iOS is considered by many to be one of the most secure operating systems. In late 2018, when Apple launched iOS 12, they also unveiled a myriad of new ios security and privacy features that would increase this security and privacy.
For example, Safari—Apple’s default browser—now uses an intelligent tracking prevention feature that prevents any advertiser from tracking you. That means the advertiser cannot follow you as you move from site to site.
To take advantage of all these new security and privacy features; there are some things you ought to do.
1. Switch on the USB restricted mode
The USB restricted mode is a new feature that will prevent any accessory feature such as a USB cable or headphone from connecting to your device if your iPad or iPhone is locked for over an hour.
The feature deters hackers who use accessories to bypass your lock screen and gain access to your device. To activate the feature, go to Settings, followed by Touch ID & Passcode. Type in your passcode and then scroll down to USB Accessories and disable the setting.
2. Turn on automatic iOS updates
Each subsequent iPhone or iPad update comes with a myriad of security patches to enhance your device’s security and prevent data theft and system crashes. Unfortunately, most people do not bother with minor updates and only wait until there is a major one.
That is a disservice to yourself because you are missing out on essential patches. To avoid this, go to Settings, click on General, scroll down to Software Update and switch it on. If you do so, any update will continue downloading in the background without disturbing your operations.
3. Set a stronger passcode
With iOS 12, Apple unveiled a Custom Numeric Code that allows you to set a number-only passcode of any length. That means the passcode can be 8, 10, 12 and even 20 numbers long. Prior to this, the default was a four-digit code.
Now, the default is a six-digit code. Whether you opt for the default six-digit code or the custom numeric code, one thing is for sure; it is now harder to run through all the possible combinations through brute-force hacking.
To activate the Custom Numeric Code, go to Settings, then go to Touch ID & Passcode, enter your passcode and scroll down to Change Password. From the options given, select Custom Numeric Code.
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4. Activate the two-factor authentication
Experts recommend two-factor authentication as one of the most effective ways of keeping your account safe. Two-factor authentication ensures that even if someone gets access to your password, they will still need your phone to break into your account.
While 2FA is not a completely new feature, iOS 12 has made it less cumbersome to set it up by facilitating the auto-fill feature. Note that you can activate 2FA when setting up your phone, or you can do it later via settings.
Go to settings, click on your name, then to Password & Security. Select the Turn on Two-Factor Authentication and follow the prompts.
5. Change re-used passwords
iOS has a feature that warns you if you have reused a password on multiple sites. The feature, known as Password auditing, helps to keep your passwords unique to prevent hackers who use the same username and password to break in multiple websites.
Go to Settings, followed by Passwords & Accounts, and finally Website & App Passwords. Key in your passcode, and you will see a warning sign next to each account that has a reused password. Tap on the Change Password on Website to change the reused password.
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6. Download a VPN
These five settings will go a long way in keeping your iOS device secure. However, they only protect you from a localized attack. For proper traffic encryption, you can use a VPN to secure your internet traffic. A VPN provides end-to-end encryption so anytime you get online or communicate via email or chat, third parties will not be able to intercept your data stream, inject ads, or track you.