also, if you want Siri to be available but unable to make phone calls with your iPhone locked, leave Siri on but turn off Voice Dial.

Let’s be careful out there.

Matt Elliott, a technology writer for more than a decade, is a PC tester and Mac user based in New Hampshire.

After misplacing my phone for roughly 24 hours and then happily reuniting with it, I have learned a few lessons about securing an iPhone ($298 at Amazon) . These tips will not only help keep your data safe during the uneasy time you and your iPhone are separated, but they will also help you track down your lost iPhone. Let’s get to it.

1. Use a passcode

First step: set up a passcode. Do not walk around with an iPhone that anyone can swipe to open. Protect your iPhone with a passcode — preferably a six-digit passcode or a custom numeric or alphanumeric code. With either Touch ID or Face ID , you won’t need to enter your passcode unless your finger is wet or you are bundled up to a degree that your face is obscured. You can set up a passcode by going to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode or Settings > Face ID & Passcode and enroll your fingerprint or face. Make sure iPhone Unlock is toggled on after you set up your passcode.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

2. Disable lock screen options

Even if you have a rock-solid passcode, a nefarious individual can still get into your phone via the lock screen. In her efforts to be helpful, Siri can share too much information from the lock screen, freely displaying personal information to whomever finds your lost phone. If this thought scares you, then it’s best to disable Siri from the lock screen.

Another way hackers can get into your iPhone — or at least buy some time to find a way to circumvent your passcode — is to enable Airplane mode via Control Center from the lock screen. With your iPhone in Airplane mode, you can’t track it via Find my iPhone.

To disable access to Siri and the Control Center from the lock screen, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode (or Face ID & Passcode) and toggle off Control Center and Siri in the Allow Access When Locked list.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

3. Make your iPhone lock sooner

If you leave your iPhone behind in a restaurant, bus or another public place, someone could act quickly and get into your phone before your passcode is required. You can set your passcode to be required after a certain amount of time has passed since you last unlocked your phone so that you aren’t constantly being asked to punch in your passcode each time you attempt to get into your phone. You can set it for up to four hours, which is on the convenient end of the convenience vs. security spectrum.

This setting can be found on the Touch ID & Passcode page of Settings. The most secure option is to set Require Passcode to Immediately, which will require you or anyone who picks up your phone to enter your passcode no matter how long ago you last unlocked your phone. This setting is set to Immediately by default when you set up Touch ID or Face ID.

4. Enable data protection

If someone has your iPhone and enough time, they could systematically guess at your passcode until they landed on the right combination, especially if you use only a four-digit passcode. To prevent a thief with tons of free time from accomplishing such a feat, your iPhone has a security feature that will wipe your phone if 10 consecutive incorrect attempts are made to enter your passcode. Don’t worry: Your clumsy attempts at remembering your passcode — or your kid’s — won’t erase your phone. After the first four attempts, iOS adds a delay until you can try again. There’s a one-minute delay after the fifth attempt, five minutes after the sixth, 15 minutes after attempts seven and eight, and a full hour after the ninth attempt.

Head to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode, scroll down to the bottom and toggle on Erase Data to enable this feature.

See also

  • WWDC 2018 highlights little things adding up, especially in iOS 12
  • No Macs, no iPads leaves us waiting for hardware in September
  • Here are the biggest iOS 12 features Apple announced at WWDC 2018
  • Full coverage of WWDC 2018

5. Turn on Find My iPhone

Even if you have ignored the first four steps here, I implore you to enable Find My iPhone. It doesn’t add any inconvenience in the day-to-day operation of your iPhone and is easy to set up. With it enabled, you can track your lost device from another iOS device or your computer, seeing where your iPhone is on a map. You can also play sound on your lost phone to aid your search efforts. And if you really aren’t having any luck with locating your iPhone, Find My iPhone lets you lock your iPhone and also remotely erase its data.

To turn on Find My iPhone, go to Settings > [your account name] > iCloud > Find My iPhone and toggle the switch on for Find My iPhone.

6. Set up two-step verification

For this last tip, I’ll turn it over to Jason Cipriani, who previously wrote about how to enable set up two-step verification for your Apple ID. Two-step verification protects the data you have stored with Apple, including photos and files in iCloud and payment information for iTunes. With two-step verification enabled, someone would need another of your devices to get into your account, even if they had managed to get a hold of your password.

Originally published December 8, 2015. Updated June 8, 2018: Added information about data protection.

Account Information

Share with Your Friends

10 ways to secure the Apple iPhone

10 ways to secure the Apple iPhone

When you think about security vulnerabilities, your iPhone may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the risks are real — in fact, the CIS has now developed its iPhone security benchmark. Learn about the many options you can leverage to make your iPhone more secure.

