iOS 9 Updates and Apple iPhone Hardware Upgrades

By Ping Look ·

With the release of the new iPhone 6s/6s Plus last Friday, and the launch of iOS 9 the previous week, many people are eager to buy and/or download the latest and greatest from Apple. But with any upgrades, it is important that you also take time to upgrade your settings to increase your privacy and security. Below is a comprehensive list we recommend you implement if using iOS 9 on any of your devices. 

  1. Set a longer (and stronger) six-digit passcode.
  2. Don’t allow applications to access your contacts or data. It is dangerous to grant app makers access to your information since you have no control of what they do with that data. 
  3. Enable “Find my iPhone” and “Send Last Location” so that you can locate the device should you misplace it.
  4. Always require a password for additional purchases on the device to prevent unauthorized purchases.
  5. Limit apps from tracking your location in the background by denying access your location while using the app.
  6. Set iMessages to expire over time and reduce the risk of anyone harvesting information by limiting the history of iMessage conversations. 
  7. If you use your phone as a “Personal Hotspot,” make sure your default Wi-Fi password is strong using a combination of letters, numbers and special characters.
  8. Enable fingerprint security with Touch ID for a single digit vs. multiple digits.
  9. Disable “Show Previews” of your messages and emails when your screen is locked.

Many of you may be purchasing or upgrading to the newest version of the iPhone and selling or trading in your old iPhone hardware. You should make sure that all of your data—both content and settings—are completely erased from the device so that the information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. 

To do this, you should first back up your data in iCloud. Once erased using the following method, it will be irretrievable from the wiped phone. 

To erase the phone, complete these steps:

  • Go to Settings  > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings > enter your iPhone passcode when prompted > Erase iPhone. 
  • iOS will ask you for your iCloud account password to “erase this iPhone and remove it from your [iCloud] account.”
  • Successfully completing all of these steps will completely wipe all data from the phone and the device will now display “Hello” and “Slide to Set Up.”

Taking these extra security precautions will help keep the vast amount of information we all have stored on our phones safe. 

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References:

How-To: Safely prepare + wipe your iPhone for resale or trade-in 
http://9to5mac.com/2015/08/25/how-to-safely-prepare-wipe-your-iphone-for-resale-trade-in/

For privacy and security, change these iOS 9 settings immediately
http://www.zdnet.com/pictures/iphone-ipad-ios-9-privacy-security-settings-immediately/

Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Release Day: What Makes These Phones Different
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/apple-iphone-6s-6s-release-day-makes-phones/story?id=33955480

Ping Look

Executive Advisor, Security Communications and Awareness

Ping Look is executive advisor of Optiv’s security communications and awareness group. In this role she specializes in advising, designing and implementing holistic security awareness programs that are scalable and create a lasting culture of security minded behaviors for Optiv’s clientele.