iPhone prides itself on setting a high standard for privacy and data security on every device it provides. However, your Apple device might not be as secure as you think. It is true that iPhones are harder to hack than other devices, as they are produced by one manufacturer committed to keeping them secure.
Hundreds of companies produce Android devices, which means a greater risk of vulnerabilities. However, cyberattackers have found creative ways to steal your private information from the iPhone apps collecting it daily. They could grab your internet browsing history, current location, personal images, and even passwords without you even knowing it.
Apple has no control over where your private information travels once applications collect it. Some app providers harvest your private information, which means that iPhone security concerns go well beyond the risk of hacking. Fortunately, there are many ways you can take to reduce your risks, and they are all free or cheap. In this blog, TechNinjaPro will discuss the best ways to protect your iPhone privacy so that your confidential information does not get into bad hands.
Why It is Crucial to Keep Your iPhone Personal
The risk of someone watching you or sharing videos and pictures of you without your awareness is disturbing at the least and risky at worst. Unluckily, it can happen, and it is one of the best ways your iPhone can put your privacy in danger.
Malware and Hacking Risks
Some researchers found that snoopers can spy on you through your iPhone camera. When you download an application, it asks your permission to access different components of your iPhone like camera, location settings, photos, etc. Once you grant permission to the application, it can access those components every time the app runs. That means an application compromised by hackers can silently record photos and videos of you or even run facial recognition apps in an attempt to steal your private identity.
In addition to making users vulnerable to spying, compromised applications could infect your iPhone with malware. “Jailbreaking” your iPhone to download third-party applications not provided by the Apple Store increases the risk of malware attack or hacking enormously.
TechNinjaPro has experienced all those moments of distraction, not realizing that we left the device at the coffee shop or pizza store until hours later. Then terror sets in. Passcodes and a fingerprint touch ID should stop a thief from accessing your information, but will they?
Despite these security measures, there is a chance a dishonest person who finds your device could get into your messages, contact lists, and much more.
Data Harvesting and other Concerns
Even if your iPhone’s privacy and security features do their job and no one accesses your iPhone without your permission, your security and privacy are still at risk any time you use an application. App providers and your internet service provider continuously harvest your information, often selling it to third-party data brokers.
At a minimum, the sale of your confidential data means you will be dealing with the annoyance of targeted marketing, and always remember, these ad agencies know your cell number. But the effects of data harvesting could be far worse than that.
Much of the information collected about you makes its way to ad agencies that run background checks. So whether the data is accurate or not, your information can be used against you when you make important life decisions, such as buying a home or finding a new job.
Some sites suggest that the best way to protect your security and privacy is to delete all your iPhone applications, but doing that basically turns your device into a flip phone. Let’s have a look at the practical tips to protect your iPhone and your information.
How iPhone Privacy and Security Works
Apple’s stiff approach to iPhone security and privacy is reassuring, offering you with the tools you want to monitor what your applications know about you. At some point, you can disable an application’s access to your location, microphone, camera, and other potentially important information. Applications are always asking for permission.
If you download a camera application, it will need access to your camera to work. This action takes the form of a pop-up window, where you can allow or deny the request.
This is how iPhone’s designed privacy to work on iOS. You need to manually grant access to information and services like your camera, microphone, location, health data, and even your Apple Music library. These privacy requests include other applications, like Calendar, Contacts, and Reminders.
iPhone did this to make it easy to manage your confidential information. Not all applications need access to everything they request to function, and you do not necessarily need all applications to send you push notifications, monitor your location, or listen in on your microphone. However, this is not all about applications. You should check crucial options, including ad tracking, keyboard access, and internet browser privacy options. There is nothing paranoid about being privacy-aware.
How to Change What Your Applications Can Access?
You can control what applications have access from the Settings app. In the Settings app, scroll down and click on privacy to reveal a list of private information like contacts, photos, and location services. Click on each of these to see a list of applications requested access. Tick the toggle to grant or revoke access to any application you see fit.
While reviewing your privacy settings, choose whether an application needs the service to run or an app needs access to your microphone to work properly, but Instagram does not need access to your Contacts unless you are explicitly trying to find friends. Revoking access to specific services may have knock-on impacts for the application in question. For example, disabling Facebook’s right to use your camera will stop the Facebook camera from working, but it would not affect the application’s primary function.
Best Ways to Keep Your iPhone Secure
Here are the five ways to provide your iPhone the boost of protection it wants to combat almost any security threat.
1. Tweak iOS Settings for Maximum Privacy
Your iPhone’s default settings are not set up to protect you completely. Here is what you want to do to improve them.
Select your home screen widgets sensibly.
Recent iPhone updates have introduced home screen widgets you can access without trying in your passcode. This feature is great for convenience but not so big for security. You do not need someone accessing without a password to remove widgets. Swipe right on your lock screen and tick Edit to remove widgets.
