Security Tips

How to better protect your iPhone and iPad against 'backdoors' 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 change your Apple ID security questions on iPhone or iPad

If you own and iPhone or iPad you almost certain have an Apple ID. It's what you use to log into iCloud and iTunes, and it's what a lot of new iOS 8 features like Continuity use to make sure you're you, and to keep your documents and data private and secure. In other words, your Apple ID is important. If you don't use two-step verification enabled — and you really should! — if you forget your password, the only way to reset it is with your security questions. That's why it's a good idea to review your security questions, make sure they're easy to remember for you but not easy to guess for anyone else.

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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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How to change the auto-lock time on your iPhone or iPad

The auto-lock feature on the iPhone and iPad lets you control how long you want the screen to stay on when the device isn't being used. The shorter the amount of time you set it for, the faster the screen will go off due to inactivity. A shorter auto-lock time will make your iPhone or iPad prompt for a passcode faster, which results in better security. Not to mention battery life can improve since the screen isn't on as often. Follow along and we'll show you how to edit your auto-lock settings.

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How to secure your iPhone or iPad with a strong alphanumeric password

If a simple 4-digit passcode isn't secure enough for you, you can choose to protect your iPhone or iPad Lock screen with a longer, stronger alphanumeric password. That greatly reduces the chances that anyone can guess or brute-force their way into your device and access your data without your permission. What's more, Apple makes it easy to set up.

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How to secure your iPhone or iPad with a 4-digit passcode

Leaving your iPhone or iPad might feel like a convenience, but if you ever leave it unattended, lose it, or have it stolen, it leaves you open to everything from pranks to having all your personal data exposed. By enabling a simple, easy-to enter 4-digit Lock screen passcode, you not only make it much, much harder for someone to get at your data, but you also make it much harder for them to do anything but user it as a paperweight if you ever lose it or have it stolen.

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How to turn off Touch ID and revert to a passcode or password

If you don't want to use Touch ID to unlock your iPhone 5s you can always go back to using a numeric or alphanumeric passcode whenever you'd like. Perhaps Touch ID just doesn't work that well for you, or you don't trust it, whatever the reason, here's how to go back to using a regular passcode again:

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How to disable Touch ID for iTunes and App Store purchases

Touch ID is a super convenient way to unlock your iPhone 5s while keeping it secure at the same time. You can also use it to make App Store and iTunes purchases by default. However, if you've registered other family member's prints and you don't want them to be able to buy things on your account, or if you're just not comfortable with Touch ID purchases, you turn off iTunes purchases and not have to worry about it.

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How to secure your iPhone with Touch ID

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How to control background refresh to save battery life and data on your iPhone and iPad

Background refresh is part of what allows any iOS 7 app for iPhone or iPad to appear to be multitasking all the time. The truth is, they're really multitasking "just in time" by updating in the background whenever they have the opportunity or right before they figure you'll be launching them. In spite of how efficient Apple has tried to make it, however, using background refresh will also use more power and consume more data. Luckily, if either your battery life or your data limit is running low you can turn off background refresh, either entirely or just for those apps you don't consider that important.

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