Manage your Apple iOS 5 security and privacy

Apple designed the iOS platform with security at its core. The iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are designed on a layered security model around software, hardware and firmware. It is the low-level hardware and firmware feature sets that have made the iOS system possibly the most robust security mobile platform in the world – possibly even more than Research in Motion (RIM) makers of BlackBerry.

Given the obvious security and privacy advances of iOS, it is still important that you remember nothing is 100% secure. Want to learn more about iOS 5> security and privacy? Let’s first of all take a look at General security and privacy settings:

Tap > Settings > General

  • Tap > Auto-Lock – you have the option of never enabling Auto-Lock; 1 minute; 2,3,4 or 5 minutes. I suggest you set Auto-Lock for 1 minute.
  • Tap > Passcode Lock – Set Passcode to “On’. You can only enter a 4-digit pin if > Simple Passcode is set to ‘On’. I suggest > Simple Passcode is set to off. Tap > Passcode Lock – If Simple Passcode is set to ‘Off’ you have the option of using a password which is stronger and more difficult to crack. Tap > Passcode Lock – Tap > Require Passcode – you have the option of immediately requiring a Passcode; After 1 minute; 5, 15, 1 hour or 4 hours. Tap > Erase Data and set to ‘On’. This function erases all your iPhone data after 10 failed passcode attempts
  • Tap > Restrictions – you can choose to enable or disable. I suggest you enable. Scroll down to ‘Allowed Content’ – Tap > Music & Podcasts – you can block playback of music, music videos and podcasts containing explicit content. Tap > Films – you can choose to don’t allow films; allow all films or specific film ratings. Tap > TV Programmes – you can not allow TV programmes. Tap > Apps – here you can choose to Allow All Apps; Don’t Allow Apps and choose specific rated apps. Tap > In-App Purchases and enable if you want to pay for virtual in-app goods and services. Tap > Require Password – I suggest this is set to ‘Immediately’ to protect your bank balance!

Note: Any time you need to change the Auto Lock, Passcode Lock or Restrictions you will be required to reenter your Passcode or Password.

Next up, let’s look at your Safari iOS web security and privacy settings:

Tap > Settings > Safari

  • Private Browsing – defaults to ‘Off’. I suggest you set to ‘On’ if you value your privacy. This protects private information and blocks some websites from tracking your online behaviour. Safari will not remember the pages you visit, your search history, or your AutoFill information
  • Fraud Warning – this is default to ‘On’. Fraud Warning is an Anti-phishing tool will display a warning if the website you are visiting is a suspected phishing site
  • JavaScript – is used to make Web pages for users more interactive. The major advantage is JavaScript doesn’t require constant downloads (only for updates). By default this function is set to ‘On’.
  • Block Pop-ups – this controls blocks pop ups on a web page. By default this function is set to ‘On’. Also improves the user experience.
  • Clear History – clears your browsing history while > Clear Cookies and Data clears website tracking data

iOS 6 launches on September 19th. Apple will be introducing two new security and privacy improvements for iOS 6 – Lost Mode (part of Find My iPhone) and Passbook. I will be taking a close look at these new features as well as how you use the Find Lock and Wipe feature.

Safe surfing folks!

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