5 Apple Watch Security Settings You Should Consider Turning On

Apple Watch
Apple

The Apple Watch, that piece of tech that you didn’t even know you needed, but now that you have it, you can’t imagine how you ever got along without it.

Its name is misleading because it’s so much more than just a watch. It tells time, yes, but it really acts as an extension of your iPhone. That being said, as with anything connected to your phone, you want there to be at least some level of unobtrusive security built into it.

Activation Lock and Mark As Missing

Suppose you lose your Apple Watch or someone steals it from you. The first thing you should do is grab your iPhone, open the Apple Watch App, choose Apple Watch from the My Watch menu, and then select the Mark as Missing option (If they also stole your iPhone you can also access Mark as Missing from a computer by going to iCloud in your web browser).

When you select Mark as Missing, all of your Apple Pay cards are disabled on your Apple Watch so that thieves can’t go on a shopping spree using the convenient Apple Pay features that are linked to your accounts.

Another thing that occurs when you mark a watch as missing is that your watch will keep its Activation Lock feature on, even in the event that someone erases your watch. Your watch will then be useless to thieves unless they manage to get a hold of your Apple ID and password.

Note: If you send your watch in for service, sell it, or give it away, you’ll need to turn off your Watch’s activation lock before doing so. You can find out information on how to turn activation lock off on Apple's Support Page on the topic. 

Notification Privacy

One of the great features offered on the Apple Watch is the ability to see notifications as they arrive on your iPhone. The problem is this may be a privacy issue at times. Say you have a surprise party planned for someone and you get a text or notification related to that surprise and it immediately pops up on your Watch and is seen by the person you are planning the surprise for. Totally not cool, right?

Well, Apple has a solution for you and its called Notification Privacy for Apple Watch. This feature basically still allows you to see that you have a notification, but won’t show you the details of the notification until you tap on the actual alert on your watch.

You can turn this feature on by going to the Apple Watch App, choosing Notifications, and by switching the Notification Privacy setting to the ON (green position).

Passcode for Apple Watch

If you really are concerned about your watch security and/or you plan on taking the watch off and leaving it somewhere where you don’t trust people, consider enabling a passcode for unlocking your Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch features several passcode options including a simple 4-digit passcode, a passcode greater than 4 digits, or you can have your watch unlock whenever you unlock your iPhone. All these options are available from the Apple Watch app on your iPhone in the Passcode menu

Erase Data After 10 Failed Passcode Attempts

If you would like to make sure that your Apple Watch’s data is safe in case your watch is lost or stolen, you can enable the Erase Data option from the passcode menu. This will wipe your watch’s data should someone enter the wrong passcode more than 10 times.

Data Privacy

If you are concerned about sharing data produced by the watch’s heart rate monitor and fitness tracking features then you can restrict this information from the Privacy Settings > Motion and Fitness menu of the Apple Watch App on your iPhone.