A Smartphone is an expensive gadget, and sometimes we use it like a cheap piece of paper that we can toss around, unprotected, almost without proper configuration and leaving our precious data completely vulnerable. So, let’s say that a smartphone is almost an expensive pedigree dog, without a good training or a proper trainer, it could get lost….. and fast.

So here are a few tips that I recommend for iOS Devices

1 – Use a passcode!! SIM Pin is not enough

Some people feels a complete security that a SIM pin will protect the phone from mindless thugs, they will never try to change the blocked SIM for another one… duh!

It’s true that the SIM pin will protect the data of your SIM or even protect you from a huge phone bill, but your phone needs a code too. The Passcode feature in iOS is quite cool, you can set a simple 4 digit code or a full-featured password with n characters, either option will do a good job preventing an unauthorized usage on your phone. Additionally, you can enable a limit of passcode failure, in case 10 authentication failures, erase the data on the device, this is quite useful if you keep sensitive corporate data on the device.

Passcode configuration - iOS 7 Passcode configuration - ios7 - Erase Data feature Passcode form - iOS 7

2 – Enable 3G and mobile data on outdoors

Maybe this tip does not sound too cool for you if you have an Expensive Data plan from your carrier, but nowadays this can save your phone. Technically, your phone will be connected all time, so any location service (Apple or third party) will work for your phone.

3 – Find my phone

If you did follow tip number 2, then you should now that icloud can help you to locate and wipe your phone remotely. You can do three options with this tool.

  • Emit a really loud sound on your device: This can help you to locate your device in your house or office. Also it could reveal where the thief is hidden or alert everyone else about a mysterious guy with a stolen device.
  • Lost mode: It locks your device from normal usage until a password is entered, but the thief can bypass it by flashing the device in DFU Mode. Not really a good option
  • Wipe the device: If you carry sensitive data and there is no way that you can recover your device (probably because of an armed thug), then you can wipe the device into factory default. Call this a “No return” option.
Find my iPhone - Device options

Find my iPhone – Device options

4 – Protect your phone from unauthorized activation (iOS 7 and up)

Once iOS 7 comes available for everyone, you will have to option to enable the Activation Lock feature, this is a really cool feature, but what it does? Well, it’s quite simple, whenever your device is wiped (via icloud or a reset setting button) both device and itunes will request your Apple ID in order to activate the device. I did test this feature by restoring the device in DFU mode and itunes did request my apple id once I did try to activate the device..NICE!!!.. so if the thief restores your phone, he/she will a nice looking brick until someone came up with a crack for this functionality.

Activation Lock

Activation Lock – Option present in iCloud -> Find My iPhone

Activation Screen - Itunes

Activation Screen – Once the feature is enabled, you will see this screen on your itunes when trying to activate the device.

You can read more about the iOS 7 Activation lock feature here

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Carlos Alberto Umanzor Arguedas

Web Developer at carlosumanzor.com
Web Developer, QA Engineer and Gamer Enthusiast, Developer of Linkcrawler and Father of a future computer ninja.
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