Age of digital social interactions is at its peak. And the largest part in that interaction is reserved to smartphones we use to communicate with our friends, colleagues, and family. It’s fast, it’s cheap and it’s easy. However, one segment of our daily dose of digital social interactions that is endangered is most certainly the privacy.
We all heard of the latest privacy infringement with Wikileaks, CIA, and Apple involved, called Vault 7. To cut a long story short, Wikileaks got in touch with some top classified CIA documents with a detailed description of hacking procedures of various Apple’s devices. Apple later denounced those claims and stated that all mentioned security loopholes are fixed after 2013. Now, there’s only so much we can do to oppose CIA spooks, but we can at least preserve our privacy locally.
Namely, there are some features we need to check after the phone is acquired (a must for secondhand or refurbished) to make sure we (and recipients) are the only ones who can access our sensitive data. Moreover, there are additional security measures we need to take in order to protect our phone from an intrusion. So, for that purpose, we compiled a list of few simple steps you should follow to repel even the slightest suspicion.
How to protect your privacy with tools every iPhone have
iMessage is probably the safest standard SMS client you can find on the smartphone market. When it comes to the privacy, Apple is light years in front of Google. But, there are a few things you should check.
- Use secure Apple ID for iCloud backup of messages.
- To make sure that you are running your messaging app with trusted Apple ID open Settings >Messages > Send & Recieve.
- Remove unknown devices from Text Message Forwarding (Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding). You may need to change the Apple ID password in order to clear device list.
- If you are more likely to use an alternative instant messenger, make sure you use the ones with the end-to-end encryption.
Make sure the device isn’t jailbroken
Advanced user can use jailbreak to enrich the experience and take a full control of customization. However, an uninformed newbie may have more than a few issues. The privacy infringement and data loss are included.
As you are probably aware, an app must pass strict Apple’s security and quality (to lesser extent) measures to become available on Apple Store and iTunes. However, it’s not the same with the jailbroken phones. Cydia is a 2-way street. You gain a lot of freedom but the privacy isn’t guaranteed. So, if you’re not sure about Cydia surroundings, don’t use it.
Moreover, if you have acquired the handset with Cydia installed and one (or more) untraceable apps are working in the background, perform a factory reset.
- Tap Settings.
- Tap General.
- Choose Reset.
- Tap Erase all content and settings.
- Restore as a New device.
On the other hand, you can restore factory settings with iTunes.
- Download and install the latest version of iTunes app on your PC.
- Connect your device to a PC.
- Start iTunes and choose Summary.
- Select Restore.
- Confirm selection and move on to restoring process.
Take a good care about your credentials
Your credentials are the key. Create strong Apple ID password and keep it to yourself. Also, it’s highly advised to enable two-factor authentication. That should provide you with additional security layer in case someone sneaky gets your Apple ID password.
- Go to Settings.
- Tap iCloud.
- Open Apple ID.
- Tap Password & Security.
- Tap ‘Turn on Two-factor authentication’.
Then you can enlist your trusted devices and phone numbers. Practically, you’ll be timely prompted if someone tries to access your Apple ID.
Moreover, if you are using iTunes for backups, make sure to enable Encryption that offers additional password. That way only you can access encrypted data.
Use only secure Wi-Fi networks
Another important thing you should remember is related to untrusted Wi-Fi sources. There is an abundance of ways your data can be stolen trough seemingly benevolent hotspots. Make sure to remember this next time you connect to an open network.
- Don’t connect to suspicious networks without proper encryption.
- Use VPN. There are a numerous VPN services but we ensure you that the StrongVPN offers amazing, military-graded security for an affordable price. Make sure to check it out.
- Never give credentials like email or private information.
When it comes to security and privacy, Apple stands firm above others. However, don’t let your guard down. The same way you don’t want someone sniffing around your house, you’ll hate to see someone reading your messages, tracking your location or checking your browser history.
And don’t forget to post your questions or suggestions in the comments section. We’ll appreciate it.