Top 10 Tips for Securing Your iDevice

[Shelby Loasby | Head of Print]

Mobile phones are an integral part of student life, and with over 50% of students at UH owning an Apple phone, it is essential that you know how to keep your phone protected, especially with the recent update to IOS 9. Norton’s security expert Nick Shaw, spoke with Trident Media about the dangers of new technology and gave us his top 10 tips for securing your iDevice:

1. Use a strong, unique Apple ID password

Your Apple ID is a very important, as it gives you access to a host of Apple services and features, so make sure you choose a strong and unique password that you have not used for any other website.

2. Touch ID fingerprint recognition and passcodes

Apple has incorporated a fingerprint reader in the latest iPhone models (5S and up) which allows users to use their fingerprints for authentication when unlocking their device and making purchases through iTunes, the App Store, and Apple Pay. Users are strongly advised to take advantage of this extra layer of security.

3. Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA), sometimes referred to as two-step verification, is an additional layer of security that users are advised to enable. With 2FA, even if an attacker gets hold of your username and password, they still won’t be able to access your data because they won’t have the verification code that’s sent to your trusted device. For details on how to set up 2FA for your Apple ID, visit Apple’s two-step verification FAQ page.

4. Find My iPhone

The Find My iPhone service allows you to track your iPhone should it be lost, stolen, or misplaced, and can be accessed through either the Find My iPhone app on another device or on the web. This service also gives you the option of remotely wiping your device, meaning that if your phone does happen to fall into the hands of a thief, you can at least make sure your data doesn’t.

5. Disable access to Siri from the lock screen

Siri is iOS’s intelligent personal assistant but as well as being helpful Siri can also be a security risk. There have been several instances in the past where Siri has been used to bypass the iPhone’s lock screen. Disabling Siri from being used from the lock screen will protect your device from being susceptible to these types of hacks.

6. Know what your phone is doing with your data

You should be aware of what gets uploaded to the iCloud and what data installed apps have access to. If you’re not ok with any of these settings, you can modify them. Apple lets you decide what does and does not get uploaded to the iCloud from your device and you can even turn iCloud off completely if you don’t feel comfortable using it. To view and manage which apps have access to your data, visit the ‘Privacy’ section within iOS Settings.

7. Virtual private networks

If possible, you should consider using a virtual private network (VPN) if accessing sensitive or private data online while using public Wi-Fi. You should also turn off Wi-Fi when not in use and be careful about which public hotspots you connect to. Only connect to trusted hotspots and if you really need to connect to free Wi-Fi when you’re out and about make sure to verify the network details with a member of staff, otherwise you could become the victim of a man-in-the-middle attack.

8. AutoFill

AutoFill is a feature present in the Safari internet browser that saves or automatically fills in user names, passwords, payment card details, and other information into websites. If your device gets stolen and the thief manages to get access to it, they will also have access to all the credentials you have saved in AutoFill. If you have this feature enabled, you should consider turning it off.

9. Jailbreaking

Symantec advises users against jailbreaking their devices as it can seriously impact security and is against the usage policies of the product. Jailbreaking your device can open your device up to all kinds of threats, such as malicious apps from third-party app stores. Many of the iOS malware in circulation (such as KeyRaider) can only be installed on jailbroken devices. By not jailbreaking your device, you will protect yourself against many of these threats.

10. Stay updated

Cybercriminals often take advantage of out-of-date software. By keeping your apps and operating system up to date you will strengthen the security of your device. You can turn on iOS’s Automatic Downloads feature to update apps in the background and without the need for any user interaction (just be sure to choose Wi-Fi only updates if you’re on a limited data plan from your carrier).

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Top 10 Tips for Securing Your iDevice