5 Apple Watch Security Settings You Should Turn On

Protect your Apple Watch privacy by enabling these measures

Because your Apple Watch is linked to your iPhone, it can access your contacts, messages, calendars, and more. If your Apple Watch is lost or stolen, your personal data is at risk, so it's essential to enable your Apple Watch privacy and security settings. Here are five important Apple Watch security settings to check right now.

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Set and Strengthen an Apple Watch Passcode

Apple watch face showing passcode screen
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When you first set up your Apple Watch, you're prompted to create a passcode to use when unlocking the Watch, just as you would with an iPhone passcode. This basic security measure stops anyone from taking your device, viewing its contents, and using your Wallet to fund a shopping spree.

If you have a complicated and secure iPhone passcode and want to use your iPhone to unlock your Apple Watch, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, go to Settings > Passcode, and select Unlock With iPhone. Alternatively, open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, tap Passcode, and then tap Unlock With iPhone.

If you want to change and strengthen your current Apple Watch passcode, open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, tap Passcode, and then tap Change Passcode.

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Enable Notification Privacy

Text messages on Apple Watch before enabling Notification Privacy
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It's convenient and easy to check notifications from your wrist as they arrive on your iPhone, but this may not always be desirable. If you have privacy concerns and would rather not have your notifications pop up in-depth on your Apple Watch, Apple allows you to enable a feature called Notification Privacy.

With Notification Privacy enabled, you can see that you've received a notification, but its details aren't visible until you tap the alert on your Apple Watch.

To turn on Notification Privacy, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap the My Watch tab. Select Notifications and then toggle on Notification Privacy.

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Find My Apple Watch and Activation Lock

The Find My page on the iCloud web site

If an Apple Watch is lost or stolen, the Find My Apple Watch feature protects you in several ways. It locates your Apple Watch on a map and then automatically triggers the Activation Lock feature, so no one can open, unpair, or otherwise mess with your Apple Watch without inputting your Apple ID and password.

To make sure Find My Apple Watch is enabled, go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, and then select My Watch > [your watch name] > Info. If you see Find My Apple Watch there, it means you're protected by Activation Lock.

When Find My Apple Watch is enabled, you can also turn on Lost Mode, where you can set a custom message that displays on the screen along with a number where you can be reached. If the situation is dire, you can also erase your Apple Watch data remotely.

If you're selling or giving away your Apple Watch, turn off Activation Lock first.

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Erase Data After 10 Failed Passcode Attempts

Apple watch face showing passcode screen

If you're concerned about the safety of your Apple Watch's data, an option called Erase Data may ease your mind. When this feature is enabled, if someone enters the wrong passcode 10 times, the data on your Watch is automatically erased. To turn on Erase Data, open Settings on your Apple Watch, tap Passcode, and then toggle on Erase Data.

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Heart Rate and Fitness Tracker Privacy

Heart rate on Apple Watch
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If you're concerned about sharing data produced by the Apple Watch's heart rate monitor and fitness tracking features, restrict this information via the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Go to Privacy > Health, tap Heart Rate, and toggle the switch to off. Toggle off Fitness Tracking to stop sharing this data.

The location services, analytics, contacts, and health settings activated on an iPhone are also activated on every paired Apple Watch. Manage these settings in your Watch app's Privacy section.

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