When you think about security vulnerabilities, your iPhone may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the risks are real — in fact, the CIS has now developed its iPhone security benchmark. Learn about the many options you can leverage to make your iPhone more secure.

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) is well-known for developing security benchmarks for operating systems, applications, network devices, and now the Apple iPhone. I’ve read the iPhone benchmark and felt that TechRepublic’s 10 Things format would be the perfect way for me to pass along some of their advice. The complete document can be found at the CIS benchmark portal. So let’s make sure your iPhone is secure.

1: Make sure firmware is up to date

Like computer operating system software, keeping the iPhone’s firmware up to date is important in reducing the vulnerability footprint. The latest version of firmware is 2.2.1. Select Settings | General | About to determine what version the iPhone is using. If the iPhone is using an older version, follow the steps below to update the firmware:

  1. Connect the iPhone to the computer.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. Select iPhone under Devices in the source list.
  4. Select Check For Update.
  5. Select Download And Install.

2: Disable Wi-Fi when not in use

This is self-apparent, yet important enough to include in the list. Most people automatically disable Wi-Fi to conserve the battery. But knowing that disabling Wi-Fi eliminates an attack vector may be added incentive to turn Wi-Fi on only when needed. Use the following steps to disable Wi-Fi:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Turn Wi-Fi off.

3: Disallow automatic association to networks

By default, the iPhone retains association settings of the Wi-Fi networks it connects to, which allows the phone to automatically reconnect when within range. Automatic association isn’t recommended, as it’s easy to spoof trusted networks. Still, disallowing automatic association is kind of a pain, as doing so requires you to enter the passkey each time. I’ll leave this one up to you. To prevent automatic association use the following steps:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Select Wi-Fi (make sure Wi-Fi is on).
  3. Tap the blue arrow of the network to forget.
  4. Select Forget This Network.

4: Turn Bluetooth off when not being used

Features that make life easier for the user tend to make it easier for bad guys as well. Bluetooth is one such feature; it allows many conveniences, such as the use of wireless headsets and sharing information between phones. Yet attackers can also use it to Bluejack or Bluesnarf a phone.

For some reason, the iPhone isn’t set up to just turn off discovery. So the only way to prevent unwanted discovery and associations is to use the following steps to turn Bluetooth off:

  1. Pick Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Bluetooth.
  4. Turn Bluetooth off.

5: Disable location services until needed

Turning location services off doesn’t immediately increase security; it just prevents the user’s location from being published. I personally think disabling the service is a good idea for two reasons. First, it’s a significant battery drain. Second, disabling the service isn’t an inconvenience. It’s simple to turn the location service back on from within the application that needs positioning information. If so desired, follow the steps below to disable location services:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Turn Location Services off.

6: Set a passcode

Setting a passcode definitely increases the security of the iPhone. It makes it harder for someone to gain access to the iPhone because the phone automatically locks after a user-determined amount of inactivity. Setting a passcode is also required for feature seven to work. Use the following steps to set a passcode:

  1. Select Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Passcode Lock.
  4. Enter a four-digit passcode.
  5. Re-enter the same passcode.

7: Erase data if too many wrong passcodes are entered

After 10 wrong passcode attempts, user settings and any data stored on the iPhone will be erased if this setting is enabled. It’s a valuable feature because a four-digit passcode of just numbers will eventually be discovered, and this option ensures that any sensitive information will not get into the wrong hands. Use the following steps to turn erase data on:

  1. Select Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Choose Passcode Lock.
  4. Turn Erase Data on.

8: Erase data before returning or repairing the iPhone

To some, this may be apparent, but many people don’t even think about removing sensitive data before selling or sending their phone in for repair. Use the following steps to prevent others from accessing your personal information:

  1. Select Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Choose Reset.
  4. Select Erase All Contents And Settings.

9: Disable SMS preview

Even when the iPhone is locked, it’s still possible to preview a recently received text message. I immediately disabled SMS preview on my iPhone, as I do not want my text messages visible when the phone is locked. If you agree, use the following steps to turn off SMS preview:

  1. Select Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Choose Passcode Lock.
  4. Turn Show SMS Preview off.

10: Disable JavaScript and plug-ins in Safari

Because the iPhone uses a fully functional Web browser, it is susceptible to all the same JavaScript and plug-in exploits that plague normal computers. I recommend disabling JavaScript and plug-ins, but doing so breaks certain Web page characteristics. It’s yet another balancing act between security and usability. If you want to err on the side of security, use the following steps to disable both:

  1. Select Settings.
  2. Tap Safari.
  3. Turn JavaScript off.
  4. Turn Plug-Ins off.

Final thoughts

Most of the above security enhancements are intuitive, but I’ve found that unless prodded, most people don’t take advantage of them. I can’t in good conscious say that applying all of these enhancements is the only way; that’s going to be up to you. I just wanted to make sure everyone knew what was available. I also want to thank CIS again for its diligence in preparing the iPhone security benchmark.

