How to Make Your iPhone Secure: Page 2

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Next, how about the device itself? What if you lose it or it gets stolen? Can someone get to your data? Of course they can.

Here’s some things to consider to consider:

Screen lock:

This one is really easy to do. Turn on the device’s screen lock, and enforce a PIN to log in to the device. Sure, a 4-digit PIN isn’t going to do much to protect your data from a determined adversary, but it may well keep the data away from an amateur – say, the guy who finds your device in on a train or taxi seat after you lost it.

SIM lock:

All current iPhones use a SIM card to identify and authenticate you to your mobile carrier. SIMs can easily be locked, and the locking function is on the smart SIM card itself. They can be a bit of a hassle, but this will help protect your phone account from being defrauded if someone finds or steals your phone. Locking the SIM will force you to enter another PIN (don’t use the same one…) whenever you restart the device, but that’s not so tough.

Data wipe:

If someone really steals your device, or you lose it, it would be a good thing if the device were smart enough to wipe out all your sensitive data, right? Well, there’s a couple mechanisms for doing just that on an iPhone. First, the screen lock I mentioned can do it. You can instruct the device to delete its data after N failed attempts—the number is configurable—to unlock it. Enterprise Exchange administrators can also remotely wipe out the data on a stolen (and reported) device.

Minimize exposure:

Be cognizant of what data you’re putting on the device and where that data is going. If you have truly sensitive company information, perhaps it just shouldn’t be on any mobile device.

Data encryption:

We’re starting to see some data encryption products that work on the iPhone, although here we’re at a disadvantage compared to what’s already available on other smart phone platforms. Still, there are apps that can store passwords, notes, etc., in encrypted “vaults.” For some small amounts of relatively sensitive stuff, these are good options.

All of these steps can help protect your sensitive data while it is at rest on your device, but there’s no substitute for vigilance. Keep your iPhone with you at all times. If you’re like me, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.

ALSO SEE: 64 Seriously Cool iPhone Applications

AND: Pirates Plunder the iPhone App Store

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Tags: security, iPhone, carriers, OS X

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