Apple has announced its new products and features, including the much-touted operating system, iOS 12. Although the new software for iPad and iPhone is packed with a number of cool features, the central focus has been the privacy and security features.
The added security features are aimed at protecting data of iPhone and iPad users. The update promises to curb intruders from accessing private files on the device. Although, the new update pledges to keep hackers at bay, securing the device is entirely up to the user.
Devices Compatible With iOS 12
All iPhone and iPads that were compatible with iOS 11 can be easily upgraded to 2018’s iOS 12 release. Here is the list of devices that are compatible with iOS 12:
- iPhone: iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone Xs, and iPhone Xs Max.
- iPad: iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad 5th generation (2017), 9.7-inch iPad 6th generation (2018), 9.7-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1st generation, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2nd generation.
- iPod: iPod touch 6th generation.
With that in mind, here are the highlights of the new security-focused software update along with the instructions to enable these security features.
1. Keep It Updated!
Similar to other operating systems and software in the market, one of the safest ways to stay ahead of potential security threats is to keep your device updated at all times.
In our busy lives, where a new notification pops up every minute, the notification for an update can be very easily missed. Thus the best idea is to enable automatic updates in iOS 12.
To enable the auto-update feature in iOS 12:
- Head to Settings.
- Select the General.
- Click on Software Update and turn on the option for Automatic Updates.
Once done, your device will be automatically updated whenever a new patch is released.
2. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the latest technological marvels across the industry, and most companies and organizations offer this feature on their devices these days. In iOS 12, Apple has also included this feature to protect your apple account further.
In iOS 12, this feature is built-in, making it simple to use and to set up 2FA.
To enable two-factor authentication:
- Go to Settings > click on [your name] > Password and Security.
- Tap on Turn On Two-Factor Authentication, and Continue.
- Enter your phone number and verify. Enabling this allows Apple to send you a text message or make a phone call to confirm your identity.
Using 2FA lowers the risk of data being compromised, preventing a password thief gaining access to your phone.
3. Restrict USB Access
Connections via USB are a potential security issue, so this feature prevents hackers from bypassing the lock screen via accessories from connected to your Apple device.
Generally, an Apple device is connected to a USB device for two purposes—to charge the device or transfer data.
In earlier versions, Apple devices would lock down the charging point after a week from being unlocked, to stop hackers from breaching the security. The timeline gave hackers the opportunity to employ brute force USB unlocking and get past the lock screen.
However, in a bid to strengthen security the new version shortens the period to one hour, after which the charging port functions in “power-only mode.”
To setup up the USB restricted mode in your iOS 12 device:
- Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and enter your passcode to authenticate your identity.
- Scroll down to USB Accessories and ensure that USB Accessories are not permitted on the lock screen is disabled.
Once this feature is enabled, you are one step further from a possible force entry into your device from an interactive port.
4. Control Location Tracking
Apple’s mobile operating system has several popular location-based apps, such as Siri, Maps, and Photos. When enabled, the feature allows Apple to record your frequent locations and provide notifications and advertisements based on them.
However, the new iOS 12 feature allows you to turn off tracking. Follow the steps outlined below:
- Head to Settings > Privacy > Location > System Services and tap on Significant Locations.
- Toggle to off to stop your device from tracking your location.
- Deactivating Significant Locations will also allow you to erase the Location data that the device has been collecting.
To stop Apple from tracking you, toggle off the options Location-Based Apple Ads, Location-Based Suggestions, and Location-Based Alerts.
By disabling the location access, your journeys will no longer be tracked. Note that turning off Location Services completely will stop any apps using your location data or geographic location. This includes the Maps app.
5. Create Stronger Mobile Passwords
One of the most significant changes in the new iOS 12 is that it now automatically creates strong passwords.
In the new operating system, passwords can be as long as you want, so you’re no longer stuck using four-digit or six-digit passcodes.
Reportedly, hackers can break four-digit passcodes by brute force attack. To crack a four-digit number, hackers only need to run 10,000 combinations, while to break a six-digit passcode hackers need to run one million combinations.
To maximize the security of the Apple device and make them impenetrable, in iOS 12 users can choose to keep a stronger password—a combination of letters, special characters, and numbers.
Want to make your Apple device hack proof? Navigate to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and enter your present passcode to validate your identity. Select the Change Passcode option. By entering your current passcode, you’ll be able to set a custom six digit numeric code.
6. Secure Browsing With Safari
In the new version of iOS, Safari stops cross-site tracking using an “intelligent tracking prevention” technology. Although iOS 11 blocked third-party cookies, it did not stop social media sharing icons from sniffing users browsing behavior. In earlier versions, advertisers were able to track users’ browsing habits across multiple websites using social media widgets.
However, iOS 12 by default prevents social media widgets from tracking users. It also protects your Apple device’s unique identity so that advertisers cannot storm users directly with targeted ads. As the feature is enabled by default, you don’t need to do anything!
iOS 12 Security Settings for a Secure iPhone
Apple has introduced new security features both inbuilt and available as an option which users can choose to turn on or off.
Here is a quick recap of iOS 12 security settings you should change to make sure that you’re making the most of them to keep yourself safe:
- Keep your device updated.
- Use automatic two-factor authentication.
- Restrict USB access.
- Control your location access.
- Use stronger passwords.
- Secure browsing with safari browser.
While security features are key to iOS 12, Apple has also rolled out a bunch of other great features you should check out.