Although iOS devices are considered to be relatively secure when compared with some competitors, there are still ways for someone to gain access to your sensitive data if your iPhone or iPad is incorrectly setup, or setup for convenience over security.

We’ve put together these 7 essential tips to help you secure your iOS device to make it significantly harder for someone to access your private information.

1. Use a 6 digit pass code

The process of installing spyware on an iOS device almost always requires the hacker to have physical access to the device. To ensure your device is secure, set a 6 digit pass code on your device:

Solution: Go to Settings –> Touch ID & Passcode. Tap Turn Passcode On. Enter a pass code. Enter your pass code again to confirm it.

2. Enable two-factor authentication on your iCloud account

Some companies such as mSpy and Highster offer services that can extract data from an iCloud account. Normally, the hacker would need to enter the victim’s Apple ID and password to start capturing data from the iCloud account such as text messages, call logs, photos and app data. When you set up two-step authentication, you register a trusted device that can receive 4-digit verification codes using either SMS or the Find My iPhone service. Anytime you (or a provider of spy solutions) attempt to gain access to your iCloud account, the changable 4-digit verification code is also required.

Solution: Follow Apple’s instructions for enabling two-factor authentication here:

3. Disable automatic backups to iCloud

If you don’t want your data to be backed up to iCloud and would prefer to manage your backups on your computer (using iTunes) then we would recommend disabling automatic backups to iCloud using the following method:

Solution: Go to “Settings” –> “iCloud” –> “Storage” –> “Manage Storage”. Tap the name of your iOS device then “Delete Backup”. When you’re asked to confirm, choose “Turn Off & Delete” to turn off Backup and remove all backups for that iOS device from iCloud.

4. Encrypt your iTunes backups

iTunes backups contain a complete copy of the data held on your iOS device and are often overlooked as a potenrial risk of data compromise. If somebody gains access to an iTunes backup from your computer they would potentially have access to all of your call logs, text messages, app data, photos and much more. To ensure your iTunes backup is secure, encrypt it with a strong password in iTunes:

Solution: Open iTunes on your PC or Mac –> Connect your iOS device –> Go to the Summary Pane –> Tick “Encrypt iPhone Backup” –> Enter a strong password.

5. Disable Siri on the lock screen

Whilst Siri can be a useful tool to many, if configured incorrectly it can be possible for someone to extract information from your device or even make calls without needing to know your pass code. Disable access to Siri when your device is locked to protect your device:

Solution: Go to “Settings” –> “Passcode” (or “Touch ID and passcode”) –> “Allow access when locked” section –> “Siri: off” and “Settings” –> “General” –> “Siri” –> “Allow “Hey Siri”: off”.

6. Disable auto-join to known Wi-Fi Networks

With the introduction of such hardware as the WiFi Pineapple it has become very easy for hackers to imitate WiFi networks and capture the data transmitted by any victims connected to their Pineapple WiFi Hotspot. By default, iOS devices are configured to automatically join any WiFi network with the same name (SSID) as one previously connected to. For example, if you have ever connected to a free Hotspot, such as Starbucks or McDonalds, a hacker could configure his malicious WiFi hotspot to masquerade as that network. Your iPhone will see this network and automatically connect and start sending data. Fortunately, there is a way to protect yourself from this type of attack:

Solution: Go to “Settings” –> “Wi-Fi” –> “Ask to join networks: on”

7. Keep iOS Up-to-date

Most iOS spyware requires the device to be Jailbroken (the process of removing restrictions on an Apple device to allow the installation of third-party applications, such as spyware) in order for it to function. Ensuring your iOS version is always up-to-date is the best way to protect your device from spyware that requires your device to be Jailbroken, as updating your iOS version will cause any Jailbreak and associated spyware to stop working.

Solution: Go to “Settings” –> “General” –> “Software Update” and update to the latest version.

If you are concerned your device has been compromised, perform a spyware scan with Certo AntiSpy:

With every passing day, smartphones become more important in our everyday lives, making it a priority to keep them as safe and secure as possible.

There are many ways to do this of course, but what if instead of telling you about one or another safety method, I share with you 5 really great ways to make your iPhone safer and more secure that can all be implemented in a matter of seconds and, which combined, will make your iPhone a lot safer in case of loss or robbery.

Let’s take a look at them.

Cool Tip: Android users can take a look at our write-up on best apps to secure your Android phone.

1. Enable Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone is a great free service that Apple provides to all its iOS device and Mac users that allows you to locate, remote lock and remote wipe your devices from any browser or other device in case their iPhones get lost or stolen.

