How To Protect Your iPhone Number and Private Data

  • There’s several security features baked into iOS that can help keep a user’s data private.
  • Knowing how to access these features is just as important as using them properly.
  • Keeping your device up to date is one of the most important things you can do.

Looking to protect your iPhone number and private data? While the internet and scammers are only growing smarter by the day, there are several things a user can do to help keep themselves secure. It can often feel like keeping your phone safe is an insurmountable task, but know that if you have an iPhone, you don’t need to do it alone. Though malicious websites and hackers are everywhere online, Apple utilizes a variety of security methods to ensure your protection online daily. Though there’s a bit more to it other than having strong passwords, Apple makes it easy to keep your information secure. 

Knowing how to stay safe online is crucial for everyone, which is why I’m going to take a look at how you can protect your iPhone number and private data. Knowing how to secure your iPhone from hackers is beneficial for yourself, but can also be handy for those you know in your life. The ability to spot malicious websites, knowing who to trust, two-factor authentication and maintaining unique passwords are but a couple of ways to stay safe online, but I’m going to go a bit deeper into password & security measures as well. 

Why is Your Phone Number a Target?

In the modern age of the internet, your phone number can often be a key for direct access to a host of personal information. While in the past, a phone number was merely a way to communicate, now, you likely use it to connect to various things, such as your finances and other information. While this can be great for providing quicker access to things such as social media and streaming services, it can also leave you open to a skilled hacker and scammers. 

Essentially, your phone number is everywhere, which gives it the potential to be a target for cybercriminals, hackers and scammers. Should a nefarious individual gain access to your phone number, it gives them the possibility to gain access to more of your information through fraud or other measures. Additionally, scammers and fraudsters can also damage your reputation, or gain unauthorized access to your personal accounts. 

Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself online. 

Common Tactics Used by Scammers

While there are a variety of ways security and tech giants attempt to protect the internet and devices, hackers and scammers are still able to employ a variety of tricks and methods to obtain your data. 

This includes:

  • Social Media: Posting anything about you on social media can become a hotbed of deception for scammers and hackers, as this personal information can often be used for something more devious.
  • Data breaches: Major businesses can become susceptible as well. For example, a bank may have an issue where information is stolen en masse by criminals by accessing databases. This information can then be sold to other nefarious individuals. 
  • Unverified websites and apps: Scammers can often imitate official websites to try and scam information from you. 
  • Spyware, Malware etc.: Computer viruses, such as adware, spyware or malware can compromise your system, allowing hackers to access virtually all of your information. 
  • Information that is public: Things such as your name and phone number are always available publicly, which means criminals can get easy access to your information. 
  • Wi-Fi networks: If a Wi-Fi is unprotected, scammers can potentially gain access to your information via network breaches. 
  • Phishing: Scammers can send texts, emails or social media posts in an attempt to have you give up valuable information. 

Knowing the various ways scammers are capable of accessing your private information can be crucial to staying safe online. Of course, as technology only progresses, a skilled hacker will gain even more access to tools that can be used to steal your data.

Protect Your iPhone and Private Data: Protecting Your Phone Number and Personal Data

Just as the iPhone has evolved over the years, so too have privacy features evolved as well. Below, I cover some of the numerous extra features available in an iPhone that can help give users peace of mind. 

Leveraging iPhone’s Built-In Privacy Features

Remember that your iPhone comes with a multitude of built-in privacy features, many of them crucial for staying safe online. Check the list of extra features below to learn more about them and keep your phone safe.

  • First, remember some of the core privacy features of an iPhone: Face ID, Touch ID, Find My iPhone and protection through Apple ID.
    • While Face ID and/or Touch ID is typically enabled when you set up your iPhone, you can always review these settings via Settings > Face ID & Passcode or Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. You can find Find My settings via Settings > [Your Name] > Find My. Always ensure these features are enabled.
      Select Face ID and Passcode
  • For those using iOS 16 or later, Safety Check can help let you know who or what you are sharing your information with. It also offers other safety features, including restrictions on Messages. Safety Check is accessible by navigating to Settings > Privacy & Security > Safety Check.
    Use Safety Check Protect iPhone Private Data
  • You should also remember that the iPhone, Mac and iPad have Lockdown Mode, which is especially helpful if you believe your device has been compromised. This feature limits services on your devices, which can be helpful if you have been targeted by attacks.
    Enable Lockdown Mode Protect iPhone Private Data
  • Another important thing to remember is that your iPhone has a password manager in thanks to Passkeys. This feature allows you to log in via Face ID or Touch ID, rather than remembering a passcode. You will be asked to use Passkeys whenever you first sign in to something. 
  • Remember that Apple’s own Safari web browser also comes with a host of privacy settings you can review. There’s also iCloud Private Relay if you have an iCloud subscription. Both of these can protect you when surfing online.

