Prevent your iPhone from getting hacked. Tighten Up Your iPhone Security Now!

With recent articles from various sources telling Cellebrite – an Israel-based forensics company – successfully break security on iOS 11 not only on earlier and older models but also includes in the new latest models such as iPhone 8 and iPhone X, many of us would worry, what will happen if the technology behind these security breaking falls to the wrong hands, wrong organizations or individuals, our privacy are at stake!

iOS 11 iPhone hacked
iOS 11 on every iPhone and iOS devices are potentially at risk of getting HACKED

Tighten Up Your iPhone Security Now!

While there’s nothing stopping Cellebrite and other hackers on their inventions, but we – you and me whoever care about our privacy- can take some measures to tighten our iPhone security.
Here’s how you can make it more secure.

1. Use Passcode

The very basic one. Not sure if iOS 11 allows you to do so, but in case today you are not using any passcode, then your iPhone will be the easiest one to break. Enable it now. Don’t wait.

iOS iPhone Security Enable Passcode
Make sure your iPhone is Passcode protected!

Here’s how you can enable Passcode on iOS 11:

a. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode

b. Turn Passcode On and turn it on


2. Turn off Touch ID and Face ID for unlocking your phone

One of the way other people easily break into your iPhone is via either Touch ID and Face ID. All they need to do is using your finger print (Touch ID) or your face (Face ID) to help them unlock your iPhone.

If you don’t want such thing to happen to you, turn them off. You don’t need to turn off everything related to Touch ID and/or Face ID. You just need to turn the feature off for unlocking your iPhone.

iOS iPhone Security turn off Touch ID Face ID for iPhone unlock
Turn OFF Face ID or Touch ID for iPhone Unlock so nobody can really use your face or finger print

Here’s how you can turn off Touch ID or Face ID on iOS 11:

a. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode

b. Find iPhone Unlock, set to OFF


3. Change your Passcode to alphanumeric

Since iOS 10, Apple has introduce a new standard Passcode from previous standard 4 digits now the standard is 6 digits. However, Apple still allows you – even on iOS 11 today – to use the 4 digits Passcode. Both 4 digits and 6 digits Passcodes are not secure enough since they are only numeric, from 0 to 9. To make your iPhone more secure – harder to break, consider changing your Passcode to alphanumeric Passcode.
iOS iPhone Security Custom Alphanumeric Passcode
Custom Alphanumeric Passcode is adding layer of security to your iPhone

Here’s how to change iPhone Passcode to Custom Alphanumeric:

a. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode

b. Find Change Passcode

c. Key in your existing passcode

d. Tap on Passcode Options and select Custom Alphanumeric Code

e. Type in the new passcode and confirm it

A strong alphanumeric code consists of the following:

– At least 1 capital letter (upper case A – Z)
– At least 1 small letter (lower case a – z)
– At least 1 numeric letter (0 – 9)
– At least 1 special character (can be ?!@#$%^)
– Minimum is 7 character long
– Does not include your name on it
– Does not easily pronounce as word


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4. Disable Siri when locked

Read my article here which shows you how to get personal information without unlocking your iPhone – thanks to Siri who doesn’t recognize her owner. If you don’t want strangers to gather your personal information easily by asking Siri, disabled her. At least disabled her when the iPhone is locked.
iOS iPhone Security turn off siri when locked
Siri can’t keep your secrets. Disable her for good!

