iPhone data security threats have been on the rise over the past few years thanks to the global sales success of the iPhone. Owners really need to make sure that all their iPhone data is properly protected in case of loss or theft. Many of us today use our iPhones for shopping and banking as well as communicating. The iPhone is basically the new Swiss Army knife of tech. The fact that your iPhone has so much personal and sensitive material stored on it can make it a target to thieves and hackers alike. Just like your computer at home, we always recommend that you implement some type of iPhone data security to keep all that precious information safe. In the event that your phone is lost or stolen, this sensitive data may be compromised. To improve your digital security, Gazelle recommends the following:
Keep Your iPhone up to Date
Apple has added hardware-based disk encryption to iOS 4 and above. This technology allows you to instantly purge all the personal data on your iPhone. This feature can be activated locally, by enabling the data erase feature, or remotely, using Apple’s Find My iPhone service. iPhone users can upgrade their iPhones for free by following these easy steps:
Wireless Update (iOS 5 and above):
Settings > General > Software Update
Update with iTunes:
Lock Your iPhone with a Complex Passcode
Your lock screen passcode forms the first and most basic defense against iPhone data theft and unauthorized access to your applications. To adjust your passcode security settings, navigate through the Settings > General > Passcode Lock menus and select “Turn Passcode On.”
When picking a number, you can increase the strength of security by following a few guidelines:
Enable Encrypted iPhone Backups
Once you secure your device with a strong passcode, regularly back up your personal data through iTunes. When you activate data encryption, iTunes copies your iPhone files in a way that makes all the iPhone data unreadable by users without your password. Here’s how:
Because your iPhone is highly portable—and thus more vulnerable to loss or theft—keep your most sensitive data at home. With frequent backups, you can enable the automatic data erase or initiate a remote wipe without the risk of completely losing your data.
iPhone Data Security: Don’t Rely on Just Your Password
In February 2011, Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology publicized an iPhone hack that bypassed the screen lock, accessed the device’s password keychain, and retrieved sensitive data, including login and password information for Gmail and Exchange mail accounts, Wi-Fi networks and numerous other apps. The entire process required six minutes to complete. Although Fraunhofer Institute’s method is not public knowledge, a number of other well-documented and freely available programs—like jail-breaking software—circumvent the iPhone lock screen. For an additional layer of security beyond passwords and encrypted backups, associate your iPhone with Apple’s Find My iPhone service.
Get to Know The Cloud
With iCloud replacing MobileMe last year, backing up your data is simpler than ever before. All iOS devices and Macs have iCloud built right into the device. iCloud requires you to have a mobile device running iOS 5 or greater, a Mac running OS X Lion 10.72, or a Windows PC running Windows 7 or Vista SP2. iCloud can perform all the following:
Find Your Lost or Stolen iPhone
Once the Find My iPhone feature has been activated on your Apple computer or other iDevice, you can track the location from any computer by logging in with your Apple ID at www.icloud.com. Alternatively, you can access your data from any other iOS device using the free Find My iPhone app.
In the event of loss or theft, you can use these tools to send a message to the device to arrange its return, remotely lock your device with a passcode, or initiate a remote data wipe of your device. Additionally, the GPS data logged by your iOS device may prove invaluable over the course of a police investigation. iPhone data and security is a major issue today. With the proper protection and awareness tools, you can make sure your iPhone data remains safe and sound.