To access it from your iPhone for you to locate and control your other devices, simply download the Find My iPhone app from the App Store using this link. We have already covered the process in detail in a previous post.

To enable Find My iPhone on your iPhone so it can be located and remote locked or wiped by you from any other device or browser, head to Settings > iCloud and scroll down until you find the Find My iPhone toggle. Once you do, turn it ON.

2. Keep Your iPhone’s Firmware Up to Date

Having your iPhone run the latest official iOS release distributed by Apple helps it also stay up to date with the latest security patches and bug fixes implemented by iOS.

To ensure you are running the latest version of iOS on your iPhone, from its home screen, go to Settings > General > Software Update. There you will see if your iPhone is up to date. If it is not, you will be able to update it right from that screen or use iTunes to do so.

3. Enable Auto-Lock and Passcode Lock

These two security options within the iPhone are extremely helpful but too often overlooked. When enabled, Passcode Lock, as its name states, requires you to type a unique passcode or password in order to access your iPhone.

On its part, Auto-Lock allows you to adjust the amount of time that your device can stay idle before locking itself.

To enable both of these, from your iPhone’s home screen go to Settings > General. Once there, scroll down until you find Auto-Lock. Tap on it and adjust the number of minutes before your device locks down.

Then go back, tap on Passcode Lock (located right below the previous option) and tap on Turn Passcode On. Set your new passcode, confirm it and you are done.

4. Disable Location Services

Location Services allow the apps that require it on your iPhone to have access to your location. Some examples of apps that require location data are Maps, Photo apps, Twitter, Facebook and more.

These are the usual suspects of course, but there are many apps that might require your location for apparently no purpose at all.

To control which apps have access to your location data or to simply turn it OFF altogether, from your iPhone’s home screen go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. There you will have the option to toggle all Location Services ON or OFF or to control which apps have access to it.

5. Erase Data for Repeated Wrong Passcode Entry

Here is a short one to finish this list. On your iPhone’s home screen go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock and scroll all the way down until you find the Erase Data option. Turn this toggle ON to allow your iPhone to erase all data within it whenever someone introduces a wrong passcode ten times in a row.

There you go. And if you want learn about even more ways to secure your iPhone or other iOS device, be sure to check out some of the links below.

That’s it. Enjoy your (safer) iPhone!

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

iPhone is the ultimate choice when it comes to buying a smartphone. The mobile device by Apple is popular for its enhanced features, durability, quality of material and secure characteristics. Many of the users prefer an iPhone over an android phone when it comes to having a secure phone. Apart from protecting your iPhone from viruses, malware; the biggest challenge is preventing the iPhone from physical theft. In this article, we will discuss seven tips that would help make your iPhone more secure than before. Check this link if you want to know how to clean your phone from virus iPhone.

  1. Set up an iPhone Passcode

Setting up a passcode in your iPhone is something that you should do right away. Users can enable a passcode whenever an iPhone gets stolen, even after the iPhone is stolen, using the Find My iPhone option. Doing this right away will ensure the security and safety of your iPhone from thieves if the iPhone gets stolen. They will not be able to use your iPhone without entering the passcode.

  1. Enable Touch ID or Face ID in your iPhone

Both of these techniques are stronger than a passcode. By enabling Touch ID or Face ID, only you will unlock and use your iPhone through face recognition or unlocking the iPhone using the fingerprint scanner. There is a possibility that you might forget the passcode. However, with Face ID or Touch ID, you need not have to remember the passcode, and at the same time, you can seamlessly unlock your iPhone through Touch ID or Face ID.

  1. Secure your iPhone with the Find My iPhone feature

Find My iPhone is the best option to locate your lost iPhone by helping the authorities to track the iPhone. Thanks to the availability of a free iCloud feature that uses the iPhone’s built-in GPS functionality for tracking the location on a map.

  1. Turn off automatic backups in the iCloud

The user should disable automatic backups of the iPhone data to the iCloud if you do not want all of your data to be automatically backed up into the iCloud. It is especially better if you are someone who will manage backups on your computer by using iTunes. Users should navigate to the option denoted as Settings. Click ‘iCloud’ and then choose Storage > Manage Storage. Select your iOS device and then click the option denoted as ‘Delete Backup’. You will have to confirm by clicking the option denoted as ‘Turn Off & Delete’, which will turn off the backup and remove the entire backups for that iOS device from the iCloud.

  1. Disable Siri for enhanced security

Siri is one of the most useful features provided by the iPhone. However, if it is not properly configured, then there is a higher chance that someone may even make calls from your iPhone without even the need for a passcode or someone trying to extract information from the user’s iPhone. The best option is to disable the Siri feature in the lock screen if you want enhanced security. Users should navigate to Settings and then click the option denoted as the passcode. Select ‘Allow access when locked’ option and then choose “Siri: off”. You can navigate to Settings > General > Siri > Allow Hey Siri: off.