Here’s how to disable Siri when locked:

a. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode

b. Scroll down to ALLOW ACCESS WHEN LOCKED section and Find Siri

c. Turn Siri OFF

5. Enable Erase Data

You have enabled Passcode and make it secure by using strong alphanumeric code, but this doesn’t stop someone from using brute force method (trying random Passcode) to unlock your iPhone. Prevent it by activating erase data feature when Passcode is keyed in wrongly for 10 times.
iOS iPhone Security erase data after 10 attempts
Turning this Erase Data ON, iOS shall wipe clean your iPhone after 10 wrong attempts

Here’s how to enable Erase Data:

a. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode

b. Scroll down and find Erase Data

c. Turn it ON

d. Tap on Enable when prompted


6. Enable Auto-Lock and set the shortest time for Auto-Lock

When getting distracted, you may end up leaving your iPhone unlocked somewhere. Simple scenario that may happen on your normal day to day: you are in office, sitting at your bench and using your iPhone – so it’s in unlocked position – then someone is asking your help to do something. Then another person come approaching you at around the same timing, to ask you another questions and ask you to go to his place doing something else. You who most probably can’t handle multitasking (I can’t), end up leaving your iPhone unlocked at your desk. Then come someone else who take your iPhone and extract your data out of it. Sounds legit?
Well, prevent that from happening. Enable Auto-Lock and set the shortest time possible yet comfortable for you.
iOS iPhone Security enable auto lock
Enable Auto-Lock with the shortest time period to avoid people peeking at your iPhone when your left it unlocked

Here’s how to enable Auto-Lock and set the time:

a. Go to Settings > Display & Brightness

b. Find Auto-Lock and tap on it

c. Set to either 30 Seconds (recommended) or 1 Minute

Don’t set longer than 1 minute or you may end up like the scenario I told you above.


7. Turn ON Two-Factor Authentication

Though it’s not fully related to your iPhone, but your Apple ID is the closest ties with your iPhone and your data stored in Apple servers. Since the introduction of iOS 10 last year, Apple has upgraded Apple ID with Two-Factor Authentication, however Apple did not enforce every users to use it. You, however, should force yourself to enable it for another layer of security.
iOS iPhone Security turn on two factor authentication
Turn ON Two-Factor Authentication to prevent unauthorized login

Here’s how to enable Two-Factor Authentication on iOS 11:

a. Go to Settings > Tap on your Apple ID (normally your Name here)

b. Tap on Password & Security

c. Tap on Turn On Two-Factor Authentication and tap Continue

d. When prompted, key in your trusted phone number and method of verifying either text or phone call


Tightening your iPhone security is in one way very good. But there are multiple drawbacks by using all the steps given above. Opening your iPhone now is taking more time since you need to type that alphanumeric password. you also won’t be able to ask Siri your schedules, weather conditions while your iPhone is locked and worst is you may end up get your iPhone wiped clean because of your naughty friends keep trying to key in the wrong passcode or your kids who like to play with your iPhone end up wiping all the data on your iPhone.

Bring It All Together

Having all the drawbacks, now it’s really come back to yourself. How valuable your data inside your iPhone is. Will you trade all those drawbacks to fully secure your data? You can however, choose which of the 7 above are suitable for you and which are not, and only apply those that are suitable for you.
I, myself, choose to apply (1) enable passcode, (4) disable Siri when locked, (6) enable auto lock and set the shortest time and (7) enable two factor authentication. I skipped (2) turn off Touch ID or Face ID, (3) set passcode to alphanumeric and (5) enable erasa data because I don’t really want the troubles since anyway my data is nothing really a secret. It does contains my contacts, my messages -even flirting messages, my funny and stupid photos but that’s it.
What about you? Do you really care about your data security inside your iPhone? Will you apply all 7 tightening iPhone security above or which one are you willing to set and which one are you skipping? Do comments on comment section down below. Cheers!


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2 thoughts on “Prevent your iPhone from getting hacked. Tighten Up Your iPhone Security Now!

  • March 3, 2018 at 11:59 am

    You need to give hard data and facts as to why disabling touch and Face ID would help secure a phone. They are both extremely secure and hard to spoof ways to authenticate to the device and very easy and fast to use.

    • March 7, 2018 at 5:16 am

      Hi Scheinberg,

      Well, at the moment I don’t have those data and facts other than articles written on the web telling that, kid can unlock his parent using Face ID, or if you are asleep (eg: drugged), someone can just put your finger on the Touch ID and voila, full access. What do you think?


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