Apple has been very proactive about privacy recently, and iOS boasts many privacy-protecting features. Yet what if it isn’t Apple you’re worried about. What if you want to know how to block hackers and protect your iPhone data?
People used to worry about hackers infiltrating their home computers. Yet many people are blase about protecting their smartphone. That’s all backwards.
Your smartphone probably has much more important data on it than your computer. It has saved payment cards, internet banking apps, Paypal, and more. Every user should be wondering “how do I protect my phone from hackers?”
We’ve got your back. The internet can be a wild west at times, but we know how you can protect yourself. Read on and discover how to protect your phone and your data.
1. Keep Your Firmware Up to Date
If there’s one thing that users don’t do enough, it’s keeping their operating systems up to date. If you don’t update your operating system, gaping security holes are going to be present on your phone. After enough updates, your phone will have more holes than Swiss cheese.
Updating iOS is pretty easy, especially as Apple essentially force updates upon you. Yet if for some reason an update doesn’t install properly, you need to know how to do it manually.
- Plug your iPhone in
- Go to Settings
- Hit “General”
- Hit “Software update”
If it still won’t install, you will need to plug your phone into your PC and update via iTunes. This is a simple process.
- Connect your iPhone to your PC
- Hit the device button at the top left of the window
- Click on Summary and Check for Update
- Follow the installation instructions
2. Only Install Apps That You Trust
This is less of a concern for iOS users than Android users, who can download and install any old .apk. Yet malicious apps have been known to pop up on the App Store.
The best way to avoid these apps is to avoid any apps that look a little…off. Stick to apps with a lot of users or positive reviews. Any exceptions should be made with your greatest discretion, such as niche apps that haven’t achieved mainstream popularity.
3. Lockdown Your iPhone
These days, there is no excuse for not having your iPhone locked down. This is a key part of learning how to block hackers, and it’s one that Apple wants to help you out with.
When you first set up your iPhone X and later, Apple encourages you to set up FaceID. We would recommend that you do this, it’s not 100 per cent fool-proof, but it’s very secure as biometrics go.
If you are using an older iPhone, we would recommend using the fingerprint scanner. You will also need to set up a PIN. When you’re using FaceID, your iPhone will periodically ask for your PIN, and it’s a fantastic backup.
4. Use Unique Passwords
Be honest, do you use one password for everything? You wouldn’t be the first person to do so. Sure, it’s convenient, but it comes at a huge cost to your security.
If a hacker gets that one password from your phone, they can then access all of your accounts. You should use a unique password for every single app and account. This is how to block hackers from cracking your accounts.
The good thing is that Apple knows this and has a good password generator in Keychain. Generate unique passwords when you make a new account and change old passwords to more secure ones.
5. Set Up Find My iPhone
Setting up Find My iPhone is a crucial step in protecting your phone from hackers. This isn’t because you can find where your lost iPhone is and then go round and enact vigilante justice on them.
It’s because Find My iPhone lets you lock your iPhone remotely and delete all of the data on the phone. If you lose your iPhone and see that it has been picked up by someone you don’t know, clearing your data is your best move.
This renders your iPhone useless to any hacker and protects your data.
6. Set Your iPhone to Clear Data After Unsuccessful Login Attempts
There is a little-known setting on your iPhone that essentially self-destructs your iPhone if too many unsuccessful login attempts are made. To enable it, follow these steps:
- Open Settings
- Select FaceID & Passcode
- Enable the Erase Data setting
After 10 unsuccessful attempts, the phone will erase all your data. You should make sure that you know your passcode before you enable this setting. You should also consider not using this setting if you have kids that will try to login to your devices.
7. Subscribe to a VPN For Open Wi-Fi Networks
Free Wi-Fi is a fantastic thing. When you head to a bar or coffee shop, it’s great to login to their Wi-Fi and stop sapping your data. Yet open networks have security flaws: it’s easy for hackers to intercept your data.
You need a VPN to protect your data. A VPN is an encrypted tunnel that protects your data from prying eyes.
While there are free VPNs out there, you should avoid these. They have huge security flaws and can even sell your data on, somewhat missing the point of a VPN.
Instead, subscribe to a VPN with an emphasis on privacy like NordVPN, Private Internet Access, or VyprVPN.
Final Thoughts On How to Block Hackers and Protect Your iPhone Data
Learning how to protect your iPhone data isn’t hard. All of these tips give you a fantastic security foundation, but you should also exercise caution when using your phone. Avoid downloading suspicious files, visiting odd websites, and giving your iPhone to anyone you do not trust.
Do you want to read more articles like this? Check out our iPhone/iPad section!
One of the Editors for Tech on the Go, I love covering mobile tech and social media. I also manage the reviews we cover so all the writers stay on my good side!