Tag Archives: ios
Apple iOS devices* support a useful data security feature called ‘Erase Data’. This feature if enabled (and you use a passcode), will erase all your iOS data after 10 failed passcode attempts. Enabling this feature should be a priority, especially if you lose your device.
The 10 times failed passcode attempts is consecutive, not cumulative and performs the same data erase as General > Reset > Erase all content and settings. Here is how you enable ‘Erase Data’:
- Open > Settings > Tap > ‘Passcode’ option (see note below)
- Turn the toggle on next to ‘Erase Data’
- Confirm the change and tap > Enable button
Note: If you use Touch ID, this option is called ‘Touch ID & Passcode’
IMPORTANT: In the event, you accidentally erase your iOS device, it’s a good idea to regularly backup your device in iTunes, so you can recover your data.
How do you recover your data to your iOS device?
The encryption key will be deleted on the device when using the ‘Erase Data’ feature. You will then be forced into recovery mode to continue with restoring your iOS device, which can be done from a recent iTunes backup. If you don’t backup up your iOS device, your device will be restored as new.
If you don’t know what or where your Apple Recovery Key is, then you should. In the event someone hacks your Apple ID which if identified by Apple automatically means your Apple account and access to iCloud will be disabled. What can you do?
Did you backup locally? If so, then you can recover your lost data. If not, your luck is out. Why?
If you haven’t enabled two-step verification on your Apple ID, then you will be unable to use your Apple Recovery Key. Two-step verification is setup so that if your credentials are lost, Apple will be unable to recover your data. Apple is unable to gain access to your encrypted data without the data you retain on your device or only you possess. This adds an extra layer of protection in the event Apple servers (databases) are hacked.
Here are scenarios you should be aware of:
- If you lose your password, you can enter your Recovery Key and receive a message on a ‘trusted’ iOS device
- Losing all your trusted devices means you can use your password and Recovery Key to add new ones
- If you lost your Recovery Key, you can still login and generate a new one
Most iPhone users will be unaware that apps that are ‘closed’ can constantly track the users’ locations. Recently the Foursquare app (this will be one of many in time) was updated to allow the company to track users’ GPS coordinates anytime the phone is powered on. Call this ‘persistent tracking’.
I for one am not a Foursquare user, but installed this latest release for testing over the past two weeks. The previous Foursquare release required users’ to turn on location-tracking. Now they require you to ‘opt-out’ by changing a setting within the app. My first observation is that developing apps to persistently track users movements and behaviours should be an option on install. They also will impact battery performance. My test results (private) proved that it had an impact of 5-10% additional drain but this was only using Wi-Fi.
My second observation is ‘big data’. There is no doubting the obvious monetisation opportunities for ad publishers and networks with persistently tracking users even when the app is closed. So what can you do to stop apps from accessing iOS location APIs and tracking your every movement when open as well as closed? Simple.
Mobile phones are stolen daily. Most are never recovered. Locating your lost mobile can be challenging. Apple has the Find My iPhone app and BlackBerry has BlackBerry Protect. Both location finding software work well, but when the device is wiped and another SIM is used, it will be impossible to track your device. Note: BlackBerry devices can also be tracked using the PIN (the one you use for BlackBerry Messenger), but I don’t have evidence to confirm this.
If you have lost or had your device stolen (this includes Android and Windows Phone), you will in most instances call your mobile carrier, who will ask you whether you have insurance and or whether you want to pay for a new device. What you pay depends on whether you have insurance or not. The Police will normally track your phone number and IMEI number, but this will not help you if someone replaces your SIM. Okay, you say – what should you do?
All mobile devices have unique identifier called an IMEI – you can call it a serial number. Using your dialler type *#06# 9 (called a USSD code) if you don’t have the original box that you device was packaged in. The IMEI number is also tied to the ICCID (Integrated Circuit Card ID) – you can find this on most devices in Settings > About.