The iPhone is Apple’s best-selling product. In 2022, the company sold around 225 million iPhone models, a feat unmatched by any other smartphone. Due to its immense popularity, the company actively improves device design and performance with reliable hardware and software, frequent iOS platform upgrades, and the integration of cutting-edge features.
In terms of security, Apple offers a closed, monopolistic system with strict control over applications, media, and data. Hence, iPhones are generally safer than Android devices due to their integrated design and the manufacturer’s focus on encryption.
However, this doesn’t mean your iPhone is 100% immune from cybersecurity threats, such as malware, lock-screen bypass, and fake apps. Therefore, you must learn how to improve its security beyond using Touch or Face ID.
Below are seven effective tips and strategies you can use to enhance iPhone security.
1. Use an iPhone Passcode
An iPhone passcode is the most basic form of security you can enable on any iOS device. It reduces the risk of unauthorized access following theft or during hacking attempts.
However, you must set up a strong passcode to better safeguard personal data and private communications from intruders. Here are some useful tips to strengthen your iPhone passcode:
- Create a six-digit alphanumeric code instead of a six or four-digit numeric code;
- Avoid common passcodes like “123456”;
- Don’t use your personal information in passcodes;
- Update your passcode at least once in a few months.
2. Don’t Jailbreak Your Device
Jailbreaking is a common practice among iPhone users. It’s the counterpart of rooting Android devices and involves modifying system settings to remove software restrictions to enable customizations, something Apple doesn’t officially approve.
For instance, you can download paid apps from the Apple Store for free. You can also download third-party apps from unofficial sources. Other benefits include:
- File system access and manipulation;
- Carrier unlocking;
- User interface customization (theme, icons, etc.).
As intriguing as these benefits sound, they’re achieved at the expense of compromised security. Apple has designed iOS devices to be highly secure so users aren’t easily subjected to malware and other threats common to Android devices and PCs.
By jailbreaking your device, you bypass Apple’s built-in security measures and expose your data to malicious apps. So, one way to maintain iPhone security is by not jailbreaking your device.
3. Connect to Secure Networks
Like most users, you likely use your iPhone at home, school, work, airports, and dozens of other places with public Wi-Fi networks.
While these places offer free access to the internet, they’re hunting grounds for hackers and cybercriminals looking to intercept your data, especially when navigating through different websites.
The problem often arises with the browser they use. Safari, Apple’s default browser, has been designed with security in mind and is integrated with the iOS system. However, many users prefer Google Chrome due to several powerful features, including:
- Account syncing;
- Tab management;
- Developer tools;
- Extensions and add-ons, etc.
Also, consider opting for a VPN on iPhone to mask your IP address and encrypt network traffic. With a virtual private network shielding your iPhone, you can ensure secure connections wherever you use your device.
4. Use Apple’s Built-In Authenticator
Another smart way to increase iPhone security without too much effort is by using Apple’s built-in two-factor authentication for sites, accounts, or services.
This security feature will send a texted verification code that automatically appears in the code field.
So, whenever you log in to an account or site, you add an extra layer of security to ensure authorized access.
To enable the 2FA feature:
- Sign in to your preferred app or site;
- From the settings, enable 2FA and get your setup code or key;
- Go to Passwords under Settings on your iPhone, then select the same site or app account;
- Paste your setup code and copy your verification code;
- Open the site or app again to paste the verification code.
5. Create Encrypted Backups for Your Device
Sometimes, cyber-attacks and thefts are inevitable. Hence, you must have a smart contingency to restore lost data.
More importantly, you need to ensure your backup is secure from threats. Hence, you should encrypt the backups you store on your computer. You can do this with the following steps:
- Open iTunes on your device;
- Select iPhone backup;
- Set your password.
6. Use Third-Party Security Apps on Your iPhone
You don’t have to rely on built-in security features to keep cybercriminals at bay. You can go one step further by equipping your iOS device with third-party security apps, such as:
- Anti-virus software;
- Password manager;
- Firewall apps;
- Privacy-focused browsers, etc.
7. Regular Updates
Finally, our last tip to improve iPhone security is to perform regular iOS updates. Doing so will help you install Apple’s security patches to fix bugs and vulnerabilities that cybercriminals could exploit. Software issues can also affect device functionality and performance.
The Bottom Line
In the modern digital landscape, being responsible regarding cybersecurity is crucial. You must do your due diligence and take the necessary steps to improve and optimize security on your iPhone and other iOS devices.