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How to: Encrypt Your iPhone

By Alex Nimoy
How to Encrypt your phone

Even if you don't think about it often, you benefit from encryption daily. It protects your finances, identity, and even your home Wi-Fi network. If you are one of the 700 million iPhone users, then encryption may protect your smartphone. The reason of why you should Encrypt your iPhone and why 95% of iPhones get encrypted when their screens are locked. Encrypt your iPhone to protect your data from hackers.
The default encryption is especially crucial when you are traveling. Yet, your phone could go missing at any time. Fortunately, it is easy to encrypt your iPhone by following a few simple steps.
The process of encrypting an iPhone got altered with iOS 8. Before the encryption process, check your iOS version by opening your phone's Settings app. After that, select General from the menu and tapping About. The available iOS appears next to Version. Also, you can use the chance to check on the latest software updates.
Do that in the General menu to ensure your phone has the most current version available for the model. Likewise, keeping software updated is an essential practice for phone security.

Encrypt Your iPhone in Seconds

Apple phones encrypt personal data by default. This happens whenever the phone gets locked with a Touch ID or passcode. However, the many that activate this feature is in a different place. It depends on the iOS version. For instance, in iOS 8 and later versions, the option is in the Touch ID and passcode menu. The menu is in the Settings application.
In older iPhone versions, the passcode is under the General menu in the Settings application. You may don have a passcode or Touch ID activated. If so, the application guides you through the process of securing your phone.
Apple phones offer a few options during passcode setup. So then, they determine how hard it is for someone to break into your phone. Some versions allow you to access the phone using a Touch ID such as a fingerprint. Even so, security professionals are figuring out ways to fool Touch ID. They do that by modelling clay or 3-D printers.
As a result, the Touch ID method might not be as secure as initially believed. As for numerical passcodes, longer and complicated passcodes are harder to guess.

How to Encrypt Your iPhone Using Customized Passcodes

To tailor your passcode, select "Passcode Options" and "Custom Alphanumeric Code." If you want to customize your current passcode, select "Change Passcode" and then "Passcode Options." Also, you can change the "Require Passcode" option to "Immediately." This prevents your device from locking when you are not using it.
Once the passcode is set, scroll down to the bottom of the Passcode settings page.
There, you'll see a message that indicates, "Data protection is enabled." This means that the iPhone's encryption is now tied to your passcode. Furthermore, most data on your phone will need that code to unlock it.
You can set up your phone to automatically wipe itself after a particular number of failed access attempts. Indeed, that depends on the importance of the data on your iPhone. For example, the idea is good for business phones loaded with sensitive or financial data. Also, the auto-wipe feature is a measure to use carefully if you allow children to access your iPhone.

How to encrypt your iphone

Another option is to remotely wipe your iPhone via your iCloud account if you lose it.

Do Not Forget the Backup

After following all that, your data is now safe on your iPhone. Now, ensure the backup you store on iCloud or iTunes also gets encrypted. An encrypted iPhone backup includes the following:

  1. Saved passwords
  2. Wi-Fi credentials
  3. Sensitive data you may need in the event of a stolen, broken or lost phone

On iCloud, encrypted backups are automatic. On iTunes, select the Encrypt iPhone Backup option under the Backup settings of the device. Following that, the process requires you to choose a new password for the iTunes backup.
Your iPhone's data is now safe. To maintain that, regularly back your phone up and check for iOS and application updates. Even an encrypted phone is vulnerable to ransomware and software flaws. In addition, use some proactive steps like a mobile security solution. They ensure you don't lose anything essential to cybercriminals or thieves.

Other iOS Features to Consider When Dealing with Private Data

Apple can retrieve specific categories of active data from passcode locked iOS devices. An example is user-generated active files on an iPhone that are contained in Apple's native apps. Data not encrypted can get extracted and provided to law enforcement on external media.
Apple performs the data extraction process on iOS devices running iOS 4 or more recent versions. Please note that the only active files that can be provided to law enforcement are:

  • SMS
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Contacts
  • Audio recording
  • Call history

Apple doesn't provide calendar entries, email, or any third-party app data. The above information is according to Apple's old law enforcement guide. It only applies to iOS devices running versions of iOS before 8.0.
For devices running iOS 8.0 and later versions, Apple is unable to perform data extraction. The reason being, the data sought by law enforcement is encrypted. Besides, Apple does not have an encryption key.
You can set up your Apple device so it can get erased remotely using the "Find My iPhone" feature. You can do that if worried that your device can get lost or stolen. The feature will allow Apple to request the location of your device at any time.
iPhones transmit the information to telephone companies as a matter of course. On the contrary, Wi-Fi devices like iPod Touch and iPads do not.
What Happens When Cybercriminals Get Hold of Your Data
If your iPhone isn't secure and encrypted, hackers can get hold of your data. Fraudsters advertise valuable personal data on the dark web. The thriving black market for stolen data continues to grow daily.
Cybercriminals use the Tor browser when accessing the darknet to avoid suspicion. Note that not only cybercriminals access the darknet—also journalists and activists.
Buyers use stolen data in several ways, like creating clone cards for fraudulent transactions. The most common way to pay for transactions on the dark web is with Bitcoin, a form of cryptocurrency.

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