Five iPhone Security Settings


One of the winning things of iOS is that it’s a truly secure platform, even out of the box and without modifications. A questionable app that makes it into the App Store is rarely available, and Apple has struck the perfect balance between too much and little security.

Check you have a good passcode

Don’t be that individual who relies on 000000 or 123456 to safeguard their information. Yeah, you ‘re better. A lot better.

Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode on older iPhones), enter your current passcode, then tap Passcode Options to access a set of options. Choose between Custom Alphanumeric Code (the most secure) or Custom Numeric Code (the second best option), or 4-Digit Numeric Code (this last option is not recommended).

Leakage Management

That’s Data Leakage.

Take control over how much — or how little — knowledge a locked computer wants you to use.

iOS 13 provides the following checks:

  • Today View
  • Notification Center
  • Control Center
  • Siri
  • Reply with Message
  • Home Control
  • Wallet
  • Return Missed Call
  • USB Accessories

With the exception of Home Control and Wallet, I have everything disabled.

The bottom line is that the more the computer and data are protected, the more secure it will be. The USB Accessories feature is particularly useful because if your iPhone or iPad has been locked for more than an hour, it will prevent the Lightning port from connecting to any device.

Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode for older iPhones), and enter your current passcode to take control of it.

Are you lazy, and reused passwords?

If you are using the iCloud Keychain to store web passwords, this can now be used to search for reuse of passwords (which is evil, so don’t!).

Go to Settings > Passwords & Accounts > Passwords for the Website & App and authenticate with either Face ID / Touch ID or passcode.

Next to any repeated entry you will see a grey triangle with an exclamation mark. Tap Change Account on Website to change email.

Reduce timeout for lock screens to a minimum

The shorter you set the timeout setting for the lock screen (there are options that range from 30 seconds to never), the faster your iPhone or iPad display will need authentication to access it.

My advice — never set it to never. None!

The auto-lock time can be adjusted by going to Settings > Monitor & Brightness > Auto-lock.

Hide preliminary notification

Prevent potential snoopers from accessing your information by removing samples of the update.

Go to Settings > Notifications and then tap Display Previews, and pick Unlocked.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.