The Power of VPNs

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, can help you have an additional layer of security on your devices. This can be incredibly important if you use public Wi-Fi, as it can be a way to help mask your identity online. Some companies do offer free VPNs and free trials, such as ExpressVPN offering one for the iPhone and Mac as well.

If you are not currently using it, it may be something that is greatly worth considering, even more so if you frequently use Wi-Fi connections that are publicly accessible. Getting ExpressVPN can be wise, as it can safely secure your digital privacy and internet activity, even when using a private network. 

➡️ Get ExpressVPN

Understanding Terms and Conditions

No matter what you sign up for nowadays, you more than likely will need to provide some personal information. While this can be a nuisance, especially if you have to give away your phone number, those providing services need to inform you about how your personal information is used. This is typically done through privacy policies and terms and conditions. 

Essentially, reading the Terms of Conditions is crucial, even if it is incredibly boring. While your typical TOS reads more like stereo instructions, the information contained therein can be incredibly important, especially in regard to your privacy & security. Do your best to review this information, as it can be detrimental regarding what information is accessed by who. 

The Importance of Third-Party Apps and Responsibility 

If you’re looking for privacy protection, nothing is more important to your privacy & security than understanding third-party apps and their uses. Within the Apple ecosystem, third-party apps play an incredibly important role for users. Maybe you prefer Spotify over Apple Music, or you would rather use the CNN app rather than Apple News. Regardless of what you like to use, third-party apps will almost always require certain permissions. What these permissions are can greatly have an impact on your system. 

While any app that’s in the Apple App Store is going to require your approval before granting app permissions, realize that you will get information regarding what the app is trying to access. Some third-party apps will try to give themselves access to more than they need. Fortunately, you can change these privacy settings even after you give permissions. Thanks to the App Privacy Report, you can also find out your website contact activity and most contacted domains, which can give you insights if anyone is accessing your phone.

Time needed: 2 minutes

You can always review what apps have access to certain things with the App Privacy Report

  1. From your iPhone, go to Settings.

  2. Tap Privacy & Security.

    Choose Privacy and Security Protect iPhone Private Data

  3. Select App Privacy Report.

    Click Privacy Report Protect iPhone Private Data

  4. Choose Turn On App Privacy Report.

    Turn on Privacy Report Protect iPhone Private Data

It’s always a good idea to review these privacy settings, as a third-party app may have more permissions than you would want to grant. However, remember that the App Privacy Report is only available with iOS 15.2 and later. 

The Keys to Great Password Management

Passwords are one of the most crucial ways to ensure security on your device or while traversing the internet. However, knowing some common steps to ensure you’re using the best password practices is also crucial. 

When building passwords, some things to remember include:

  • Never give away your passwords.
  • Remember that length is superior to complexity.
  • Different accounts should have different passwords.
  • Try to make your passwords easy to remember yet hard to guess.

Something you should heavily consider is using a password manager. Remember that when using virtually any Apple product, Keychains can be a big help. For example, on an iPhone, you can have Apple create a password for you whenever you go to change it or create a new account. These passwords are then securely stored, providing you easy access to any website or login. So long as you are running iOS 13 or later, you can have your iPhone act as a password manager. Remember that you can view your passwords by navigating to Settings > Passwords from your smartphone.

Protect Your iPhone and Private Data: Keep Your Apps Up to Date

One of the most important things a user needs to do is ensure that their iPhone and all of their apps are as up-to-date as possible. Just like your computer, cell phones, especially smartphones, need software updates. These updates can often contain critical security patches, which help keep your device secure. While new updates usually bring a wealth of features, they also help improve the overall security of your device. You can always check for an iOS update by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

Additionally, remember to check the App Store for app updates as well. While not as crucial as general software updates, app updates also ensure protection from newer threats. Of course, there is a way to enable automatic app updates via Settings. Simply go to Settings > App Store, and under Automatic Downloads, ensure that App Updates is enabled. Personally, I wouldn’t do this for third-party apps, but if you don’t want to concern yourself with updating apps, enabling automatic app updates can be a real time saver. 

