According to the London Evening Standard, 10,000 iPhones are stolen in London every month! We take it for granted that our iPhones will stay with us, but if they should end up in the hands of criminals you don’t want to hand over the keys to your house, the passwords to your bank account and give them the ability to sell your details to 3rd party companies. Identity theft is a real problem, and iPhones bring everything together in such a handy bundle, so it is extremely important that you keep on top of a few simple security tips that will help keep you safe.
1. Make Sure You Have a Pin Code
Make sure you protect your device with a pin number. According to the Metropolitan Police, 60% of smartphones stolen in London aren’t protected with a pin code. This is fundamentally the most important security tip we can give you – your phone, unprotected can give thieves everything they need to know about you to commit identify fraud, they can access your phone book, your emails, your apps (including banking apps), your address, your partners address, your passwords may be saved in your emails, they can access your Facebook – and they can even find where you live from metadata in your photographs. Don’t make it something too simple either – such as 0000 or 2222, or your birthday – make it something more obscure.
2. Set your Auto-Lock to the Shortest Time-Out
The quicker your screen times out the better for your security – once you have set up your phone with a passcode, make sure it locks the screen automatically when it’s not been used for the shortest period. Any longer and it gives thieves time to access everything about you.
To do this go to Settings>General>Auto-Lock>1 minute
3. Don’t Keep Passwords in Notes on your Phone
This is probably the first place a thief will look if they get past the auto-lock. It’s not a good idea to keep a list of passwords anywhere in theory – you should probably code them and store them in different places.
4. Store Important Stuff on iCloud
If your iPhone is stolen or lost, you want to be able to make sure you can get your most important information back, so the best way to do this is not to store important things on your actual device. Using iCloud will make sure you can log in to iCloud whenever you need to access a file, so even if your device is lost or stolen, your information isn’t. This way, if your device is stolen, you can use Find My iPhone to remote-wipe the handset leaving it blank in the thief’s hands, but with you still being able to access all of your files and information.
5. Don’t Trust Public WiFi
We all use it now and again, but public hotspots can be imitated by criminals and recreated with the same name, so your phone will automatically connect, giving them access your data. Many public WiFi hotspots are just badly secured, meaning people on the same network can steal your data. For this reason it’s probably safest to avoid using public WiFi unless absolutely vital.