iPhone Security

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Our phones have become an extension of our daily lives. Phones for many people are more personal now than their computers. There are personal pictures, emails, text messages and all their social networks. Which is why I’m always surprised when I see someone using a 4 digit passcode. You never think about just how secure your phone is until the day you lose it or it’s stolen. That is when having a 4 digit passcode is going to be a weak link in the protection guarding the phone’s data. Especially since every iPhone since the iPhone 5s has a TouchID sensor. Which means that entering your passcode doesn’t happen very often. Usually only when you reboot the phone. I only enter my passcode maybe once every 2-3 months if that often. There are other settings as well that should be on every user’s radar to make sure their iPhone and data are safe.

A 4 digit passcode on an iPhone with TouchID to me is like having a steel front door with 4 deadbolts. Then putting a spare key under the mat in front of the door. Adding 2 more digits and having a 6 digit passcode will be more of a deterrent to thieves. You can do that by following these steps:
On the homescreen tap Settings, scroll to “Touch ID & Passcode” and tap it


Enter your current passcode
Tap “Change Passcode”


In the new window tap “Passcode Options”


Choose “Custom Alphanumeric Code” or “Custom Numeric Code”
Custom alphanumeric: Allows the user to use letters and symbols as well as numbers
Custom numeric: Allows the user to use more than 4 digits for a passcode


If your iPhone is lost or stolen and you get a new one. iCloud backup will be a blessing because in just a few minutes or hours all your settings and data will be on your new iPhone. It will save any user so much time and effort because they don’t need to reload all their apps, data, media, text messages, wifi passwords, etc. In order to use iCloud backup you will need to have an iCloud account. A free iCloud account allows every user 5GBs of storage space. Many iPhone users have hundreds and thousands of photos which add up to many GBs. This will usually put the iPhone backup over the 5GB limit. In this case users want to change the settings of backup to remove the photos from the backup. Photos are important but it’s better to have something backed up than nothing. Besides there are many other online photo storage solutions. Alternately you can upgrade the amount of iCloud storage to a bigger plan able to backup all your devices including the pictures. The next iCloud storage tier offered is 50GB for 99 cents a month. If you have many pictures on your iPhone. You can remove the pictures from the iCloud backup or upgrade your iCloud storage by following these steps:
Stop photos from being included in the iCloud Backup
On the homescreen tap Settings, scroll to “iCloud” and tap it


Tap on “Storage”


Tap “Manage Storage”


Choose your device ie. This iPhone


On the next screen under “Photo Library” it will show the space used by all the pictures on the phone. 
Slide the switch to off
You will be asked if you want to turn off and delete from the backup select “Yes”


Upgrade the iCloud storage
On the homescreen tap Settings, scroll to “iCloud” and tap it


Tap on “Storage”


Tap “Buy More Storage”


A new window will open with your current plan and all the larger storage options.
Tap the upgraded storage plan and the credit card connected to your iTunes account will be billed monthly for the new plan.


Photo online storage
Pictures are a very personal and important thing to people. I don’t think I know of many people who have pictures on their iPhone that are not important. As I said before the pictures can be backed up via iCloud backup but for most people that will require upgrading iCloud to a bigger storage tier. There are many online options available also and like any other file a user can never have too many backups. My personal favorite is Flickr and they offer a mind blowing 1 Terabyte (TB) = 1,000 GBs of storage space for free. In my opinion even if your pictures are being backed up via iCloud a Flickr account is still indespensible. It would also let you not only backup pictures on your iPhone but from all your other devices as well. Please look around and make sure that your pictures are backed up in more than one place.

If an iPhone is lost or stolen Find iPhone becomes indespensible. It allows the owner to pinpoint the location of the iDevice (iPhone, iPad, iPod), remotely lock the iDevice or remotely wipe the iDevice. You can access Find iPhone from the iCloud account associated with the device or through the Find iPhone app on another iDevice. However if the battery on the iDevice dies Find iPhone wont be able to pinpoint it’s location. However there is an option in the settings that lets the device send its last location when the battery is critically low. This wont help if the phone is stolen or manually powered off. However if it’s lost and runs out of juice. Knowing its last location might help recover it. You can make sure the option is on by following these steps:

On the homescreen tap Settings, scroll to “iCloud” and tap it


Tap “Find My iPhone” 


Make sure the “Send Last Location” option is turned on


OK your iPhone is pretty secure now in case it is lost or stolen. If it is ever lost or stolen time is of the essence. Please don’t wait until it happens to install the Find iPhone app on your other devices. Once you realize it has been lost or stolen login to iCloud or the Find iPhone app and either lock or erase the device. It will keep any thief from accessing the data on it. Afterall if it’s found or returned and you setup iCloud backup. You can just do a restore from the latest backup.