Apple software or hardware are considered one of the most reliable and secured devices since the beginning. But since we have seen so many attacks on Android or Windows devices, are we really sure Apple iPhones are secured today? Aren’t they at risks? Yes, they are. Especially if your iPhone is running on latest iOS 10.
Recently a Russian firm named Elcomsoft has claimed that iOS is potentially allowing unauthorized access to localized backups of every iPhone user who is running iOS 10. After the update, when a user creates a Backup, it uses “Password Verification Mechanism” which actually skips other security checks making it open for hackers. That’s not just true, but scary too. Here’s what Elcomsoft mentioned on their blog:
“We discovered an alternative password verification mechanism added to iOS 10 backups. We looked into it and found out that the new mechanism skips certain security checks, allowing us to try passwords approximately 2500 times faster compared to the old mechanism used in iOS 9 and older.”
Now since Apple has already faced and struggled a lot in similar scenario couple of years ago when somebody hacked iCloud and leaked celebrity pictures, Apple is working hard to fix this ‘iOS 10 Backup Issue’. A spokesperson also confirmed that they will address this issue in next Security Update, however, he also urged people to keep their Mac or Windows PC protected with strong passwords on which they create backups using iTunes.
Well, that’s just one ‘huge’ problem with iOS 10, there could be many. So, being an iPhone user with iOS 10, what else are you doing to make your iPhone more secured and safe? Here are top 10 tips every iPhone user must carry out to be safe.
1. A Strong Passcode:
Personally, I have seen many people using comfortable to type passcodes like 1234, 2222, 1122, etc. Some people also use passcodes like 5683 that represents LOVE. These are very common numbers to be guessed by anyone. Obviously, you need to avoid such passcodes and try something very difficult. Also don’t change the default auto-lock time, which is 1 minute. If you have something very confidential, don’t forget to configure Erase Data setting. Not only doing this will prevent your device from any brute force attempts to guess the correct one but also erase all the data before it is seen by any unauthorized eyes.
2. Better, make a 6 digit alphanumeric passcode:
A strong passcode is good, but you can make it better by using not just longer but alphanumeric passcode instead of the standard 4 digit code. At some point, attackers may come very close to your passcode but if it is a Password with alphanumeric digits, that becomes 100 times difficult to guess or break.
3. Enable two-factor authentication for Apple ID:
The two-factor authentication is no doubt one of the best security step to make your account safer. Few tech giants such as Google, Facebook, etc. have enabled it, including Apple too. You must enable this two-factor authentication for your Apple ID which will send a code to your any other owned device before your or anybody else can enter your account. This surely prevents hackers from accessing your data. Setting this up takes just a couple of minutes.
4. Enable password with app purchase:
This is yet another very important thing you must do since we have seen many cases before where a child has generated four figures bill for his dad from AppStore. When you enable Password for App purchase, it keeps your financial bills low and safe.
5. Disable Home Screen Features:
iOS 10 comes with several new features that also brings several quick access directly to your iPhone’s Home screen. Such as your Wallet access. You must disable every such confidential information to appear on Home screen. To do so, just go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > lock screen access.
6. Disable apps access to your data:
May third party apps ask for access to your important data such as contacts, messages, emails, calendar, personal data, etc. It is required to serve you better but that doesn’t mean they will not serve you if you disable their access to such data. Turn off access and data uploading for all third party apps, or whichever you find less necessary.
7. Turn on Find My iPhone feature:
This is very useful in case your iPhone is lost. ‘Find My iPhone’ service provides your iPhone location on Maps, not detailed, but enough to data to bring back your iPhone. It lets you do much more.
8. Turn Off Location Tracking:
You must not allow your iPhone to track you. If you remember, a couple of years ago, a team found out that iPhone keeps the record of your locations for over a year in a file named consolidated.db which also gets synced with iTunes backup and it used to be unencrypted. Well, you understand by reading the first para of this article how dangerous it is to keep the backup unencrypted.
9. Turn Off apps from tracking you too:
If Apple’s collected data can be dangerous, don’t you think how bad it could be when some third party apps keep your location with them? There are several third parties as well as official Apple apps that keep tracking your location even when they are not in use. It is good to disable them.
10. Don’t Jailbreak your iPhone:
Sure Jailbreaking offers you several extra options using which you can customize your iPhone in your own way. Furthermore, it also lets you install third-party apps which are not approved for AppStore. Obviously, this makes your iPhone vulnerable and offers several ways to attackers.
Apple devices are not affordable to every person, may be because of its premium hardware and software. But when you buy an iPhone, you lose pretty good weight from your wallet. So, it is always better to take precautions for such expensive devices. Apart from being expensive, it also carries your professional as well as personal data which cannot be share with everybody. If any of those goes to attackers, they can do a very good amount of harm to you as well as financial services. Be safe, be an iPhone user!