Apple’s iOS 7 Comes with New Security Features to Help Prevent Theft

Posted: October 24, 2013 in Articles
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IOS 7 logoThe new iOS 7 update from Apple for iPhone and iPad includes many new features in terms of design and functionality, most of which have been covered extensively in the press. What is not so widely reported is the work Apple has done on one other important point: mobile security, especially in case of theft or loss.

Data security has always been a matter of great concern to Apple users, but physical product theft is also a massive issue. In New York, iPhone thefts are so common that they have their own column in the city’s crime figures. Since the latest software update, the NYPD are now encouraging iPhone owners to switch to iOS 7 due to the new security features. Before the arrival of iOS 7 it was easy for a thief to completely erase and re-format an iPhone so that it could be re-sold with nobody being any wiser. Now things are very different and difficult for thieves.

If you are unfamiliar with how these new features work then here’s a quick overview.

How to Activate “Locate my iPhone”

If your iPhone has been stolen, then this new security feature could help you to find it. Here’s what you do:

1. Go to the settings section of the iPhone
2. Look for the iCloud tab
3. Activate the option if it is not already switched on

Then, in case of loss or theft, the first thing you should do is to visit the website and login using your Apple account. Inside there you will see a section called “Locate my iPhone”. The location technology works in in seconds and displays the device location on a map. At this point you can now interact with the lost or stolen device. The type of things you can now do are as follows;

• Ring the device to locate it when you are nearby, for example if you have lost it in the house
• Update the lock code to prevent anyone else using the iPhone
• Completely erase all of the data on the product – handy if you don’t want a thief to see your files

Security Flaws Found – Then Resolved by Apple

However, the new launch of iOS 7 hasn’t been without a few security issues that actually compromised the user rather than helped them. Thankfully Apple has been able to fix these relatively quickly as on Thursday, September 26, they released an update to the software to fix two security vulnerabilities. This had allowed a person with physical access to the device to bypass the lock screen. The first flaw let anyone access the keypad and dial any number to make phone calls simply by tapping continuously on the emergency call button. The second flaw allowed anyone to see what the recently used applications were and access to the photo album of the device. No description is given of how this access was possible but it has all now been fixed with the latest version update to iOS 7 that was pushed to all connected devices.

iPhone security advice courtesy of A one stop shop for all things relating to IT security and support in the London area of the United Kingdom.

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