The Best Way to Secure Your Apple Devices
Staying safe and having good internet security doesn’t just end with your desktop and laptops anymore. It also applies to your mobile phones and any other devices you access the internet with. Apple users exchange and store data across a wide range of devices that includes the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
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You can protect and secure your connections between all those devices and also your access to the internet with apps, but you also need to have a few tips to further protect your devices. This will go a long way in ensuring that your devices and data stay safe.
Apple Helps With Your Security
If you make use of any of apple’s devices, you would have noticed that your device has a good level of security as Apple has made a good effort in securing your data for you. Apple is at the top for its privacy policies, making it get 5 out of 5 stars in EFF’s annual report of who has your back? Apple makes it very clear to its level of compliance with law enforcement agencies when they request for customer’s data and is also outspoken in their non-compliance with the government’s backdoor access to their products.
Additional steps can be seen in the latest IOS versions where the default communication apps (iMessage and facetime), and also iCloud have heavy end-to-end data encryption by default. This makes apple devices security tight even without any effort from you right from the box.
Below are other tips you can utilize to ensure your mobile security is tighter:
1 . Set a Passcode
Setting a passcode may seem very elementary that it is oftentimes taken for granted, especially with all the talks about improving digital security. This is the easiest way to protect your data in the event that someone steals your phone. A set passcode takes care of this theft by asking for a 4-digit number before you can have access to your device. You could get longer than 4 digits code, or make use of an alphanumeric code, or even make use of a touch ID.
Interesting Read : The List of 100 Worst Passwords of 2019
Since the launch and use of IOS 8, passcodes have been made to automatically encrypt all data you have on your device. What this implies is that even if someone tries to get around this security or breaks open your phone to have access to the memory, the data would be encrypted and unreadable. The juicy part of the whole protection is that the encryption key is tied to the passcode mathematically and since you alone know this code, not even apple can crack it. This goes a long way in ensuring that your data can’t fall into the wrong hands and not even the government can’t force Apple to decrypt your data. Your data remains safe even if your phone is stolen as long as you have a passcode set.
2. Make Use of Two-Step Verification
Two-step verification is a tool to increase your security and it is offered by Google and dropbox. You can get it for your Apple services like iCloud and iTunes also. To make use of two-step verification, you need to register your phone to your Apple ID. You can also register another device that you trust and each time you log in with that Apple ID, you will be required to provide your password and an SMS code for verification before you are granted access. This protects you on a higher level because even if your Apple ID password is stolen, the attacker won’t have access to your data stored on iCloud or make any purchases from your iTunes account unless they take your phone and also have your set passcode.
3. Encrypt Your iTunes Backups
If you have your own personal content on iTunes, backing it up to the cloud encrypts tat data with at least 128-AES encryption. This, of course, doesn’t include iTunes content you purchase. Without having to upload your iTunes content to the cloud, you can also encrypt your personal iTunes content on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. Connect your Apple device to your computer and click on ‘Encrypt iPhone/iPad/iPod backup’ from the backup preference pane.
4. Make Use of Find My iPhone/IPad
Another great security tool that you can make use of to further secure your apple device is the ‘find my iPhone’. It is very useful in the event that you lose your phone or it gets stolen. To make use of this feature, sign in to iCloud from another computer and if it is lost somewhere in the house, you can make it play a sound with which you can track it. If your device is stolen however, you can find it on a map, remotely lock it and erase all data on it. Even if your device is not on at the moment, any action you take will become effective immediately the device is powered on and goes online.
Interesting Read : 11 Password Security Faux Pas You’re Probably Making
To delete data stored on your Mac desktop or laptop, make use of the ‘secure empty trash’ option instead of the ‘empty trash’ option. Just emptying the trash doesn’t completely get rid of all traces of the data but simply marks the data storage space as being available for use. But with the ‘secure empty trash’ option, the storage is overwritten with random data so that it is impossible to recover the data. If you want to protect your data further, making use of disk utility on your mac can write over the stored data of your memory up to 7 times over.
What to Do Before You Sell or Giveaway Your Apple Device?
Before you give your apple device away or sell it, it is important that you erase all your data stored in there to maintain your privacy. The following steps can be used if you still have your device with you, and also if you have given it away already.
1. If You Still Have Your Device with You
If you still have your device with you but you are about to sell it or give it out, you need to be sure your data is secure and doesn’t go with your device to its new owner. Take note not to manually delete your reminders, contacts, photos, calendars, documents, or any other data stored to your iCloud while you are still signed in to iCloud with your Apple ID. Doing this will delete your data from the cloud also and you would have permanently lost it. Follow these steps instead:
#1: if you are paired with an apple watch, unpair it from your phone.
#3: sign out of all apple’s services; iCloud, iTunes & App store
1 . To do this with IOS 10.3 version or later, tap on settings > your name. Scroll down the page and tap on ‘sign out’. Enter your Apple ID password to confirm and then tap ‘turn off’.
2 . To do this with IOS 10.2 version or earlier, tap on settings > iCloud > sign out. Tap on the ‘sign out’ option again and then tap on ‘delete from my device’ then enter your Apple ID password to confirm. Then go back to settings > iTunes & App store > Apple ID > sign out.
#4: go back to settings and from there tap on general > reset > erase all content and settings. If ‘find my device’ is turned on you may be required to enter your Apple ID and password.
#5: if you asked to enter your device passcode, enter it and then tap on ‘erase’.
#6: if you will be using a non-apple phone, deregister iMessage
2. If You Do Not Have Your Apple Device with You
If you didn’t complete the above processes and you do not have your phone anymore, use these steps to erase your data:
#1: ask the new device owner to erase your data and settings guided by the above steps
#2: if you were using iCloud and ‘find my device’ on the device, sign in from another device to iCloud or access ‘find my device’ from another device, select the device and click on erase. After erasing the device, click on ‘remove from account’.
#3: if you cannot perform any of the above steps, change your Apple ID password. Doing this won’t remove your information from the device but it will prevent your data from being deleted from iCloud.
#4: if you won’t be using an Apple device anymore, deregister messenger
#5: if you make use of apple pay, you can remove your cards here. Choose settings so you can see the devices that are using apple pay, click the device you want to remove and then click on remove.
Careful usage of your devices and making use of good practices are essential in ensuring that your data doesn’t end in the wrong hands. Your privacy and data security are so important and that is why Apple makes sure its devices offer you good security right from the box. Following these tips will further ensure that your data stays safe, even if you lose your phone or you give it away.