5 Apple Watch Security Settings You Should Turn On

Protect your Apple Watch privacy with these settings

Three Apple Watch styles

Apple, inc. 

The Apple Watch is a piece of tech you didn’t know you needed but now you can’t live without.

Its name is misleading because it’s so much more than a watch. It tells time, yes, but it acts as an extension of your iPhone. As with anything connected to your iPhone, you should take advantage of the levels of unobtrusive security built into the Apple Watch to protect your privacy.

Passcode for Apple Watch

Anyone with an Apple Watch should enable a passcode for unlocking the Watch. Any time you take off the watch, it locks. You use the passcode to unlock the watch, just like you use a passcode on your iPhone. This basic security feature prevents anyone from taking your watch and seeing what's on it or using the credit cards stored in the Wallet to go on a shopping spree.

Activation Lock and Find My Apple Watch Features

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 your Apple Watch from the My Watch menu, and then tap Find My Apple Watch. This feature enables you to locate the Apple Watch on a map, enable Lost Mode, or erase it using the Find My iPhone feature. If your iPhone was also stolen, go to iCloud in your web browser where you can perform these same functions.

When you enable Lost Mode, all 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 your watch lost is that your watch retains its Activation Lock feature, even in the event that someone erases the watch. Your watch is useless to thieves unless they know your Apple ID and password.

If you send your watch in for service, sell it, or give it away, you 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. This may be a privacy issue at times. Say you're planning a surprise party, and the person you are planning it for sees a text on your watch about the surprise. Totally not cool, right?

Apple's solution is called Notification Privacy for Apple Watch. This feature allows you to see that you have a notification but doesn’t show you the details of the notification until you tap on the alert on your watch.

You turn this feature on by going to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, choosing Notifications, and switching the Notification Privacy setting to the On (green position).

Erase Data After 10 Failed Passcode Attempts

If you want to make sure that your Apple Watch’s data is safe in case your watch is lost or stolen, enable the Erase Data option from the Passcode menu in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. If someone enters the wrong passcode 10 times, the data on your watch is erased.

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 menu of the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Use the sliders next to Heart Rate and Fitness Tracking to turn off the sharing of these items.

Any of the location services, analytics, contacts, and health settings that are activated on the iPhone are also activated on every paired Apple Watch. Those settings are managed in the Privacy sections of the iPhone Settings app.