1. Set a passcode. 

One of the easiest ways to keep your iPhone secure is to set up a passcode. 

Passcodes can be either four or six digits, and can even include letters. Typically, when set up, you'll need to enter your passcode everytime you want to unlock your phone. You can, however, set up a specific time window between which you can unlock your phone without a passcode. Generally, the longer this window, the less secure your phone.

To set up a passcode follow these steps. From the Home screen:

Tap 'Settings' > Tap 'Touch ID & Passcode' > Tap 'Turn on Passcode' > Enter your desired four-digit passcode and repeat when prompted.

To change the window of time between which you won't need a passcode:

Tap 'Settings' > Tap 'Touch ID & Passcode' > Tap 'Require Passcode' > Tap 'After 1 Minute' OR 'After 5 Minutes'

💡Tip: Once your passcode is enabled, your iPhone will lock you out for 1 minute after 6 failed passcode attempts. After 7, you'll be locked out for 5 min. After 8 attempts, you'll be locked out for 15 minutes, and after 9 attempts, you'll be locked out for one whole hour. After 10 attempts, depending on your settings, your iPhone will automatically erase your data. 

To enable an automatic data erase after 10 failed passcode attempts, 

Tap 'Settings' > Tap 'Touch ID & Passcode' > Tap 'Erase Data'

2. Set up Touch ID. 


Touch ID was unveiled on the iPhone 5S, and is now a standard feature on every iPhone. Touch ID works by recording your fingerprint on a sensor that is embedded in the iPhone's home button. Touch ID is simple, secure and fairly easy to set up. To do so, from the Home Screen

Tap 'Settings' > Tap 'Touch ID & Passcode' > Tap 'Add fingerprint' and follow the prompts on screen. Remember: don't push the home button!

💡 You should know: your fingerprint data never leaves the hardware on your iPhone. Your fingerprint data (represented by complex math) lives on a secure, specialized chip in your iPhone. You can also add up to 5 fingerprints. We recommend you add fingerprints for both thumbs, and your index and middle fingers on your dominant hand. 

3. Set up Find My iPhone


Find My iPhone is an Apple app that lets you track and communicate with a lost or stolen iPhone from any internet-connected computer. You can set up Find My iPhone on any iPhone running iOS 8 or later. To enable Find My iPhone on your iPhone:

Tap 'Settings' > Tap Your Name (the first menu items in Settings) > Tap 'iCloud' > Tap 'Find My iPhone' > Turn 'Find My iPhone' on

💡When locating your lost or stolen iPhone, you can navigate to iCloud.com, sign in with your Apple ID and locate your iPhone on a map. From this webpage, you can remotely put your iPhone in Lost Mode which locks your device, displays a custom message and turns on Location tracking. You can also remotely erase your iPhone, or have your iPhone play a sound. 

4. Keep your iPhone updated. 


Software updates are periodic updates to the core operating system on your iPhone (the iOS). There are two types of software updates, major and minor releases. Major releases usually introduce new features, functions and design elements. Major iPhone releases include iOS 9, iOS 10 and iOS 11.  Minor releases typically occur a few times throughout the year include bug fixes and security updates. Minor updates are a crucial component of ensuring your iPhone's underlying security structure. Both major and minor releases will appear on your iPhone as a notification (red bubble) on your settings app. To proceed with a software update:

Tap 'Settings' > Tap 'General' > Tap 'Software Update' > Tap 'Install Now'

💡In order for both major and minor releases to download and update, your iPhone will need to be connected to Wifi and plugged into power. Although the download can occur in the background (meaning that you can use your iPhone as normal), the actual update process will make your phone unusable for upwards of 15-20 minutes. Plan accordingly!

5. Turn on two-factor authentication.


Two-factor authentication is a security measure that uses a known-secure device to authenticate a new device. That may sound complicated, but in practice, the idea is fairly simple. Imagine you have an iPad and just got a new iPhone. Before you could sign to your Apple ID account on your new iPhone, your iPad would get a notification that would provide a 6-digit code that would allow your iPhone to connect to your Apple ID account. Two-factor authentication prevents unauthorized access to your Apple ID account (which can include passwords, photos, and payment information). 

To turn on two-factor authentication, from the Home Screen:

Tap 'Settings' > Tap Your Name (the first menu items in Settings) > Tap 'Password & Security' > Enter your Apple ID password if/when prompted > Tap 'Turn on Two-Factor Authentication' > Follow the prompts to enter and verify your trusted phone number

6. Be on the lookout for Phishing attempts. 


Phishing is an attempt to obtain sensitive personal information such as usernames, passwords and credit card information by using fake correspondence (like email) that is designed to imitate legitimate senders. Avoiding Phishing scams can be difficult, as it is perpetrators work hard to seem legitimate. There are, however, a few steps you can take to ensure you never fall victim to a phishing scam.

First, always think twice before you click on a link through an email, especially when you don't know the sender. Second, always try to verify the source of an email before you consider clicking any link contained within. Third, NEVER give out personal information via email unless you can call the recipient.  Fourth, never hesitate to call the sender to verify they indeed did send an email (or ask them to send a new one). 

Finally, given the constantly changing landscape of phishing scams, it is usually best to call on a trusted partner. Our Essentials Virtual Support package can connect you with a virtual support specialist who can help verify the authenticity of any email you believe may be a scam. It's an easy, fast and cost-effective way to maintain the integrity of your personal information. 

7. Change your Apple ID at least once a year. 


Your Apple ID is your main account identifier for all Apple products and services. Your Apple ID is usually an email address with a corresponding password. Your Apple ID is used to authenticate any and all iTunes and App Store purchases, Apple Pay and many other services. Due to its importance, we recommend you change your Apple ID password once per year (typically around the holidays, or whenever you get a new device). 

On your iPhone, changing your Apple ID is a breeze. To do so:

Sign out of every device that uses your Apple ID > Tap 'Settings' > Tap Your Name (the first menu items in Settings) > Tap 'Password & Security' > Tap 'Change Password'

💡Tip: Make sure your passwords are at least 8-10 characters long and contain at least one uppercase letter and a special character. If you would like assistance with password management and account security, give us a call.  

8. Disable automatically connecting to known Wifi hotspots.


One of the most useful features of your iPhone is its ability to connect automatically to a known wireless network. You might notice this feature at home when your iPhone automatically detects and connects to your home Wifi without any input from you. Although this feature is designed for effortless connection, it can also potentially put your personal data at risk. Scammers can create false networks and disguise them as popular wifi hotspots so that your iPhone automatically connects to these false networks putting your browsing history and personal information at risk. 

One way to mitigate this risk is to be hyper-aware and vigilant about the wireless networks your iPhone automatically connects to. This can be as simple as turning off your Wifi and using your phones cellular data when conducting any personal business over your internet browser.

 Another way to do this is to disable your iPhone's auto connect feature. To do so:

Tap 'Settings' > Tap 'Wifi' > Turn on 'Ask to Join Networks'

9. Keep your phone safe.

Finally, the easiest way to keep your iPhone and your data secure it to not lose it in the first place. One of the easiest ways to keep your phone safe is to develop strong tech routines like having a designated spot for your phone in your home, office and vehicle. Another way to maintain security is to personalize your phone, either with a case, cover or unique wallpaper, as this will reduce the chance of your phone being mistaken for someone elses. 

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