While iPhone and other Apple devices are generally considered high-end and high-security, the truth is these devices are also juicy targets for cybercriminals. This is because iPhones and iPads carry a lot of personal data, including messages, contacts, photos, and all the sensitive information in all the email accounts linked to the device. In short, these devices contain everything the hacker needs to accomplish their hacking mission. To top it up, hackers keep finding vulnerabilities that act as entry points into iPads and iPhones. While Apple tries to stay on top of these threats by offering frequent updates to its OS, users of these devices need to perform some tweaks to increase their level of protection.
Security Threats Facing iPhone Users
Different mobile operating systems come with different strengths and weaknesses. And while it’s undeniably true that iPhones are better protected than Androids, they have their vulnerabilities too. Here are some of the risks facing iPhone users.
This is a fairly new risk for iPhone users. Trustjacking happens when you use the USB port of a compromised computer. The iOS asks if you want to trust the device since it will access your data, thus the name “trustjacking.” Once you accept, this threat can abuse an iOS feature known as iTunes Wi-Fi sync, which is meant to enable iPhone users to manage their device without having to connect it to their computer physically.
Some attacks, such as man-in-the-middle, are not tied to a particular operating system, so that means they are dangerous to iPhone users as they are to android users. And, since anyone, including iPhone users, can connect to public Wi-Fi, it means anyone can fall victim to this attack despite the operating system or device that one is using.
Man-in-the-middle attacks are often found on unsecured Wi-Fi and can capture your information as it passes from your mobile phone to another device or website. Most often, this happens without the victim’s knowledge.
Just like man-in-the-middle, mobile phishing is also not operating system specific, and anyone can fall victim to it. Phishing scams come in various forms. These threats employ different online techniques like pop-up ads and fake emails and come in the form of text messages and phone calls. Scammers often use fear tricks to lure victims into taking action.
How iPhone Users can Protect their Devices
As discussed above, iPhones also come with their own vulnerabilities that users have to deal with. The good news is that these threats are easy to protect from. Here are some of the things you can do to ensure your iPhone remains secure.
Enable Find My iPhone Feature
This is Apple’s built-in tracking software that uses GPS to track a stolen or lost phone. Besides helping you find your phone, this software has other built-in security features like Activation Lock that makes it impossible for anyone else to use your iPhone. To use the iPhone, one is required to enter their Apple user ID and password. Not having this information means you cannot use or reactivate your device, erase your device, or disable the Find My iPhone setting.
Use a VPN on Unsecured Networks
A VPN app for iPhone will make your connection private and secure whenever you’re connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) acts as a tunnel, encrypting the data you send and receive while on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
2FA such as phone number SMS or fingerprint reader methods adds an extra layer of protection to your accounts. That means when someone signs into your account from a different device or even browser, even if they have your password, they’ll be taken to a different screen, asking them for a code. This is such a simple tip, and since an increasing number of apps and sites have it available, ensure you activate it to secure your accounts and the information within.
Turn On Automatic iOS Updates
Ensuring your apps and operating systems are up to date is crucial if you want your iPhone to remain secure. They add new features and address the issue of software vulnerability—which is a weakness or security hole in a software program or operating system.
Hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities by writing code that targets a particular weakness. The worst part is that these exploits infect your device with no action on your end except maybe, playing infected media, opening a corrupted message, or viewing a website.
Indeed, the iPhone isn’t exposed to as much malware and other security risks as android devices, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore good practice as far as iPhone security is concerned. Just so you know, some iPhone apps track and send user data to third parties. So, it’s up to you to keep your iPhone, and all the sensitive information in it protected and secured.