Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Security Features Worth Implementing on the iPhone

Smartphones are commonly used more for data access than as a phone to make calls. When phone calls were the main use, losing a phone was inconvenient, but not much of a security risk. Now, we have access to:
  • Bank accounts
  • Social media accounts
  • Personal and work related email accounts
  • Stored credit cards
  • Shopping apps for quick ordering
One of the best ways we can protect the security of the data on our devices is by securing the device. There are multiple ways to secure an iPhone including: locking the SIM card, enabling data wiping after 10 failed passcode attempts and using a fingerprint to access the phone rather than a standard passcode alone.

Security Features Worth Implementing on the iPhone

Locking the SIM card

One security feature available is locking the SIM card. The purpose of locking the SIM card is to prevent someone from removing it from an iPhone and using it in another phone and/or gaining access to data saved on the SIM card. When the SIM is locked, it will be erased if 3 bad attempts at the PIN are made. NOTE: When entering in an existing or new PIN, the number of expected characters is not displayed. 

To enable this feature:
  • Open Settings.
  • Select "Phone".
  • Near the bottom select "SIM PIN".
  • In the SIM PIN window toggle to enable the SIM PIN feature.
  • Enter "1111" as the default PIN for AT&T, or "1234" for Verizon and click "Done" in the upper right corner.

  • Once this feature is enabled, click "Change PIN" to set a PIN of choice.

  • Enter the existing PIN number then click "Done".
  • Enter a new PIN and verify the PIN clicking "Done" after each time.

Wiping the phone after failed password attempts
A second great feature that can be utilized is setting the phone to wipe all the content off if there are 10 failed password attempts. This feature does not allow the number of incorrect times before erasing all the data to be customized.  NOTE: If this setting is enabled, be sure to back it up often in case a child or an unauthorized person gains access to the phone so you do not lose all of your data.

To enable this feature:
  • Open Settings
  • Below General, select "Touch ID & Passcode"
  • Enter the phone passcode
  • Scroll down to the bottom and enable "Erase Data"

  • Click "Enable" when prompted with the pop up

Using fingerprints in place of a passcode
Using a fingerprint to unlock the phone rather than a passcode ensures someone else cannot use this method to gain unauthorized access. A passcode can be seen by others as it is being implemented, while a fingerprint cannot be captured in this same way.

To enable this feature:
  • Open Settings.
  • Below General, select "Touch ID & Passcode".
  • Enter the passcode.
  • Enable or disable the items to be accessible using a fingerprint.
  • Click "Add a Fingerprint".

  • Follow the prompts to fully scan the chosen finger.
  • Be sure to lift and press repeatedly until all of the grey areas are filled with red.
  • Once the fingerprint has been fully scanned it is saved and appears in the list.
There are many reasons for protecting the security of a smartphone, especially when we consider how many ways we use them. Locking a SIM card, wiping a phone after 10 failed attempts and using fingerprints in place of standard passcodes are all steps we can take to increase the security of an iPhone. Each of these can be implemented within a few minutes, but could potentially save hours or days of frustration later on.

As always, maintaining the security of your data is key! Regardless of what you store on your smartphone, preventing unauthorized access should be a priority.

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1 comment:

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