8 iPhone Security Tips to Help You Protect Your Private Information

Sometimes, it can be difficult to balance convenience and security when it comes to technology. We want navigating our devices to be an effortless experience, yet we also want to protect our privacy and make them tougher to access. The following tips aim to maximize your iPhone security without sacrificing functionality, covering everything from setting up Touch ID in order to unlock your iPhone without a code to utilizing Find My iPhone to help you find a lost device.


1) Set Up Find My iPhone

With Find My iPhone, you will be able to see the location of all your devices on a map. To find your device, open the app and sign in with your Apple ID. Make sure you’re signed into your iCloud account on each one. Then go to Settings > iCloud, and make sure Find My iPhone is toggled on. Now you can find your missing devices anywhere via the app, which displays their last known location on a map. When you tap on the missing device, you’ll then be given the option to Play Sound, Lock, or Erase Device.


2) Set Up Touch ID

Touch ID is a fingerprint sensor that allows you to make transactions via Apple Pay, authenticate purchases in the App Store, sign in to Touch ID-enabled apps, and unlock your password-protected iPhone simply by pressing your finger on the Home button. To set up Touch ID, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. Under Fingerprints, tap Add a Fingerprint and follow the prompts. 


3) Adjust Auto-Lock Time

Your phone's default auto-lock setting is one minute; but if you find yourself constantly having to unlock your phone in the middle of using it, you may need to change the delay time. To change the delay time, go to Settings > General > Auto-Lock. You can set your iPhone to lock after a delay of one to five minutes, or choose Never. Remember, the longer the auto-lock delay, the more likely your phone can be taken and tampered with.


4) Prevent People from Accessing Private Information from Your Lock Screen

With Siri, all you have to do is ask and you can text a friend or get directions to their home all from your Lock screen—but so can eveeryone else. If the idea of anyone being able to access this information from your Lock screen freaks you out, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and scroll down to Allow Access When Locked and toggle Siri off. Siri can still do all the same things, just no longer from your Lock screen.


5) Browse the Web Privately

If you want to keep your history private, there’s an easy way to do that in Safari. To start Private Browsing, open Safari and tap the tabbed browsing icon (two overlapping rectangles) in the lower, right corner. Select Private. Press the plus sign to open a new tab and browse privately. The interface changes to a black border instead of white. Turn Private Browsing off in the same way: just open tabs and deselect private. 


6) Selectively Clear Your Browsing History

If you wish to keep parts of your web browsing history private but would rather not clear you entire browsing history, you can selectively clear your history by tapping the Bookmarks icon and selecting History. Once in History, you have two options: You can tap Clear and be given the option to erase your history from a certain time period by (Last Hour, Today, Today and Yesterday, or All Time). Or, you can clear individual items in your history by swiping left on the item and tapping Delete. 


7) Set Your iPhone to Erase All Data After 10 Failed Passcode Attemps

To set your iPhone to erase all data after 10 failed passcode attempts, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and scroll to the very bottom of the page.   You’ll see Erase Data. Below this it states, “Erase all data on this iPhone after 10 failed passcode attempts." Toggle on Erase Data to enable this function. When it asks you to confirm, tap Enable.


8) Protect Yourself Against Suspicious Websites

When you’re browsing the web on  your iPhone or iPad, it’s important to protect your information from malicious or fraudulent websites. Thankfully, Safari has a built in function that will warn you with a Fraudulent Website Warning before you open a suspicious website. Simply go to Settings > Safari and turn on Fraudulent Website Warning.

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Author Details

Rheanne Taylor's picture

Author Details

Rheanne Taylor

Rheanne Taylor is the Video Production Manager of iPhone Life. Before discovering her love for video production, Rheanne was the Managing Editor. In her 6+ years at the company, Rheanne has helped produce 19 issues of iPhone Life magazine, edited countless podcasts, and produced over 1,000 educational videos showing people how to get the most out of their Apple devices. She continues to be a regular contributor to iPhone Life magazine, using her 10+ years of photography experience to create content primarily covering photography tips and photography gear. Rheanne is a passionate photographer both in and outside of work and loves to remind people that they don't need a fancy camera in order to capture beautiful shots—her most recent photography show featured work mainly shot on an iPhone!

Rheanne holds a bachelor's degree in Literature & Writing from Maharishi International University. When she isn't overseeing video content, she loves drinking tea, holding up traffic by taking entirely too many photos of bugs, and hanging out with her Instagram famous cat Wesley (IG: wesley_the_pirate_cat).