Long gone are the times when mobile phones were used only to make calls and send texts. When smart technology took the world by storm, phones gained additional functionalities which turned them into mini computers. As a result, smartphone users store on their devices a lot more than they did in the past and in case of unauthorized access may lose much more than a few phone numbers. While smartphones are considered relatively secure, especially those made by Apple, you can never be too careful when protecting sensitive data, so let us explain how to protect your privacy and enable encryption on your iPhone and iPad in four easy steps.
How to enable encryption on iPhones and iPads
Apple, as well as other manufacturers, put a lot of emphasis on security of data stored on mobile devices. Operating systems are full of security features, some of which are pretty obvious, while others are well hidden from an average user’s eyes. Some features, such as good old lock-screen passcode can be enabled by users themselves; however, surprisingly few people take advantage of such protection.
Passcodes are aimed to keep unauthorized people from using your smartphone or tablet. In the case of iPhones and iPads running iOS 8 and higher, however, this feature has an additional purpose – it enables encryption which should prevent hackers from accessing your device remotely.
Setting passcode on your iPhone or iPad is so easy a child could do it and takes just a minute or so. First you have to access device’s “Settings”, which in most cases will be on home screen, and the go to ” Touch ID & Passcode.” If you have an older device without a fingerprint scanner, you should look for “Passcode.” Once you are in, turn the passcode on by tapping on the button and then proceed to setting your unique passcode. You can choose either a strong four-digit or longer numerical passcode, or alphanumeric password.
Remember that the longer the password and the more characters (numbers and letters) it includes, the harder it will be to break. For example, a simple four-digit passcode might take a few hours to bypass. However, if your password has six characters, both numbers and lower-case letters, breaking it by trying every combination would take up to five years. Choose a passcode/password you can easily remember, but one that won’t be obvious to others. The last step is to make sure that data protection is enabled. In order to do that, go back to “Settings” menu and scroll down to the bottom of the page. If you see ” Data protection is enabled” it means that your device is encrypted and all data is secure.
Mobile device makers ensure us that their products are secure and whatever data we store on our phones or tablets will be safe thanks to a number of security features embedded in the operating system. However, they also give us an easy to use yet powerful tool to enhance security – lock-screen passcode. So, don’t tempt the fate, turn on passcode protection and make sure that no unauthorized person gains access to your iPhone or iPad.