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How to stay secure on iPhone and iPad in 2020

Ways to Remain Secure on Your iPhone and iPad in 2020

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A few days back, news regarding a security flaw in Apple Mail for iOS was discovered that was a sign of worry for many Apple users. 

The security flaw was found by a Security Research Firm, ZecOps. It published a report that reveals a vulnerability that could affect both iPhone and iPad users that seemed to have existed since 2012. The report further claimed that Apple Mail for iOS 6 has the same security flaw as found in iOS 13.

However, the Apple company responded to it and revealed that no evidence was found to be used against the customers. Moreover, the possible issue will be resolved in a software update soon. Apple's history is full of such events. But at times, users just don't take it seriously.

Your iPhone and iPad might have a malware or virus that is sending your sensitive data to hackers and third parties. But, many people think that when they have an Apple product, they're safe from viruses and malware. 

The following mentioned below are the security settings that you must activate to ensure your device’s security and privacy. By doing so, not only is your device safer to use but also your privacy and social media accounts will benefit too.

1. Secure PIN Code and Biometrics Authentication

The first and foremost important thing while setting up an iOS device is to create a PIN code. 

If you have updated your older device then you might have a four-digit password on your previous device. However, now Apple asks its users to set up a six-digit PIN code

So, if you haven't done it, upgrade your PIN code soon because you never know when and where you become a victim of cyber crooks. Remember, you're not restricted to digits. It means you can set up alphanumeric passwords too, just ensure that it is hard enough to break and is not among the most commonly used passwords.

You can change this by going to Settings > Touch ID/ Face ID & Passwords, select Change PIN Code, and lastly, tap on the small passcode options dialog box. 

Moreover, you can also use Touch and Face ID to secure your device. Regardless of the device you have, you can use both Face ID and Touch ID. Both are the most secure methods of authentication that ensures your device privacy and security.

If you use Touch ID so you can set it up with multiple fingerprints, like for instance, I've set my index finger on my iPad that uses Touch ID. 

Secondly, with Face ID, you can set up an alternate appearance, that is a good option when you wear other accouterments and sunglasses that change your appearance. You can also activate attention features so you can look at your device during small movements.  This prevents anyone from unlocking your device while you sleep, holding it in front of your face.

Authentication methods are more reliable than PIN codes. The reason is that when you use it for purposes like making a payment using Apple pay, buying from the iTunes store, unlocking your device, and auto-filling, there is a higher chance of your password getting saved.

2. Bluetooth

We all know that Bluetooth is a short-range communication protocol that has been compromised several times to deliver malware in devices, or to block them with DDoS attacks. To avoid all this, turn off the Bluetooth device when you're not using it. Go to Settings> Bluetooth> Turned Off. 

However, if you use an Apple Watch, you won't be able to do so. It is because you need a Bluetooth device to remain active to communicate with the device. Your AirPods are Bluetooth headphones, and you might have speakers that use Bluetooth. 

In these circumstances, look into installing a virtual private network (VPN) for your iOS device. A VPN will not just encrypt your traffic but will also protect you against malicious attacks and activities.

3. Back-Up Your iPhone and iPad

Regularly back-up your iPhone and iPad data to protect data loss. It is up to you either to back up the devices to iCloud or your Mac. iOS offers various setting options to ensure that your data don't get lost. 

Going through all these settings enables you to make your iPhone and iPad more secure. Take out a few minutes to check that your settings are in the direction you want to protect your data, your privacy, and security.

4. Turn on USB Restricted Mode

Another way of ensuring your iPhone and iPad security is to turn on the USB restricted mode to make the hacking process difficult. Doing so prevents hackers from using tools to surpass your lock screen password and get access to your data. 

To enable this feature, go to Settings> Touch ID & Passcode and enter your password. After this, scroll down to view that USB accessories are not permitted on the lock screen, tap the settings to Off. If you're an iPhone X user, then check your Face ID settings.

5. Set Encrypted Messages to Auto Delete

iOS uses end to end encryption on all messages sent by using Apple's messaging app. 

It means that no one can view and read your words except for you and the receiver. Even the company won't be able to see these messages if the company has been ordered by any surveillance agency. 

However, end to end encryption won't stop anyone who has access to your phone from accessing your messages. For this purpose, it is vital to set them to auto-delete sooner instead of later. 

By default, iOS stores all your messages on your phone forever, and they will not be transferred to your new phone. But these messages do have your communication or details with your one love ones, so; it is risky to leave them as it is. 

To avoid this, go to your Phone's Settings> Messages> Keep Messages. Next, you'll be able to select the options for keeping messages, i.e., for 30 days, one year, or a lifetime. By default, it is set to forever, but, for safety reasons, set it for a month or a year.

6. Block Apps That Have Access to Your Device

By default, iOS offers an easy way to see which apps you might have permitted to access your camera, contacts, health data, location, microphones, photos, reminders, and more. But, you can easily prevent app access with the tap of a button. 

It is essential to block certain apps because if you allow apps to have much access to your information or hardware, you are allowing them to get more of your data and information. Many health apps and payment processing apps have access to sensitive personal information. 

Any app might get hacked, and it has access to your device, so a hacker can easily compromise your phone or iPad and take relevant information from it like bank account details, company information, passcodes, and email address. 

To block such apps, Go to Settings > Privacy, and you'll see a list of various types of data your iPhone holds, ranging from location data to photos. 

Also, you'll see items like a camera and a microphone on that list. Clicking on any one of these items takes you to a list of apps that have requested access to that type of data, like health data, iPhone's hardware, like its microphone. 

To control an app from accessing that data, tap its switch to off. Now, the app will be blocked entirely from accessing that data or hardware. The only possible way it can again gain access is if you tap its switch back on.

7. Silence Spam Callers

Spam and robotic calls are a significant problem for iPhone users. 

They often lead to wasted productivity, time, and at times high phone bills. Keeping in view this point, iOS introduces a feature named as Silence Unknown Callers. The prime function of this feature is to prevent spam and Robocalls from annoying you. 

To enable this feature, turn to Settings > Phone and scroll down until you see Silence Unknown Callers option. Tap on this switch, and from then on. In this way, all calls from unknown numbers will be silenced.

Parting Words

To sum up, securing your iPhone and iPad device is imperative in one way or the other. The points mentioned above are our top tips for taking your iPhone and iPad security to the next level. Feel free to follow them and boost your security.

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