Like your computer and smartphone, tablets like the iPad are attractive targets for hackers and identity thieves. Security professionals discovered that the Broadpwn vulnerability made it possible for cyber criminals to crash Apple and Android devices using Wi-Fi. You can prevent anyone from accessing your iPad, either remotely or locally, by performing consistent maintenance and making some changes to the settings. These changes can be made in just a few minutes. Try these seven strategies to improve your iPad’s security.
- Secure the lock screen
If an unauthorized person picks up an iPad with default settings, notifications visible on the lock screen may show the owner’s personal details. Snippets of emails, social media messages, calendar reminders and more are visible to the curious, even if the iPad has a password.
To hide sensitive notifications, open the Notifications menu in the Settings app and choose the apps whose information should not appear on the lock screen. For example, select the Mail item to hide email app notifications. App notification settings may vary, but most have an option to hide notifications on the lock screen.
Strangers can also access digital assistant or reply to messages without having to unlock the device. To disable these features, open the Touch ID & Passcode menu in the Settings app and select which apps should be accessible from the lock screen.
- Make updates and backups
One of the easiest ways to protect an iPad is to update the operating system and apps regularly. For iOS updates, the device notifies you when an update is available, but you can also manually check in the Settings app. Open the App Store to check for app updates that are critical for security purposes, even for rarely used apps.
Before installing an iOS update, please update your iPad backup in iTunes or iCloud to ensure that you can reverse any issues that may arise during the installation process. For maximum security, you can encrypt these backups with just a few simple steps. A recent backup is the best defence against ransomware and other cyber-attacks.
- Secure browsers
Maybe you use Safari, the iPad’s native browser, but does it keep your web data safe? Safari’s Private Browsing mode ensures that a webpage in one tab cannot see pages open in other tabs. This also prevents new data from a website from being stored on your device and automatically asks websites not to track your browsing.
If you need more security, some third-party browsers offer more control over security options and also more privacy-focused versions. Before downloading any new application, find the official website of the application provider and use the link contained therein to the App Store. That way, you can be sure that you are downloading a legitimate version.
- Manage app permissions
If you don’t pay attention to an app’s permissions, it might be able to access your location, microphone, and contacts without you knowing. App permissions are in two different places on iOS. Most are found in the Settings app, under the name of the specific app. From this menu, select which specific permissions you want to accept and deny. Other apps are managed in the Settings app’s Privacy menu. Choose a permission title, such as Microphone, to see which apps have that specific permission. There’s a simple way to ensure that no apps access your Health data, Calendar events, or other items you want to keep private.
- Make sure Find My iPhone is working
A thief who takes your iPad can disable Find My iPhone’s access to your device’s location, negating the advantage of having an app that lets you Geolocate your device from another device. Even if the thief finds out your master password, by setting permissions restriction on an app, you prevent him or her from blocking Find My iPhone. This option is in the General menu of the Settings application. Select the Restrictions option, choose a unique code, and turn off the option to allow changes to Locations and Accounts.
Restrictions are also a good option to ensure that a child cannot access the Apple Wallet app and make in-game purchases, or change other settings that could compromise their safety.
- Choose a more secure code
On some versions of iOS, the default passcode is only four digits long. For an experienced cybercriminal, this is relatively easy to breach. Navigate to the Touch ID & Passcode menu and select the option to change your passcode. Select Disable Simple Code and enable the Custom Numeric Code or Custom Alphanumeric Code option to create a longer and more secure code. You can also choose whether you want your iPad to erase data after a certain number of unsuccessful access attempts.
- Advanced Options
Whether you want to manage multiple iPads in your family or fine-tune a personal security policy, Apple provides a tool for that. Apple Configurator 2 offers the possibility to create a security policy for iPhones and iPads on a computer and then share it with all relevant devices. This is a good solution if you want to protect devices that are used by people inexperienced with security, such as children.
Regardless of your own familiarity with iPad security issues, it’s important to take the right steps to keep your device secure. Install a robust mobile security program and follow these helpful tips.
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