  1. Prevent known Wi-Fi networks from auto-joining

There have been increasing instances in which hackers try to steal the Wi-Fi network by configuring a malicious Wi-Fi hotspot. iOS devices such as iPhone have been configured to automatically connect to any Wi-Fi network with the same SSID as a previously connected one. By connecting automatically, the iPhone will begin sending the data. To secure your iPhone, users will have to navigate to Settings and then click the option denoted as “Wi-Fi > Ask to join networks: on“.

  1. iTunes Backups needs to be encrypted

The entire data that is stored in your iPhone is stored as a backup in the iTunes backups. There is a potential risk also that is involved in iTunes backups. If it is not properly configured, if someone gains access to your iTunes backups, they will be able to access all data, including call logs, app data, photos, text messages, etc. The best way to secure your iPhone and iTunes backup is by setting up a strong password and encrypting iTunes to make it more secure. For doing this, you will have to click open iTunes on your PC or Mac computer and then select the option denoted as ‘Connect to iOS device’. Select ‘Summary Pane’ and then tick the checkbox next to ‘Encrypt iPhone Backup’. Once done, you should then enter a strong password.


Try doing these steps mentioned above and thus make your iPhone more secure, so that you do not have to worry about the privacy and security of your iPhone.

Commentary: The iPhone update brings Apple Watch-like widgets for showing information at a glance to the lock screen.

Lisa Eadicicco is a senior editor for CNET covering mobile devices. Prior to joining CNET, Lisa served as a senior tech correspondent at Insider covering Apple and the broader consumer tech industry. She was also previously a tech columnist for Time Magazine and got her start as a staff writer for Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide.

This story is part of WWDC 2022 , CNET’s complete coverage from and about Apple’s annual developers conference.

Your iPhone’s lock screen has the important job of guarding your personal data and apps from onlookers. But otherwise, it does little more than show the time, display notifications and provide fast access to the camera and flashlight. Thankfully, that’s finally changing with iOS 16 .

The upcoming iPhone update , likely to debut this fall with the rumored iPhone 14 , will introduce new widgets along with other personalization options to the lock screen. And it’s about time.

To put it bluntly, the current iteration of the main lock screen feels dated. Wearing an Apple Watch regularly for the past few years has made me realize how useful it can be to glance down at my wrist to get information on the weather, my next appointment and my activity goals. There’s no reason why my iPhone’s lock screen shouldn’t be just as helpful. In fact, I’m surprised it took this long for Apple to apply these learnings from the Apple Watch to the iPhone.

Having more information on your lock screen is as much a necessity as it is an inevitability. The smartphone has gradually become a remote control for the many other gadgets in our lives, like smartwatches , wireless earbuds and connected home gadgets. The lock screen could be the key to making sure managing those gadgets remains easy and convenient.

iOS 16’s new lock screen is a much-needed refresh

Examples of the new lock screen widgets you’ll be able to choose from in iOS 16.

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

When iOS 16 launches this fall, the lock screen will support Apple Watch -like widgets that show bits of information at a glance. The weather, activity progress, battery levels, alarms, your current workout and sports scores are all examples of data points you’ll be able to see without unlocking your phone.

It’s not just the practicality of your lock screen that’s going to improve in iOS 16; your background photo will get a major upgrade, too. The new lock screen will be able to isolate the subject in the foreground and apply an out-of-focus effect to the background similar to a Portrait mode photo. You can give your lock screen photo a magazine cover-like aesthetic that layers the date and time behind the subject of your image, and elements like colors and fonts will be customizable as well.

But it’s really the widgets that I’m looking forward to the most in iOS 16 . To be clear, you can already access widgets from your iPhone’s lock screen. But you have to swipe right to see them. The new widgets in iOS 16 will live directly on the home screen and look more like Apple Watch icons.

Having more information at a glance makes it easier for me to cut down on screen time. The more detail I can see without unlocking my phone, the less likely I am to get lost in my inbox, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. It’s the same reason why I want Apple to bring an always-on display to the iPhone. We didn’t see this at WWDC, but the new widget-friendly lock screen seems like a worthy substitute.

Here’s another example of a type of lock screen widget called Live Activities that’s coming in iOS 16. This is essentially a mini way to view the real-time progress of a workout, sporting event or Uber ride from your iPhone’s lock screen.

