Security

How to better protect your iPhone and iPad against hacks and other security and privacy risks

Security and convenience are perpetually at war. There will always be errors, compromises, and oversights that put our privacy at risk. Old ones will get fixed but new ones will get discovered. So what can we do? Luckily, while some of the conveniences of iOS and OS X make our devices easier to use, there are also ways to remove those conveniences and make our devices even more secure. If your privacy is worth more to you than ease of use, here's how you can better lock down your iPhone and/or iPad, and any Mac it might connect to.

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How to make sure iTunes and the App Store always ask for a password with parental controls for iPhone and iPad

Parental Controls, also known as Restrictions, let you manage which features, apps, and content your kids can and can't access on the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. That includes changing the default 15-minute window for password requests on the App Store and iTunes Store. Originally intended as a convenience for adults who wanted to buy several apps, games, songs, movies, or TV shows at once, the window also let kids buy extra apps and in-app purchases after their parents entered the password. So, Apple now lets you change the password interval to immediate, so each and every in-store and in-app purchase requires it before it'll start the download.

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Facebook acquires PrivateCore, aims to better secure your data on its servers

Facebook, the world's biggest social network, is buying online security company PrivateCore for an undisclosed amount of money. It's almost certainly not Instagram or Oculus levels of cash, never mind the tens of billions thrown at Whatsapp, but it will, apparently, help Facebook secure all of the data — the personal, private social data that all of us who use Facebook choose to share with them — on its servers.

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iOS diagnostic services, their uses and protections, outlined by Apple in response to 'backdoor' allegations

Earlier this week Apple reaffirmed to iMore that it had never worked with any government agency to create a backdoor in any product or service. That was in answer to questions raised by Jonathan Zdziarski concerning iOS privacy and security. Apple has now published a new support page titled iOS: About diagnostic capabilities which elaborates on the services Zdziarski called out as data leaks. It does not, however, address vulnerabilities in passcode, pairing keys, or trusted device, though Apple typically does not address those types of things until they've pushed out patches. Here's Apple's full support article on the services:

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Apple reaffirms it has never worked with any government agency to create a backdoor in any product or service

On July 18, Jonathan Zdziarski, a former iOS jailbreaker and current iOS forensic scientist and law enforcement consultant, gave a talk at the HOPE X conference in New York City. Zdziarski's talk was on backdoors, attack points and surveillance mechanisms in iOS. In the talk he alleged that there are a number of ways for government agencies, including law-enforcement, to get at the personal data you store on your iPhone, iPod touch, and/or iPad. Zdziarski posted slides from the talk, based on an earlier journal publishing, on his website a couple of days ago. They've since been shared via other websites and social networks, and a lot of confusion and concern has arisen.

When reached for comment, Apple reiterated to iMore that it has never worked with any government agency to create a backdoor in any product or service:

"We have designed iOS so that its diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security, but still provides needed information to enterprise IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues," Apple told iMore. "A user must have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer before that computer is able to access this limited diagnostic data. The user must agree to share this information, and data is never transferred without their consent."

As we have said before, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services."

So, what's going on here?

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How to prevent unauthorized pairing with your iPhone or iPad using Apple Configurator

When you connect your iPhone or iPad to iTunes on Mac or Windows, and choose to trust that computer, a pairing record is created that maintains that trust for future connections. There's a report going around that claims that if someone takes physical possession of your device and your computer, they can steal those pairing records and use them to retrieve your personal information and/or enable remote logging. If they don't have your computer, it's also claimed they can try and generate a pairing record by tricking you into connecting to a compromised accessory (juice jacking), like a dock, and/or by using mobile device management (MDM) tools intended for enterprise to get around safeguards like Apple's Trusted Device requestor. So, how can you protect yourself?

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How to use Touch ID: The ultimate guide

Touch ID is Apple's biometric fingerprint authentication technology. With it, the Home button can now unlock your iPhone 5s and authorize your purchases on the iTunes Store simply by reading and recognizing your fingerprints. In the perpetual battle between security and convenience, where many people would rather go without a passcode or strong password than fuss with anything complicated on mobile, Apple's Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor aims to do for authentication what iCloud did for backup and restore - make it easy enough that people will actually use it.

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Best password manager apps for iPhone and iPad: 1Password, Dashlane, mSecure, and more!

The best password manager apps for iPhone and iPad to help you create strong passwords, keep them secure, and use them when you need them!

On the hunt for the best iPhone apps and best iPad apps to help you create, store, and manage all your passwords and logins? Passwords are what keep our stuff safe, from our iPhones, iPod touches, iPads, and Macs, to the apps and services we use on them. Good, strong, unique passwords are also a complete pain in the ass to remember, and on mobile, an incredible pain to enter. However, given how many security breaches there've been lately - and how many passwords have been compromised - it's absolutely necessary. Due to the lack of browser plugins on iOS, iPhone and iPad password managers aren't as well integrated as they are on Mac or Windows, but there are still many on the App Store to choose from. But which iPhone and iPad apps are the absolute best password manager apps?

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New iPhone Lock screen bypass discovered — here's how to protect against it!

A new iOS 7.1.1 iPhone Lock screen bypass has been discovered. Lock screen bypasses in and of themselves aren't new — trying to protect a phone while also allowing access to convenient features results is an incredible tension — but this one can provide access to an app, which makes it one of the most serious to date. It does require physical access to your iPhone, but if you do lose possession, here's how the bypass works and, more importantly, how you can protect yourself from it.

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Apple confirms iCloud breach not the reason behind Apple ID hijack

Yesterday, we reported that several iPhone and iPad users in Australia were locked out of their devices. Apple issued a statement today clarifying that the iCloud service, which forms the backend for the Find my iPhone service, was unaffected, and that users impacted by the hack should change their Apple ID passwords.

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