iPhone encryption, privacy tips and tricks

iPhone Encryption Privacy Tips And Tricks

Apple is reportedly working on making the iPhone completely unhackable but in the meantime you can take some steps to make your iPhone less vulnerable to hacking with just two simple steps. Increasing the length of your passcode to 12 digits will make it virtually impossible to unlock your device with brute force techniques, as it would take hackers an estimated 1,268 years to crack an iPhone that’s protected with that long of a code.

Of course, having to enter in a 12-digit passcode when you first boot up your iPhone is incredibly annoying. This is likely why most users are happy to stick with the standard six-digit passcode that takes an estimated 11 hours to crack via brute force.

For an added security measure, 9to5Mac also recommends disabling your phone’s iCloud backup and instead using encrypted backups in iTunes to protect your data. You should also make sure to delete your existing iCloud backup to ensure that none of your old data is still accessible on the service.

Weekend App: viaProtect will give you some strong hints about your iPhone’s security status.

viaProtect is a free app that will take a look at where your iPhone data is going, and where it is coming from. The app also says it can point you to apps that tend to leak data or are otherwise insecure. The app will look at what is being encrypted from your device, and finally, it will provide a risk profile for your iPhone.

You can register your device with viaForensics, the developer of the app, or use it without registration. If you register, you can have web access to some of your device statistics.

The main screen of the app is called the dashboard. After a minute or so of analysis you’ll get a risk score for your phone. I got a minimal at risk rating (thankfully) and I could see that my data was going to the continental U.S. The app also runs some background processes to give reports on SSL certificates, any processes that are running, a DNS resolver, and a report on network connections. The app uses GPS for some of its analysis, so it may impact battery life.

viaProtect won’t solve your security problems, but it will certainly give you a heads up about what is going on with your iPhone and let you take steps to stop any potential security or privacy problems. The company behind the app, viaForensics has been providing mobile security apps and assessing risks for many large companies and providing best practices to keep company information secure.

viaProtect is not a universal app. It’s designed for the iPhone, although it will run on any iDevice that has iOS 6 or later. It is optimized for the iPhone 5.

Apple explains how the iPhone’s fingerprint sensor keeps your info secure.

Touch ID sensor on the Apple iPhone 5s

If you’ve ever wanted to know how the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID fingerprint security works beyond a basic overview, you’ll be glad to hear Apple has just delivered a motherlode of new details. An updated version of its iOS Security white paper (PDF) explains much of what happens to your finger data after you touch the sensor. In short, your information may be more hack-resistant than it seems at first glance. Each A7 chip has a unique secure space that neither the A7 nor Apple can read, and every authentication session is encrypted end-to-end. The company is also offering a deeper explanation of what it does with your fingerprint image, noting that the print only lasts in memory until it’s turned into a decryption key. As we’ve known for a while, there are safeguards that wipe out that key after 48 hours of inactivity, a reboot or five failed login attempts. While the new insights will only have so much usefulness whendevelopers can’t use Touch ID for their own apps, they suggest that there’s little to no chance of fingerprint theft or a large-scale data breach.