In 2022, it seems unthinkable to not use a passcode or biometric lock on your iPhone. But such security can also make accessing your phone feel like a speed bump, especially when you consider the number of everyday tasks that can only be completed when your phone is unlocked. I don’t want to type in my passcode or swipe to the right to check the weather, see how close my Uber is or make sure my AirPods still have enough battery for my commute home. With these new widgets, the lock screen could become even better at its intended purpose of surfacing the bits of data you want to see at a glance while protecting the things that are more personal and private.

I also can’t help but feel like Apple is catching up to Android by adding new lock screen functionality. Companies like Google and Samsung have long understood the value of the lock screen, as proven by the fact that they’ve offered always-on displays for years. Google also introduced new features for the lock screen on its Pixel phones as part of an update that was announced on Monday.

The evolving role of the lock screen on iPhones

Apple Pay’s new Tap to Pay. It’s another sign that Apple Wallet is becoming an increasingly important part of the iPhone.

Over the evolution of the iPhone and the Apple Watch, accessing certain features and apps directly from the lock screen has become more important. Apple Wallet is a great example of this. The ability to have boarding passes and event tickets appear on your lock screen is a big part of what makes Apple Wallet so convenient. Apple Wallet is also a big part of iOS 16 and Apple’s ambitions to replace physical wallets.

We’ll likely see even more lock screen functionality as the iPhone’s ultra wideband technology becomes more prominent. Ultra wideband is a wireless standard that makes it easier for iPhones to detect nearby compatible products more precisely. It’s why your iPhone is able to guide you to a lost AirTag with turn-by-turn directions, for example, and the tech also promises to make your phone work better as a digital car key.

Over the long term, UWB could help our phones be more intelligent about their surroundings and possibly enable them to unlock your car as you approach its door, as my colleague Stephen Shankland writes. As our phones connect more easily to an increasing amount of smart everyday objects like cars and thermostats, surfacing relevant information on the lock screen will be all the more useful. Google’s new Pixel update, for example, will let you see who’s at your door from the lock screen if you have a Nest doorbell.

For now, many iPhone owners will probably be most excited about the new photo effects and customization options on the lock screen. But Apple’s lock screen revamp could be more important than you think for iOS 16 and beyond.

How many secrets do you think your iPhone can reveal to strangers? Pay attention to your iPhone at all times because whether it is in your hands or on your desk while you are loading it connected to your computer, it is easy to reach personal information, such as emails, photos and credentials. So how to protect yourself? Follow these tips and maximize the security of your Apple smartphone.

Disclaimer: keep in mind that everything we mention here will deprive your iPhone of some very useful functionality; however, at the same time it will better protect your data. However, you don’t have to follow all these tips, feel free to choose or follow the ones you prefer.

Disable Lock Screen notifications

Any password, even the most effective, is useless if it appears in the notifications that appear on the Lock Screen, the home screen when your phone is locked. Text messages, emails, notifications or information from other apps may contain sensitive data, such as confirmation codes, credentials, appointments, bank details, and so on. The fewer notifications appear on your phone’s Lock Screen, the better.

How it can help you: Make sure that strangers can’t read your personal information from the Lock Screen.

How to set it up: go to “Settings” > “Touch ID and code” > In the “allow access if blocked” section select “View notifications”.

Disable Siri from the Lock Screen

Siri is a really great iPhone feature, but sometimes our nice personal assistant is a little bit indiscreet and might spill some information to a stranger. It is not necessary to disable the feature completely, but it would make us safer not to activate it on the Lock Screen and disabling the voice command “Hey Siri”. Don’t forget: Siri can communicate with anyone, not just the owner of the device.

How it can help you: it will limit the possibility that someone can extrapolate data from smartphones with Siri enabled.

How to set it up: go to “Settings”> “Touch ID and code”> In the “allow access if locked” section, select “Siri”. And then on “Settings”> “General”> “Siri”.

Automatically discard unknown Wi-Fi connections

The iPhone has great features that allow you to automatically connect to known WiFi networks without your permission. On the one hand, it’s a very useful option since you don’t need to do anything to switch from your phone’s data connection to local Wi-Fi; on the other hand, there is the possibility that some cybercriminal could establish his own fake wireless network under the name of some trusted public hotspot. In this case, you would not even realize that your iPhone has connected to a malicious hotspot whereby a criminal could steal all your data. That’s why we recommend that you be very careful with the Wi-Fi hotspots you connect to, or disable this option.

How it can help: Avoid connections to malicious wireless networks

How to set it up: go to “Settings> then” Wi-Fi “> select” Request network access “

Disable cookies from your browser

Cookies are small files that almost all websites generate and leave on your devices. They may contain information about you, your computer or smartphone and your preferences. They basically help websites make sure that you stay logged in or show you relevant content, including advertisements, but in some cases they can be very useful to cybercriminals as they contain credentials and other sensitive data. To be honest, disabling cookies may offer you much more inconvenience than good, but at the same time your data will be safer. But if you think about it, it’s not a very high price to pay if your data is more secure in exchange.

