It may be annoying to type in a password every few minutes, but if you ever lose your smartphone and don’t have the best security features in place, you’ll be up the creek (without a paddle).
A recent report revealed that criminals are now carrying out the most cyber crime on social media, email and mobile apps — meaning malicious software is no longer their method of choice. And this makes sense, because what are most people doing online every day? They’re using email, social media and apps.
Smartphones and tablets have made a lot of things in life a lot more convenient, but unfortunately, the faster and easier it is for us to access things on these devices, the easier it becomes for hackers to find a way in.
So in order to make sure you, your wallet and your information are protected, here are a few ways to make your iPhone (and iPad) more secure.
5 ways to make your iPhone more secure
1. Use a passcode
Yes, it can get annoying, but if you want to make sure your device — and everything in it — is secure, you need to use one.
If you haven’t noticed, the iOS 9 software now allows you to use a six-digit passcode, rather than the usual four-digit one, and it makes your phone a lot safer! While there are 10,000 possible combinations for a four-digit code, six-digit passcodes have 1 million possible combinations — making it a lot more difficult for a hacker to get access to your phone.
If you haven’t set up a passcode yet, it will automatically prompt you to use six digits. If already use a passcode, it’s easy to change it to the more secure option.
Go to settings –> Passcode –> Change Passcode –> Passcode Options –> Six-Digit Numeric Code
The feature will also allow you to increase the strength of the passcode even more — by choosing an alphanumeric passcode or a passcode longer than six digits.
2. Make your phone lock sooner
If you lose your phone and someone finds it before the passcode is set to turn on, they can access your data immediately. So making your iPhone lock sooner will help make it more secure.
Go to Settings –> Touch ID & Passcode –> Immediately is the most secure option, but you don’t want to have to type in your passcode all the time, you can choose a shorter time requirement.
3. Disable lock screen options
Even with a strong passcode, Siri can actually still share too much information from the lock screen — so disabling that function will keep your phone more secure in the event you lose it.
Go to Settings –> Touch ID & Passcode –> Turn off each feature (or the ones you choose) under Allow Access When Locked.
If you disable Wallet, that will force you to enter your passcode before using Apple Pay, which is also a good idea.
Turning off the Today and Notifications options will prevent those from popping up on the screen when your phone is locked, and turning off Reply with Message will prevent someone from replying to a text on your phone without first unlocking it.
4. Use Erase Data option
In the same options menu, you’ll see the Erase Data feature at the bottom. If you turn on the Erase Data function, your phone will automatically erase everything stored in the device after 10 failed passcode attempts. This can be a great way to prevent a thief, or anyone who finds your phone, from getting access to your information. But if you have kids around, you might want to be careful with this feature.
5. Turn on Find My iPhone
If you refuse to use a passcode and choose to ignore the first four steps above, you’ll should at the very least enable the Find My iPhone feature. It doesn’t change anything about the everyday use of your phone, but what it does do is allow you to track the device if it’s lost. You will be able to see where it is on a map and even play music from it to help you find it if you lost it somewhere nearby (like inside your house).
Find My iPhone also allows you to remotely lock the device and erase all the data — if you lose it and cannot recover it.
To turn it on, go to Settings –> iCloud –> Find My iPhone and turn the switch to on.