10 Ways to Boost Security on iOS Mobile Devices

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-11-16
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Ways to Boost Security on iOS Mobile Devices
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    10 Ways to Boost Security on iOS Mobile Devices

    Apple's iOS mobile operating system is not without its own security issues. Here are some apps and tools that enhance the security of iOS devices.
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    Use Apple's Enhanced Activation Lock Code
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    Use Apple's Enhanced Activation Lock Code

    One of the best ways to get the best security in iOS is to download the latest version, iOS 9. Once you have done that, immediately go to the Touch ID and Passcode settings to set a new passcode. Traditionally, Apple has required users input four-digit pass codes. Now, though, the company allows for six digits, which will make it harder for hackers to break into the iOS device. Those currently using four digits should switch to six to make it more difficult to steal data or to break into a stolen phone.
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    Don't Forget the Importance of Touch ID
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    Don't Forget the Importance of Touch ID

    Touch ID is a critical feature that should not be overlooked when evaluating Apple products. The feature is a fingerprint sensor that helps Apple device owners do everything from access the Home screen to make a purchase. Most importantly from a security perspective, it makes it much harder for would-be hackers or phone thieves to break in.
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    Don't Trust Apps That Are Too Good to Be True
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    Don't Trust Apps That Are Too Good to Be True

    One of the biggest issues with the InstaAgent flaw was that the feature seemed too good to be true. While the app's developer apologized for the issue, any time an app asks for credentials, it's typically not a good idea to hand them over no matter how appealing that app is. Phone access credentials should be disclosed only in extraordinary circumstances.
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    SurfEasy VPN Helps You Go Private
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    SurfEasy VPN Helps You Go Private

    Those looking for extra privacy should seek out the SurfEasy VPN app in Apple's App Store. The free app from Opera Software provides a fully functional virtual private network (VPN) that masks users' IP address, enables users to browse the Web anonymously, blocks ad tracking and bypasses firewalls. Anyone who's concerned about constantly being tracked on the Web will like SurfEasy.
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    LastPass Will Keep Your Credentials Secure
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    LastPass Will Keep Your Credentials Secure

    LastPass offers one of the better password generators and secure vaults on the market. The free app allows users to input everything from their user credentials to card information into a single spot. The app also includes a random password generator to reduce the chances of credentials being stolen. LastPass works across devices, and credentials are automatically input into sites so users don't need to remember long passwords.
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    Keep Find My iPhone Handy to Track Lost, Stolen Phones
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    Keep Find My iPhone Handy to Track Lost, Stolen Phones

    Find My iPhone is one of the more important free apps for iPhone users. The app lets users connect their devices to an Apple ID and find out where it is. In the event the device is lost stolen, the feature will also remotely lock and wipe it.
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    Lookout for Full Security Needs
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    Lookout for Full Security Needs

    Lookout offers a full security suite for those who want the features offered by multiple individual apps combined in one package. The free app provides full phone location information and enables users to automatically back up key information, such as contacts. Lookout has a siren function that sounds an alarm to help locate a lost device that the owner thinks might be nearby.
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    Set Up Regular Data Backups
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    Set Up Regular Data Backups

    Surprisingly, there are some iOS users who don't regularly back up their data to iCloud. While some of those folks don't like the idea of backing up all their data to Apple's cloud, it's always smart to implement some kind of data backup procedure. Turning on iCloud backup means being able to quickly restore an existing iOS environment to a new device. Having that kind of flexibility is extremely valuable.
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    Webroot Bolsters Mobile Browser Security
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    Webroot Bolsters Mobile Browser Security

    Webroot offers a free security app designed to protect users while browsing in iOS. The app is essentially an alternative browser for iOS that adds extra features, including blacklisting and whitelisting, as well as the ability to identify and block malicious sites. Webroot SecureWeb also determines whether search results are safe or not. The app is still in its infancy, but it may be worth trying out.
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    McAfee Augments Device Security Features
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    McAfee Augments Device Security Features

    McAfee Mobile Security is another full-featured application designed to provide everything from security to backup features. The service has a privacy vault component where users can store sensitive information. In addition, the app can password-protect photos, see who has accessed the device by snapping a photo with the front-facing camera whenever someone attempts to access the vault, and more. McAfee Mobile Security delivers one of the fullest experiences of any services in this roundup.
 

A false notion developed years ago that iOS is inherently more secure than just about any other popular mobile platform. The truth, however, is that iOS mobile devices are potentially vulnerable to attacks, and a recently discovered app, called InstaAgent, proved that. According to a security researcher, the app, which was supposed to allow users to see who looked at their Instagram profiles, actually phoned to a remote server in plaintext the person's username and password. While Apple (and Google) subsequently removed the app, it came after hundreds of thousands of people downloaded it to their devices. This was just the latest security issue for Apple, which in September dealt with the spread of the XcodeGhost malware that mainly hit iOS users in China. This helped put the spotlight on iOS data security and the need for users to enhance the security of their Apple mobile devices. This slide show will suggest some apps and tools to help fend off malware and other types of online security breaches. Read on to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your iOS device.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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