iPhones have a broad range of functions that enable you to do pretty much everything you can do with your home or office computer. As a result, the amount of private and commercial information that can be accessed through your iPhone is tremendous, but few people seriously think of how that information can be protected. In fact, most people don’t even think it should be protected at all. Email, social networks, website logins and passwords, financial and banking applications are only some of the things that can be accessed from your iPhone in case it is stolen, found or hacked. Here are some tips that should help you protect your iPhone data.
Tip #1: Use the passcode and erase feature
The simplest way to protect data stored on your iPhone is to use the passcode. It’s a good idea to use an erase feature as well; this feature erases all data from your iPhone after 10 unsuccessful attempts to enter the passcode. You can still access the information, if you use iTunes to back up the data.
Tip #2: Don’t save the passwords
Many websites or applications offer an option to save your login and password, so that you do not have to enter them each time you load a certain page or launch an application. Do not save your passwords and logins; it’s better to spend those extra seconds retyping your login and password than give access to your applications and accounts to someone who may accidentally, or purposely, get a hold of your iPhone. This is particularly relevant to internet banking websites and applications.
Another thing you should not do is saving your logins, passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information as note files. If you have such information saved on your iPhone, consider finding a more secure place for it. This is the sort of information that is best to have committed to memory, but if the amount of such information exceeds the amount of free brain space, you can write it on a piece of paper. This may sound a bit Stone Age, but no one will hack that, in fact, few people would consider physically searching for this kind of information.
Tip #3: Keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth markedly increase your iPhone’s vulnerability to hack attacks, so make sure you keep them switched off whenever they are not used. 3G should suffice to get you email and other notifications.
Tip#4: Use MobileMe or other similar service
MobileMe is a great service in case you lose your iPhone or get it stolen. It costs about $100 per year and, obviously, you have to subscribe for the service before you lose your device, but if you have MobileMe or other similar service subscription, you will be able to locate your lost or stolen iphone via GPS, remotely delete all data or set a passcode on your device, and display a message on the iPhone screen specifying return instructions.
All these tips may seem a bit obvious, but people often don’t pay attention to obvious stuff until they are forced to, and the truth is that most people don’t even bother to set up a passcode on their mobile devices. Stay safe.