Top 7 Ways to Make Your iPhone More Secure

iPhone Security Tips: Make Your Phone Hack-Proof

Touch ID on iPhone

dem10 / iStock

iPhone security plays an important part in the life of your phone. Even though iPhone is more secure than Android, there are still important security tips you need to follow.

Traditional security protocols for electronics might include antivirus software or encryption tools, but when it comes to your iPhone, physical theft is probably the most realistic danger. Fortunately, there's a lot you can do to make sure your iPhone is safe from thieves.

Touch ID on iPhone
dem10/iStock

Theft is a major concern when it comes to iPhone security, but there are other things you should care about, too. Every iOS user should follow these security tips, whether you use iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and even if you're not running the a modern iOS version.

Tips to Prevent iPhone Theft

Before we take a look at the best ways to secure your phone, there are plenty of anti-theft tips you can employ to make sure your iPhone doesn't get stolen, a few of which you might not have thought about:

  • Do the obvious: Keep your iPhone close to you. Don't leave it unattended or exposed in your car when you're away.
  • Ditch your earbuds: The trademark white Apple earbuds have become well-known indicators that the headphone cord snaking into your bag is connected to an iPhone. Try a different set of earbuds to throw them off.
  • Don't use belt clips: Belt clips aren't great for keeping your iPhone safe in public. Since your phone is exposed on your body and potentially easy to pull off a belt clip, keep the clips at home.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: This can be hard, but it's really important. When you're focused on your phone instead of what's going on around you, you put yourself at a disadvantage and let thieves have greater control over access to your phone. If you're going to bury your face in your iPhone or clock out of the real world for a while with your earbuds in, be sure to occasionally open your eyes and look around.

Create an iPhone Passcode

Putting your phone behind a physical lock and key would be ideal, but the best thing you can do in that regard is set up a passcode. If your iPhone is stolen, the thief will need to know the password before they can actually get inside it.

You can even set a passcode after your phone is stolen, using Find My iPhone (more on that in a minute), but it's better to implement this security habit ahead of time.

Use Touch ID or Face ID on iPhone

If your device sports Apple's Touch ID fingerprint scanner, you should use it. The same is true of Face ID on the iPhone X.

Requiring your fingerprint or face scan to unlock your iPhone is much stronger security than a passcode that you might forget or that can be guessed by a computer with enough time.

Enable 'Find My iPhone'

If your iPhone does get stolen, Find My iPhone may be the way you get it back. This free iCloud feature uses the phone's built-in GPS to pinpoint its location on a map so that you (or the authorities) can track it. It's a great tool for finding lost devices, too.

Control Your iPhone Privacy Settings

Controlling the security of your private data is just as important as the physical security of your device. These days, there are more threats than ever to your data, including from apps installed on your phone. Fortunately, iOS has powerful, built-in privacy controls.

Don't Jailbreak Your iPhone

A lot of people advocate jailbreaking your iPhone because it let you customize your phone in ways that aren't officially approved by Apple, like install apps that have been rejected from the App Store, download paid apps for free, etc. However, if you want your iPhone to be as secure as possible, stay far away from jailbreaking.

Apple has designed iOS with security in mind, so iPhones aren't as easily subjected to viruses, malware, and other software-based security threats common to PCs and Android phones.

The exception is for jailbroken phones. The only viruses that have struck iPhones have targeted jailbroken devices because, by nature, the only way to jailbreak a phone is to lower its security.

While the lure of jailbreaking may be strong, if security is important to you, just don't do it.

Make Encrypted iPhone Backups

If you sync your iPhone with your computer, the data from your phone is also stored on your desktop or laptop. This means that the information is potentially accessible to anyone who can get on your computer.

Secure that data by encrypting those backups. To do it, plug your phone into your computer, open iTunes, select the checkbox called Encrypt iPhone backup, and set a password.

With an encrypted iPhone backup, you're forcing potential thieves to know the password you chose. Couple that with an iPhone passcode, and you're a lot less likely to have your data stolen.

Use Security Apps on Your iPhone

There are lots of iPhone apps with a primary focus on security and privacy. Most are free and some have paid options if you want more capabilities.

One popular and useful method for securing your iPhone web browsing habits is with a VPN. You can set up VPN access on iPhone either manually through the settings or with a VPN app. There are lots of VPN service providers to choose from.

If you're concerned about your iPhone security to the point that you want to stop government spying, you have lots of other options in addition to a VPN. For example, to secure your text messages, use an encrypted messaging app.

If you browse the web a lot, you might consider bolstering your iPhone security with a private web browser. There are lots of internet browsers to pick from.

Password security is also extremely important. Should someone gain access to your phone, the last thing you want them to find is a list of passwords to your banks and other accounts. Use a password manager to make sure nobody can see passwords stored on your iPhone.

Do You Need iPhone Antivirus Software?

Antivirus software is a core part of how we secure desktop and laptop computers, but you don't hear too much about iPhones getting viruses. Does that mean it's safe to skip using antivirus on an iPhone?

Because of how iOS is structured and the permissions Apple lets apps have, you don't need to worry about viruses on your iPhone.