Set a powerful passcode
The best passcodes include both numbers and letters and are more than 6 digits.
- To update your passcode, Open Settings, then click Touch ID & Passcode.
- Turn Passcode On
- Select Passcode options and click custom alphanumeric code.
- Enter your new robust passcode.
Allow two-factor authentication
A skilled or new hacker can crack even a strong passcode. Two-factor authentication locks down your accounts so that strangers cannot access them even if they guess your passcode.
- Open Settings > Apple ID > Password & Security. Enter your Apple ID password and then select Turn two-factor authentication On.
- Disable location tracking
Disable location tracking
When location tracking is active, all applications with access to the feature will know where you have been. That is a lot of confidential data you do not need out there on the data-selling market.
- To disable location tracking on your applications, open Settings > Privacy, click location services.
- Select Apps. Choose which app will have access to location tracking and which will not.
Review application permissions
A perfect way to take control of your confidential data is to review all your application settings to see which of your iPhone’s privacy features each app can access. This will provide you with an idea of how much information each app could collect.
To review application permissions, open Settings > Privacy. Browse through features like photos, microphones, contacts, etc. Disable permission for any application you do not need to access a particular feature like your camera.
2. Turn On Find My iPhone Feature
Find My iPhone feature is a lifesaver if your iPhone gets stolen or lost. When you turn on Find My iPhone, you will have to delete all your iPhone data remotely so that no one who finds or steals your device has access to private information. With Find My iPhone, you can make use of any PC to track your iPhone and clear information from it. To remove your phone’s data, log in to the Find My iPhone app and select your iPhone >Actions > Erase iPhone. Confirm your selection.
When your iPhone connects to the internet, it will automatically remove all your information, keeping it safe no matter who finds your iPhone. That will provide you with much-required peace of mind as you struggle with all the hassle of replacing a lost phone
3. Keep Your Videos and Photos Safe
One of the device safety problems that hit closest to your heart is that a hacker can enter into your iCloud account and access your private videos and photos. There are many things you can do to stop this nightmare.
Disable Photos Sharing
Your iPhone lets users share photos with a select group of people via Photo Sharing. However, there are more protected ways to share photos with your family and friends, so it is crucial to disable this feature.
- Open Settings > iCloud
- Click Photos.
- Turn off iCloud Photo Sharing
Disable image and video backups
Backing up your photos on the iCloud is an efficient way to make sure that you can recover them if you lose your device or get a new device. Unfortunately, it makes them available to hackers. Instead, back up your videos and photos to your PC and keep them off the cloud.
- To disable iCloud image backups, open Settings > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups.
- Choose appropriate backup and select Disable Camera Roll.
4. Install Malware Protection Software
The fact that very antivirus programs exist for iPhone is a perfect thing, and it shows how unlikely a virus infection is as long as you do not jailbreak your iPhone. However, it is essential to protect your device from third-party ads that may carry malware. Ad-blocker apps can detect and block suspicious ads before they hack your Phone. Some antivirus programs are free, but the market-leading apps are paid.
However, ad-blocking apps provide very limited protection. You need a virtual private network working alongside these ad-blocking apps to protect your phone completely.
5. Install a Reliable VPN
You need a virtual private network for your iPhone to get powerful protection for your information. Be careful which VPN service you select. Many free virtual private networks actually collect your private information and share it with other marketing agencies, which is the last thing you need if privacy is the main goal.
A reliable VPN service will never harvest your information and protect your iPhone by encrypting all your online traffic, which is especially crucial when using public Wi-Fi. You will access geo-restricted content like the BBC and Netflix US as a major bonus. There are two ways of installing a virtual private network on your iPhone: downloading a native VPN application for iOS and manual configuration.
Native apps from reliable VPN services allow you to fully secure your iPhone and your data with just a few clicks.
Best VPNs to Protect iPhone Privacy
There are many VPN services available in the market. With so many options, it can be hard to make a decision. That is why TechNinjaPro has done detailed research to shortlist the top four VPN providers to protect your iPhone
To help you pick the best VPN service for privacy, here is a list of the best VPN services.
Yes, iPhone can be hacked remotely through iOS vulnerabilities. However, it is more likely to be hacked through physical access or malicious software, as programming-based hacking is difficult to carry out.
The iPhone’s private internet browsing feature does not provide complete privacy. The list of things it cannot block includes the device’s IP and any related information are visible, and Bookmarks saved while in a private session are visible in normal internet browsing mode.
Apple’s default privacy settings are not enough to keep you safe from the security and privacy threats we all face today regarding iPhone privacy problems. To fully protect your iPhone privacy, follow the steps mentioned above and, most importantly, install a reliable native VPN app. The best virtual private network services provide free trials and money-back guarantees, so you have nothing to lose.