Mobile Tech

5 important iPhone security features you should know about

Whereas iOS 16 fronts a snazzy redesigned lock display screen, beneath, the most recent working system hosts a slew of recent safety and privateness options constructed to assist defend you and your information. Listed here are 5 new options to higher safe your iPhone from hackers and provide you with better peace of thoughts.

Speedy safety response

iOS, in addition to macOS and iPadOS, now enable for computerized “speedy safety responses.” This enables Apple to rapidly patch software program (i.e., zero-days or different important vulnerabilities) and ship it to hundreds of thousands of units with out requiring a reboot or any end-user interplay.

That is out there below Settings > Common > Software program Updates > Automated Updates

Curiously, even with this characteristic toggled off, Apple says “some system recordsdata” can nonetheless replace routinely within the background.

Lockdown Mode

A characteristic initially created in response to spy ware like NSO’s Pegasus, Lockdown Mode presents an excessive degree of further safety to gadget homeowners that could be in danger from extremely refined cyber assaults – comparable to journalists, politicians, activists, and authorities officers. It really works by limiting the most-abused gadget options, like Messages and internet shopping, to make it far harder for malware to interrupt by way of.

Or, as Apple explains it, Lockdown Mode is used “to scale back the assault floor that probably may very well be exploited by extremely focused mercenary spy ware, sure apps, web sites, and options are strictly restricted for safety….”

Most individuals won’t ever be focused by assaults of this nature, however if you wish to strive it out: Settings > Privateness & Safety > Lockdown Mode after which Activate Lockdown Mode.


For these unfamiliar, Passkeys is a brand new authentication methodology carried out with iOS 16 to switch the necessity for passwords. The characteristic is available in partnership with Apple, Google, and Microsoft – based mostly on the FIDO Customary.

The setup is fairly easy. Customers who wish to join by way of an internet site or app that makes use of Passkeys might be prompted to register an account as traditional (this course of hasn’t modified). Subsequent, a window will seem asking to avoid wasting a passkey. When the person returns to this web site or app to register, they will choose their passkey and validate utilizing Face ID or Contact ID. No username, password, or different authentication is required.

Passkeys on macOS Ventura. Credit: Apple

Passkeys work throughout all Apple units operating iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. Any keys created on one OS are synchronized between units of the identical person by way of iCloud Keychain. Plus, each native passkeys and people being exchanged with iCloud are end-to-end encrypted, so it’s unreadable.

Whereas this characteristic remains to be restricted in its availability, it’s a useful device for making it harder for attackers to breach accounts.

Safe and encrypt notes

Whereas the power to lock or “safe” notes created within the Notes app isn’t all that new, it’s value noting the characteristic exists. Safe notes are end-to-end encrypted and will be seen utilizing a user-provided passphrase or just by authenticating with Face ID or Contact ID.

There’s multiple technique to safe a be aware, however the quickest method is to maintain down on it from inside a folder, hit Lock Observe, and voilà.

Apple on the way it encrypts secured notes:

“When a person secures a be aware, a 16-byte secret’s derived from the person’s passphrase utilizing PBKDF2 and SHA256. The be aware and all of its attachments are encrypted utilizing AES with Galois/Counter Mode (AES-GCM).”

AES-GCM is a safe cipher, and from a cryptography standpoint, gives extra information integrity and is barely quicker than related modes of encryption like CBC. Whereas cracking this kind of encryption might technically take billions of years utilizing present computing know-how, it’s vital to notice that no system is totally safe.

Security Test

One other vital new safety characteristic with iOS 16 is Security Test. This new device is designed for folks experiencing or prone to home abuse and lets customers test whom they’re sharing info with, prohibit any Messages and FaceTime, reset system privateness permissions, change any passcodes related to their iPhone or Apple ID, and extra.

Right here’s how Apple describes Security Test for iPhone:

“In case your private security is in danger, you should use Security Test on iPhone (operating iOS 16 or later) to rapidly cease sharing your info or to evaluation and replace sharing with particular person folks and apps.”

Finally, this characteristic can act nearly like a panic button if you end up in a scenario the place you wish to minimize off entry totally. You will discover it by going to Settings > Privateness & Safety > Saftey Test

As our units more and more develop into extra integral, so does holding our information and privateness protected. Even when not one of the new iOS 16 security-focused options curiosity you, it’s important to continuously replace to the most recent iOS model, which, extra seemingly than not, provides important patches to safety flaws and removes bugs that may assist enhance your expertise.

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