How it can help you: It will reduce the risk of unauthorized use of login data and other types of private information stored in cookies.

How to set it up: “Settings”> “Safari”> in the Privacy and security section, “Do not detect”, “Block cookies: always block”. For other browsers see similar settings.

Enable Location Services

You will be asked whether to activate them when setting up a new iPhone and our advice is to do so. It’s one of the best reasons to have a smartphone – it’s useful for GPS, for finding nearby restaurants, for seeing local weather forecasts, and so much more. A lost iPhone cannot be found if Location Services have not been enabled.

And most importantly, Location Services are needed to track down a lost or stolen iPhone.

You also have ultimate control over which apps can and cannot access your location, and when. For example, you can allow the Weather app to use your location to display local weather forecasts, but hide your location for Facebook.

To access location services: Settings> Privacy> Location

How to activate the Send last location in case of loss or theft feature:

  • In iOS 10.3 and iOS 11: Settings> [your name]> iCloud> Find My iPhone
  • In iOS 10.2 and earlier: Settings> iCloud

How to restore the default location services settings: Settings> General> Reset and tap “Reset location and privacy”

By Brian Mastroianni

January 6, 2016 / 4:19 PM / CBS News

What should have been toward the top of everyone’s New Year’s resolutions? Making sure their phones are secure.

Millions of us walk around with vast amounts of personal data, photos, essential phone numbers and often sensitive financial information on our now-indispensable smartphones, so it’s more important than ever to make sure it’s all protected.

CNET Senior Editor Sharon Profis shares three simple but essential tips for making your iPhone more secure.

Lock your phone


If someone got ahold of your phone, you wouldn’t want them to easily access your information or apps. It’s important to lock your phone. And you can change the settings so your passcode is required immediately, or within a certain amount of time after you set down your phone. Shorter times are more secure, since that would give a thief or a snoop less of an opportunity to access your phone’s contents.

How do you change your passcode settings? Within Settings on your home screen, go to Touch ID or Passcode, select Passcode, then select Require Passcode and then choose your options for how quickly you want the passcode option to appear.

Disable control center access


Profis warned that “another security hole” in people’s iPhones is access to their control centers. If you lose your phone, someone could prevent you from tracking it just by putting your device in Airplane Mode. To prevent your control center from being so easily accessible, head to Settings, then Control Center, then Access on Lock Screen, and toggle the slider to “off.”

Find My iPhone


What if all else fails and you ultimately lose your phone or it does get stolen? How do you retrieve it? Well, luckily, Find My iPhone is a feature on everyone’s iPhones — you just have to use it. In Settings, go to iCloud, scroll down to Find My iPhone, and toggle the slider to “On.” This enables you to track your phone on a map from any iOS device or your computer and see where it went.

Top 7 Ways to Make Your iPhone More Secure – how to


  • Tips to Prevent iPhone Theft
  • Create iPhone password
  • Use Touch ID or Face ID on iPhone
  • Turn on Find My iPhone
  • Manage your iPhone’s privacy settings
  • Don’t jailbreak your iPhone
  • Make encrypted iPhone backups
  • Use security apps on your iPhone
  • Do you need iPhone antivirus software?

IPhone security plays an important role in the life of your phone. While the iPhone is more secure than Android, there are important safety tips that you should follow.

Traditional security protocols for electronics may include antivirus software or encryption tools, but when it comes to your iPhone, physical theft is probably the most real danger. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to keep your iPhone safe from thieves.

Theft is a major issue when it comes to iPhone security, but there are other things that you should take care of as well. Every iOS user should follow these safety tips, whether you’re using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and even if you’re not using a modern version of iOS.

Tips to Prevent iPhone Theft

Before we go over the best ways to protect your phone, there are many anti-theft tips you can use to make sure your iPhone isn’t stolen, some of which you might not even consider:

  • Make it obvious : Keep your iPhone close to you. Do not leave him unattended or exposed in the car when you are not around.
  • Discard headphones : Apple branded white headphones have become well-known signs that the headphone cord inserted into your bag is plugged into your iPhone. Try a different set of headphones to reset them.
  • Do not use clamps to belt: clamps for straps are not very suitable for securing your iPhone in public. Since your phone is open to your body and it is potentially easy to remove the belt clip, keep the clips at home.
  • Remember your surroundings : it can be tricky, but it really matters. When you focus on your phone rather than what’s going on around you, you put yourself at a disadvantage and allow thieves to have more control over access to your phone. If you are going to bury your face in your iPhone or step out of the real world with headphones for a while, remember to open your eyes and look around from time to time.

