Ways to protect your iPhone

In the age of ever-present technology, it seems as though everyone depends on mobile devices for a multitude of reasons. Millenials usually keep their smartphones within arm's reach at all times of the day, even when they sleep. In fact, about 90% of 18 to 29 year olds sleep with their cell phones in or right next to the bed, according to Business Insider. But that makes a lot of sense, given the extent of cell phone use lately. From responding to work emails to sending a Snapchat back to your friend, there are a seemingly unlimited number of capabilities when it comes to iPhone technologies.

And while having that power in your pocket on a regular basis can be extremely helpful, there are plenty of threats out there to your iPhone as well – both physical and online ones. If you aren't diligent in the care for your smartphone, you could find yourself at risk for falling victim to a cyber crime of some sort. As mentioned earlier, most people store a lot different parts from their life on their iPhones. If a hacker accesses your device, your personal information as well as financial accounts could be stolen, too.

Make sure you are doing the easy things, like keeping your iPhone updated and requiring a password to unlock. After that, here are a few other tips to secure your iPhone:

Be wary of what you download
Your iPhone – and any other Apple product – comes up equipped with an App Store for a reason. As you should know by now, you can download and purchase all the apps you'd like from one convenient location. At this point, it seems as though there is an app for virtually anything. Generally speaking, it's a good idea to download your apps through Apple's App Store because you can be assured they have been inspected. Apple has strict developer guidelines that assess an app's security to threats such as malware. If an app fails a requirement, it won't make it to the store to be made available for download. Although Apple has pretty stringent measures, there are times that an app can get through the review processes undetected. You can help with the security of your iPhone by paying attention to what permissions certain apps require before you install them. Some app requests access to your Contacts or Location, for example. 

Keep in mind that it is generally not a good idea to use any third-party app stores for apps on your iPhone, too. Although Apple designed its iOS to only allow apps download from the App Store to be accessed on its mobile devices, iPhones that have been "jail-broken" can use these third-party app stores. But do so at your own risk – using a jail-broken phone offers significantly less protection from malware, hackers and cyber criminals.

Think about what you are storing
Chances are probably pretty good that there are parts of both your personal and professional life on your phone. That said, make sure you don't keep too much sensitive information on your iPhone. That logic holds true for both personal and professional matters. Additionally, try to avoid keeping bank account information, social security number or other sensitive information stored in your iPhone. If you do have to keep passwords and more on your mobile device, use apps that are password protected. This way, not only would a thief have to bypass your phone's security, but also the app's security, too.

Make sure you wipe your own phone
With new versions of the iPhone being released every year or two, you will probably find yourself upgrading to stay up with the current device. Before you are done with your old phone, make sure you take the time to wipe your old phone completely. It doesn't matter if you are selling it to a stranger from Craigslist or a family member, you need to clear your old iPhone of old information and media. 

Try to avoid phishing
Although this tip should be fairly straightforward, it is worth repeating. Don't click every link you see, whether it is in an email or SMS text message. If you receive a message containing a link from an unknown sender, always remain hesitant and avoid clicking anything right away. Cyber criminals have become tricky as to how they hide their attempts to go phishing for your information, so it is probably in your best interest to err on the side of caution when deciding whether or not to respond to a message from an unknown sender.

Watch your surroundings
You use your phone just about everywhere and so does everyone else. Try to limit your usage in crowded areas where other individuals may be able to peek over your shoulder and see your username and passwords as you type. The best defense here is to simply be aware of your surroundings while you use your phone out in the public. Protecting your mobile device is just as important as guarding against threats while on a laptop or desktop computer. Use caution if you see suspicious links, be careful of what you download and avoid keeping personal data on the device for long periods of time.

At MC Services, our certified IT consultants can help support your business's Apple environment. From Apple support and training to full-scale iOS management programs, we have the expertise to help you do business smarter. Contact us today to learn more.