Undoubtedly, Apple has dominated the market with its privacy and security features in both iOS & Mac OS. However, vulnerabilities still exist to its product line. However, there are ways to ensure that your devices are as safe from hackers as it can be. If you are concerned about the safety of your sensitive data on your Apple device, you have landed at the right place.
If your device is being monitored or someone has unauthorized access to your photos and videos without your consent, it can be disturbing at the very least and dangerous at the worst. Here are the potential risks that you might come across regarding your privacy:
● Hacking and malware risks
The hackers can spy on you through your device using the apps that ask for your permission to access different components of the iOS device. The hackers can silently snap photos or videos or even run facial recognition to steal your identity.
● Device theft
There are times when we mistakenly leave our smartphones at the coffee shop and not realize until hours. The chances of getting the phone back are almost zero. But what about your data?! Passcodes should prevent a thief from accessing your data, but will it, really?
● Data harvesting and other privacy concerns
The app providers and your ISP continuously harvest your data and sell it to third-party data companies. I hope you know what that really means! It means you will be dealing with the annoyance of targeted marketing.
How do I protect my device and sensitive information?
So, the harsh reality is that your iOS and Mac devices have high vulnerabilities, no matter what. But there is no need to panic. Here are some tips that will help you boost the protection of your device and keep your sensitive data safe.
● Keep iOS up to date
Skipping the updates is one of the most common mistakes done by people. You should make sure that you are running your iOS and Mac devices on the most recent iteration, given that the update is stable and not in beta.
It is suggested because hackers continuously try to find loopholes in Apple’s OS platforms, which they can exploit to get access to sensitive data. Updates from Apple are a way of protecting these exploits by patching holes and implementing better stability enhancements for the user.
To update your iOS device, open Settings and select General and then Software Update. If your device shows a new update, make sure you download and install it to stay protected. The latest iOS version as of November 2019 is iOS 13.1, with Apple having rushed out multiple point updates to fix several security flaws that were there in the previous version (iOS 13.0).
● Upgrade to private email services
You need to prioritize your security online as well, and Emails are the first thing that you should be concerned about. EPRIVO is a free email account service that helps protect your current email address. It works with your existing email addresses. Not only this, it offers voice-enabled emails that you can send without worrying about your confidentiality.
EPRIVO pioneers in sender-controlled privacy, which means that as a sender, you can control emails in both the cloud and in the recipients’ devices. It is available for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows devices.
It avoids digital vulnerabilities, authenticates the origin and content of each email, and makes your email account fully sender controlled. EPRIVO does not store your emails but defends you against any possible infringement of security.
● Turn on two-step verification.
It is strongly suggested that you set up two-step verification whenever it is available for Apple ID as well as for iCloud. With the two-step verification feature, you can register one or more trusted devices that can receive codes either through SMS or the Find My iPhone service.
Hence, whenever you sign in from a new device, you will have to verify your identity by entering your passcode as well as the 4 – digit passcode that you will get through SMS.
This feature will help prevent your Apple ID from being used by an unauthorized person. To turn on two-step verification, go to www.appleid.apple.com and select ‘Manage your Apple ID‘ and then go to ‘Password and Security‘ and choose ‘Two-Step Verification.’
● Use a longer passcode
If you wish to keep your personal and sensitive data safe, make sure that you use longer passcodes. The alphanumeric passcode is the best option, which consists of both numbers and letters, as they are hard to crack. Also, if you use a password manager for all your passwords, make sure you set custom generated Alphanumeric Code for it as well.
To change your passcode, go to Touch ID & Passcode section in Settings. You will be asked to enter your current passcode before setting a new one. If you want to set up an alphanumeric passcode, tap on Passcode options and choose Custom Alphanumeric Code. Now enter your desired passcode, verify it, and you are good to go.
● Prefer HTTPS instead of HTTP websites.
While HTTPS is identical to HTTP in many ways, it encrypts the communications between endpoints so that your data is secured during the transition. It offers functionality for authenticating you to establish that it is you who are using the device.
HTTP, on the other hand, is not secured through encryption. Your data is sent as such and can be easily captured by hackers. If you have to share personal data, find a site that supports HTTPS.
You should always put your thinking cap on because, sadly, there is no app for that. No settings or policies can protect you unless you are not alert. All the cyber-attacks rely on the victim’s action towards them. For instance, whether or not a person will click a phishing link determines the hacker’s success.
As per Kaspersky, there are some other important points that you should keep in mind to keep your iPhone even more secure with the default settings.
Therefore, you should be aware of what apps you are allowing access to your data, and what sites you are surfing. You should not click on links sent via email, text, or social media from unknown sources.