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article imageHow much does your iPhone know about you? Tips to stay secure

By Daniel Taibleson     Sep 19, 2014 in Technology
Digital data breaches are becoming more common than new seasons of Real Housewives on Bravo. They're constantly in the news and can happen just about anywhere—major retailers (Target), game consoles (PlayStation), and most recently, Gmail.
Just a few days ago, hackers got their dirty paws on more than 5 million Gmail passwords—check if yours is one of them here.
Breaches will happen. There isn't much we can do to stop them, but there is a lot we can do to protect our most personal information from the people that mean to do the worst with it. And, there's no device more personal than our iPhone. Pictures, passwords, bank accounts, emails, text messages and work materials all live on the tiny devices that travel with us everywhere. If you rely on your iPhone for just about everything (and who doesn't, right?) then here are the essentials for keeping your personal information just that—personal.
Find My iPhone
There's no excuses with this one. If you have an iPhone and use an iCloud account (everyone should), then you must activate this feature. The iPhone even prompts you to do so when you turn on the device for the first time. With Find My iPhone, you can use your Mac, PC or another Apple mobile device (like an iPad or someone else's iPhone) to locate your lost iPhone via GPS. And, if the data on your device is extra personal, you can use the service to remotely lock or wipe the information from anywhere in the world.
Digital data breaches are becoming more common than new seasons of Real Housewives on Bravo. They're constantly in the news and can happen just about anywhere—major retailers (Target), game consoles (PlayStation), and most recently, Gmail. Just a few days ago, hackers got their dirty paws on more than 5 million Gmail passwords—check if yours is one of them here.
Breaches will happen. There isn't much we can do to stop them, but there is a lot we can do to protect our most personal information from the people that mean to do the worst with it. And, there's no device more personal than our iPhone. Pictures, passwords, bank accounts, emails, text messages and work materials all live on the tiny devices that travel with us everywhere. If you rely on your iPhone for just about everything (and who doesn't, right?) then here are the essentials for keeping your personal information just that—personal.
Two-Factor Authentication
This is a password on steroids. It's been around for years but is becoming more popular with the rise in all these data breaches. To log in to your most precious accounts, two-factor authentication requires two things: something you know + something you have.
Something you know would be your password, same as always. Something you have is usually a PIN sent to your iPhone via text message. Now your phone has gone from a data storage device to a data protection device — keeping accounts like Facebook, Google and your online banking extra secure.
See a full list of popular accounts that support two-factor authentication.
Thumb Print Access
This one's only for the new phones, so we apologize to the 5C users and below. The iPhone 5S, 6 and 6 Plus can read your thumbprint through the home button to gain access to your phone. I don't care how complex your password is, it isn't as complex as a human thumbprint. There is no better way in the world to prove who you are (except maybe a retina scan — perhaps in the iPhone 7?) than using your own appendage.
Protection Plan
It's not the sexiest of securities, nor is it a software measure like Find My iPhone or two-factor authentication, but if you want to trust that your data is always accessible, you need peace of mind that you'll always have a device to access it with.
Purchasing an iPhone protection plan is a lot like car insurance, and it makes replacing a lost or damaged phone cheap and easy. And, just like you need your car to get to work, you probably need your phone for everyday life as well. So while you're busy keeping others away from your precious data, you might as well take that last step to ensure that data is always accessible to its owner (that means you).
More about iPhone, Security, Find My iPhone
 
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