Security is at perpetual war with convenience. The faster and easier it is for us to get to our stuff, the faster and easier it is for someone else to try and break in. Make it tougher for them, though, and it can get tougher for us as well. One of the biggest advantages iPhone and iPad give us is a better balance of the two. iPhone and iPad also have options that help us be even more private and secure. Here’s how to use them!
If you have a recent iPhone or iPad, you have Apple’s personal identity sensor—Touch ID.Take advantage of it—if you’re not using 6-digits yet, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode, and change your passcode. You’ll be prompted for 6-digit one. Even better, because you no longer have to enter your passcode as often, switch to a stronger, longer, more complex password lock instead.
Touch ID is so convenient—and so fast on the iPhones 6s—that it only takes a second or two to unlock anyway. So, if you’re the least bit concerned about privacy and security, disable notification center, control center, and even Siri from your lock screen. If you want to go half-way, disable control center and turn off previews for your messages. That way no one can disable your device or read your messages (though they can still see who messaged you).
Security works best with defensive depth, and defensive depth means having as many layers to your security as possible. A passcode is something you know. Touch ID—your fingerprint—is something you have. Sadly, since Apple doesn’t allow you to use both passcode and Touch ID for added security, that alone doesn’t add any depth. It simply adds convenience. Enter 2-step verification.
With 2-step you need to enter both as password and a token—something you know and something you have. The token is supplied to your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or other device over SMS or over an app like Google Authenticator, Authy, 1Password, etc.
What you look at on your devices is your business. If you don’t want it being anyone else’s business, though, you should make sure cookies, web history, and other information about your browsing doesn’t get recorded and tracked across the internet. Safari pioneered private browsing, but almost every browser offers it now. They also offer ways to delete information that’s already been logged. For iPhone and iPad, simply go to Settings > Safari. For Google, regardless of device, go to activity controls.
Just because an app wants your location it doesn’t mean you want that app to have it. Not only is your location among the most private information you have, monitoring your location is a drain on your iPhone’s or iPad’s battery and processor. So, make sure you go through your Settings > Privacy > Location and turn off anything you don’t use regularly or need urgently. You can always turn in back on when and if you need it again.
Security is at constant war with convenience. Fortunately, in order to tip the scales slightly more towards convenience, there are password managers. They store all your strong, unique passwords and grant you access with either a single master password or your fingerprint via Touch ID. Thanks to action extensions, you can even use them to fill passwords right into Safari and other apps.
iCloud Keychain comes built right in, but if you want to be even more secure, you can use 1Password, Lastpass, DataVault or another dedicated password manager that offers additional features like security audits, alerts, teams, token support, and more.
Abridged from imore