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Change risky security settings and secure your iPhone completely

Updated Mon, January 30, 2023 1:06 EST

The first iPhone, which was launched in 2007, had only one model.  People were not sure how the phone would fare as it came from a company known for making computers. Today iPhone has seven different models with different color options and features and compatible with every major phone carrier globally. 

The iPhone has attractive and excellent security features which no android phones can match. However, iPhone is not secure in the real sense as messages or notifications can be read even when locked. One can even reply to messages without unlocking the phone.

When it comes to the security of the iPhone, some tweaking in the setting can make the phone more secure. 

The face ID 

One should use the touch ID and the Face ID feature to secure the iPhone. This prevents any other user from gaining access to the device or discouraging theft.  But there are still some apps that can be used if someone get a hand on the phone. Notifications can be seen on the screen even if the phone is locked though the new iPhone models that use Face ID do not allow it. The notifications are not seen on the locked screen unless one unlocks it with the face ID.  

The new models, especially the iPhone 12 models, do not include the touch ID and only have Face ID. This can be a problem during Pandemic when it does not recognize faces wearing a mask. This is a practical problem! However, it recognizes a user’s face if they are wearing a surgical collar.  And if the user wears different surgical collars, the phone is still ok with it.  If some models do not allow this flexibility, then a setting allows an "alternative appearance" option.


People prefer to avoid using a passcode as it gives them convenience, often overlooking the security aspect.  Therefore, to make it easier, a 4-digit PIN is required.  The problem with the PIN is that, it is the least secured and can be hacked easily. Still, it is better to have a passcode than to turn it off in the settings. 

When opting for Passcodes, there is an option in Passcode Settings called "Passcode Options" that allows one to have more options than just a 4-digit code.  One can choose the alphanumeric option, which is a strong password positioning. One can enter a full password with an alphanumeric 6- or 8-digit   password.  This may, however, be a problem for users to forget them, forcing them to disable it out of frustration.  One mistake user must not make is that they make passwords which are pretty easy to guess, for example date of birth or name.  The worst password can be 123456. Hackers know these tricks and use permutations and combinations to crack a predictable password based on the user's psychology. Another risk is to connect to a malicious hotspot set up by a hacker.  One should avoid automatically connecting an iPhone as it can be dangerous. Hackers use software tools to make Hotspot names look genuine and grab passwords. 

Lock Screen 

If the auto screen lockout time is set to “never” in the iPhone, it means trouble. It is vital to set it to a minimum of 30 seconds as this time lag will provide maximum security.  This setting is intended for others who can lay their hands on the device accidentally or intentionally. However, this time set does not impact a user when the user is actively using the phone or even looking at it. The iPhone is intelligent to detect a user’s attention and prevents the screen from dimming or locking during use.


The models of iPhone that use Face ID have a new feature for notifications.  They remain hidden on a locked screen and become active only when they unlock it with Face ID.  This feature can be strengthened by activating the option of not revealing the message until one gets an alert from a specific app. The message will open only after tapping the app.  This setting will stop prying eyes from seeing the incoming messages and emails. One can also change the settings where “show preview” of notifications will have three options Always willwhen unlocked, or never. As evident from the name, the "Always will" option will show notifications even when the phone is locked. 

Limiting Activities on locked iPhone

One of the most critical settings to have when the phone is locked is limiting the activities that can occur despite the lock.  There is a section under Touch/ face ID passcode labeled as Allow Access When Locked. One can find a list of different features, ranging from things like Siri, wallet, control center, Today views, and more. All these features have on-off features. If they are in the "on" position, they can be accessed directly from the lock screen, even when the iPhone is locked.  For example, one can pick another’s iPhone, hold in the side button and activate Siri and command to send a message or make a call. One can also swipe to the right across the lock screen to view the Today View page, where all widgets and other personal information.  All this can be done while the iPhone remains locked. 

One can go through the list and turn off any features required not to be accessed by anyone other than the iPhone user. It is good to turn off all of them to keep the iPhone and its information safe while locked down. Even leaving something like Home Control turned on may be risky as there could be many home kits controlled by the phone, including house and garage door. Luckily, Apple needs authentication before one can unlock a smart home.

Finally, one can use the "Erase data" option in extreme circumstances. But one must be sure to have the backups in place to get back the required information without any hassle. Regularly doing backups and at the same time keeping the Erase Data feature on the iPhone in the “on” position can help.  If anyone tries unlocking the phone, then in that case, if the passcode is entered incorrectly ten times, the iPhone automatically resets itself to factory settings.  This process does not happen in a few minutes. Still, it allows time for login reattempts, usually   1 hour 36 minutes for the Erase feature to get activated. This situation may actually not arise.