Automatically Install App Updates Protect iPhone Private Data

Understanding Multifactor Authentication (MFA):

While multi-factor authentication can be useful, in that it requires two or more methods to confirm your identity, it can also be a way for scammers to gain access to your information if not done correctly. For example, a criminal that implements sim swapping has the potential to redirect text messages, which is capable of interfering with multi-factor authentication capabilities. Essentially, multifactor authentication, such as two-factor authentication is like a personal assistant that helps you succeed in passcode attempts. You often receive a verification code, such as a four-digit passcode, that ensures that it is only you gaining access to your information.

Though using your own phone number isn’t such a great idea, remember that newer versions of iOS have a password manager for the iPhone. This feature can be great for storing a strong passcode, even with third-party apps. An incredibly helpful feature, remember that both Google and Microsoft also offer their own multi-factor authentication apps. There are also third-party authenticator apps available in the Apple App Store, with the Authenticator App seeing high reviews. However, concerning important information, such as sensitive passwords, remember to read the reviews and do your research before going with a third-party app. 

Protect Your iPhone and Private Data: Avoid Unknown Callers

Another good practice to follow is to avoid calls from unknown callers. One of the easier ways to gain information from victims, scammers can often call you under false pretenses in an attempt to pry your personal information from you. As an example, a scammer may pretend to be your bank in order to get your details and private information. 

Fortunately, your iPhone also provides solutions for this as well. If you are running iOS 13 or later, there’s an option to Silence Unknown Callers. Simply go to Settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers and ensure the feature is enabled. It’s also good to remain vigilant for these type of calls as well. Remember that your bank will never call you to ask you for your private information. 

Protect Your iPhone and Private Data: The Role of Social Media

At this point, virtually everyone is now on social media. Whether you’re using Facebook, Instagram or BlueSky, it’s important to remember that anything you share can be exploitable. Remember that social media means you’re telling the entire world your ideas when you share things, which means you should heavily consider taking a look at the privacy settings of whatever socials you are posting to. 

Also, consider the phrase “loose lips sink ships”, only in this case, it’s private data that is the ship. Avoid posting personal information, especially private information, whenever possible. When using social media, remain vigilant. If something seems to good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts, and always have a level of suspicion when dealing with strangers. 

Protect Your iPhone and Private Data: Knowing the Facts

In our modern times, it may seem difficult to keep your phone safe from bad actors and malicious threats. For example, there’s no worse feeling than thinking you’re downloading cat photos, only to learn someone in a different country now has your bank card PIN and your exact location. However, remembering Apple’s security features and list of apps that can protect your security is crucial. After reading this, ensure you have enabled the features that are right for you.

Remember that the internet can be as safe as you make it. Sticking to trusted websites and answering calls only from your contact lists is a good start, but remember the rules concerning passwords as well. Of course, Android devices can also follow some of these measures, as can most mobile devices, but Apple provides a deeper level of security unique to the company. Between Face ID, Passkeys and iCloud, there’s an additional layer of protection that not all mobile devices are going to provide. Now that you know the facts, you can also help your friends and family by sharing this article and taking the appropriate recommended steps. 


Does the iPhone really protect privacy?

Yes. An iPhone, especially new models running the latest version of iOS, have a wealth of features and systems in place to help protect your privacy. An iPhone fresh from the box will have numerous systems in place, and users can also enable further privacy protections should they choose. This list of features includes Face ID or Touch ID, a password manager, Find My iPhone and more. 

Which iPhone is best for privacy?

While virtually all iPhones are secure and offer privacy, the newest iPhone model running the latest version of iOS is going to be the most secure and private. This is because Apple is constantly adding its list of features and settings that make your iPhone more secure. Making sure your iPhone is up to date also ensures a fair amount of privacy. Check for updates by going to Settings > General >  Software Update. You also have the option to enable automatic app updates in the Apple App Store.

How does iPhone keep your information private? 

The Apple iPhone uses a wealth of features to keep your information secure and private. In addition to features such as Find My, which helps track your device should it become stolen, an iPhone also provides Passkeys, Face ID, Lockdown Mode and more. Another important feature is the ability to silence unknown callers, which can help protect against a skilled hacker.

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