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Apple to iPhone Users: Here's How to Protect Your Devices

By Kaleigh Alessandro | Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Security has been THE topic of 2014 thus far and was amped up last week when many A-list celebrities’ phones were hacked and racy photos released. The hack was allegedly the result of an iCloud infiltration, prompting many Apple users to question the company’s privacy settings. In response, Apple CEO Tim Cook released a letter to consumers, and the company’s website will now feature a privacy section:

Apple’s privacy site includes details on both the built-in security features within Apple devices as well as how users can manage their own privacy settings and tailor them to individual needs. Here is a brief snapshot of some security functions highlighted:

Built In Privacy

  • iMessages and FaceTime calls are protected with end-to-end encryption

  • iMessages and SMS messages are backed up to iCloud, but can be turned off by the user

  • All iCloud content is encrypted in transit and when stored (in most cases)

  • iCloud Keychain allows users to create strong passwords and stores them securely without giving Apple access

  • Safari blocks third-party cookies on all devices and offers private browsing Apple Two-Phase Verification Code

Manage Your Privacy

  • Users have the option to set a 4-digit passcode or a stronger one if they prefer

  • With certain models (iPhone 5s or later), users can program their fingerprints for increased security and control

  • “Find My iPhone” allows users to locate their device if lost or stolen

  • Two-step verification is now available and offers a second layer of protection if users want to change their Apple ID, sign into iCloud or make a purchase in the App Store

  • Users can configure their iCloud settings and control which apps (music, photos, documents, etc.) are backed up

In addition to outlining the features above, Apple has also provided a list of phishing schemes to be aware of as users navigate their mobile devices. Keep an eye out for these:

  • The sender’s address doesn’t match the name of the company it’s supposedly from.

  • The message was sent to a different address from the one you gave that company.

  • A link takes you to a website whose URL doesn’t match the company’s site.

  • The message starts with a generic greeting like “Dear valued customer” — most legitimate companies will include your name in their messages to you.

  • The message looks significantly different from other messages you’ve gotten from the company.

  • The message requests personal information like a credit card number or account password. Don’t reply or click any links. Instead, go to the company’s website, find their contact information, and contact them directly about the issue.

  • An unsolicited commercial message contains an attachment. If you receive one of these, do not open the attachment without first contacting the company to verify its contents. 

We also recommend you read the following resources to learn more about security:

Whitepaper: Critical Cybersecurity Threats
Photo Credit: Apple
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