I've been testing all iPhones for 16 years.  These are the top 3 security tips I give to protect you as much as possible

He took 16 years using iPhone, I have tried all the models of any generation and I have seen the evolution of the device in many aspects. From the analysis of the original iPhone to the details of the latest model iPhone 14 Pro, I have seen the evolution of practically all its features – and perhaps the most important of them is the security.

I don’t care, in the first iPhone I remember that it didn’t even have a lock code or it was a very simple one. It was with the arrival of the iPhone 5s and the first generation of TouchID that I understood the need to protect a device that each day housed more information and personal data. Maybe I treated the first iPhones like a continuation of the traditional mobile, but with them you can do much more – especially considering that we access our bank accounts, pay with virtual cards or store photos of our family.

Apple has also improved the security of the iPhone over the years, giving control of its data to its true owner: the user. There are many configuration options to protect us from unauthorized access, but after 16 years testing iPhonesI always recommend three. There are many more since, fortunately, iOS offers us a large number of options, but these three are essential for me.

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Change your unlock code to an alphanumeric one

  • Settings / Face ID & Passcode / Change Passcode / Passcode Options / Custom Alphanumeric Passcode

This is basic, and if you are reading this right now and you do not have it configured like this, please change it immediately. It is about changing the iPhone unlock code, which is traditionally four or six figures, for a personalized alphanumeric code.

This allows you to use a multi-word code by mixing letters and numbers, which is not only harder for a password generator to guess in case someone tries to access your phone. It is also more difficult to read if someone sneaks a peek at us on the subway, in a restaurant or wherever – and intends to later steal our iPhone.

It must be clear that the iPhone lock pin is a critical password for our security, since it gives access to many private parts of our content. Is essential keep it as complex as possiblebut easy to remember. I recommend you choose a random phrase or set of words and change it from time to time. I have also marked you in dashed line parameters that must be activated so that FaceID cannot be used without our full attention.

Use iCloud second factor authentication

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  • Settings / Passwords / (You look for the account that you want to configure) / Set verification code

A couple of weeks ago, the friend Elon Musk decided that the second factor authentication on Twitter via SMS could only be used by paying Twitter Blue subscribers. We already told you how this can actually be solved in a safer way and without paying anything, and he put on the table the use of authentication apps second factor – they give us a second key to access different services. It is an extra security measure so that no one with only our password can impersonate us.

There are many apps from Google, Microsoft and more companies that provide us with this service, but they are a problem when we change our phone and we have to migrate all these accounts to the new one – since they have to be configured again. Instead, use the iCloud password keychain – something that very few people use for this.

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To finish configuring second factor authentication, use the code generated by the keychain in the service after using the QR or the code indicated by it

Second factor verification codes in iCloud are not only convenient, they also do not need to be migrated between devices because they are stored securely in our account

You only have to enter the account of your iCloud keychain that you want to configure, and click on “Set verification code”. With the QR code or the codes provided by the official page of the service that you want to configure, it will be added to your keychain to have it at hand whenever you need it. It’s not just convenient, it’s also securely stored in your iCloud account, and when you switch phones, it’s on your new one too.

Virtually all current services allow this type of configuration. In this example, I have set the second factor authentication of my Mastodon account, with iCloud Keychain. It is very fast, we do not need more apps to manage this and we will always have it at hand (even from our Mac if we access with our account).

Set up emergency account recovery

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  • (We enter our iCloud account in Settings) / Password and security / Account recovery

It is curious how this option is so little known among the owners of an iPhone. It’s about the account recovery settings, which is not activated or configured by default and is not mentioned in the welcome to the phone. Originally it helps us if we forget the password or device code, but it would also allow us to recover an account if we lose access to it.

Setting up an extra method to be able to recover our account is essential in case we lose access one day

Entering this option, we can use two ways: one is set up a trusted recovery contact. This does not give you access to our data, but instead uses our contact’s device to offer us an emergency recovery code to recover the data.

The other option is the recovery key. It’s about a 28 character code that would allow us to recover the account in case we lose access. This code should be kept in a safe place and would be an exceptional measure in case you cannot access our iPhone in another way.

Image / Photo of Malte Helmhold

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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