Create iPhone password

It would be ideal if your phone is behind a physical lock and key, but the best you can do in this regard is to set a passcode. If your iPhone is stolen, the thief will need to know the password before he can get inside it.

You can even set a passcode after the phone is stolen using the Find My iPhone feature (more on that in a minute), but it’s best to implement this security habit ahead of time.

Use Touch ID or Face ID on iPhone

If your device has an Apple Touch Touch fingerprint reader, you must use it. The same goes for Face ID on the iPhone X.

Requiring your fingerprint or face scan to unlock your iPhone is much more secure than a password that you can forget or that can be guessed by a computer with enough time.

Turn on Find My iPhone

If your iPhone is indeed stolen, “Find My iPhone” can be the same way as getting it back. This free iCloud feature uses the phone’s built-in GPS receiver to pinpoint its location on a map so you (or the authorities) can track it. It is also a great tool for finding lost devices.

Manage your iPhone’s privacy settings

Managing the security of your personal data is just as important as the physical security of your device.There are more threats to your data these days than ever, including from apps installed on your phone. Fortunately, iOS has powerful built-in privacy controls.

Don’t jailbreak your iPhone

Many people advocate jailbreak your iPhone because it allows you to customize your phone in ways that are not officially approved by Apple, such as installing apps that have been rejected from the App Store, downloading paid apps for free, etc. However, if you want, to keep your iPhone as secure as possible, hold on away from jailbreak.

Apple designed iOS with security in mind, so the iPhone isn’t easily exposed to viruses, malware, and other software security threats common to PCs and Android phones.

The exception is jailbroken phones. The only viruses that hit the iPhone targeted jailbroken devices because, by their very nature, the only way to jailbreak a phone is to reduce its security.

While jailbreak bait can be powerful, if security is important to you, just don’t do it.

Make encrypted iPhone backups

If you sync your iPhone with your computer, the data from your phone is also saved on your desktop computer or laptop. This means that the information is potentially available to anyone who can get onto your computer.

Protect this data by encrypting these backups. To do this, connect your phone to your computer, open iTunes, check the box “ Encrypt iPhone Backup “ and set a password.

With an encrypted iPhone backup, you make potential thieves know the password you have chosen. Pair this with your iPhone password and you are much less likely to steal your data.

Use security apps on your iPhone

There are many iPhone apps with a focus on security and privacy. Most are free and some have paid options if you want more options.

One of the popular and useful methods to protect your iPhone web browsing habits is a VPN. You can set up VPN access on iPhone either manually through Settings or using the VPN app. there is lot VPN service providers to choose from.

If you are concerned about the security of your iPhone to the point that you want to end government espionage, you have tons of other options in addition to VPN. For example, to protect your text messages, use an encrypted messaging app.

If you browse the web a lot, you might consider improving the security of your iPhone using a private web browser. There are many internet browsers to choose from.

Password security is also extremely important. If someone gains access to your phone, the last thing you want them to find is a list of passwords for your banks and other accounts. Use a password manager to prevent anyone from seeing the passwords stored on your iPhone.

Do you need iPhone antivirus software?

Antivirus software is an essential part of how we protect desktops and laptops, but you don’t hear too much about iPhone getting viruses. Does this mean it’s safe to use iPhone on iPhone with antivirus?

Due to the structure of iOS and the permissions that Apple grants to apps, you don’t need to worry about viruses on your iPhone.


The chances are, your iPhone contains a LOT of important information. And most of this lives in among the ‘notes’ section.

Now, I might be just about the least-stealth person in the world with my personal information; but there’s pin numbers, passwords, awful features ideas written when drunk, draft attempts at heartfelt messages I never sent and a whole lot more in there. Quite frankly, I’d be mortified/terrified if anyone ever gained access to them.

So I, for one, was chuffed to hear about the new iOS update. iOS 9.3, despite a few teething problems involving faulty Safari links, contains a REALLY bloody useful function: the ability to lock individual notes.

Why was this never thought of before?? It’s like a diary on-the-go, so that information is MORE than classified.

So here’s how you do it:

  • Download the iOS 9.3 update (providing you’ve got the storage space, that is. If you don’t, here’s how to get some more without deleting every photo you ever took).
  • Go into settings
  • Click ‘notes’
  • Enter your chosen password, or opt to only open notes using Touch ID so only your fingerprint can get into them
  • Click into the individual note you want to lock
  • Click ‘menu’ (the box with the arrow pointing upwards)
  • Click ‘lock note’
  • Go back into the note and tap the padlock icon, making sure it’s no longer open, but closed instead.

And there you have it, your private notes will remain for your eyes only. Thank Christ for that.

Like this? Come and check us out on Snapchat Discover.