While iOS 16 introduces a spectacular redesigned lock screen, the latest version of the operating system has many new security and privacy features designed to protect you and your data. Here are five new features to help you better protect your iPhone from hackers and give you more peace of mind.
Rapid Security Response
iOS, as well as macOS and iPadOS, now allow automatic “quick security response.” This allows Apple to quickly patch software (such as zero days or other critical vulnerabilities) and ship it to millions of devices without a reboot or any end user interaction.
This is available under Settings>General > Software updates > Automatic Updates
Interestingly, even with this feature disabled, Apple states that “some system files” can update automatically in the background.
A feature originally created in response to spyware such as Pegasus NSO, Block Mode offers an extreme level of additional protection to device owners who may be at risk of sophisticated cyberattacks, such as journalists, politicians, activists and government officials. . It works by restricting the device's most commonly used functions, such as messaging and web browsing, making it much more difficult for malware to infiltrate.
Or, as Apple explains, “ ;lock mode is used to reduce the attack surface , which could potentially be exploited by highly targeted spyware mercenaries, some apps, websites and features are severely restricted for security reasons…”
Most people will never be the target of this kind of attack, but if you want to try: Settings> Privacy and Security Security > Lock mode and then Enable lock mode.
For those who doesn't know, passkeys are a new authentication method implemented in iOS 16 to replace passwords. This feature is provided in collaboration with Apple, Google and Microsoft based on the FIDO standard.
The setup is quite simple. Users who wish to register through a website or app that uses passwords will be prompted to register for an account as usual (this process has not changed). Next, a window will appear asking you to save your password. When the user returns to this website or app to sign in, they can choose their password and verify it with Face ID or Touch ID. No username, password, or other authentication is required.
Access keys in macOS Ventura. Credits: Apple
Passkeys work on all Apple devices running iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. Any keys created on the same OS are synced between devices of the same user via iCloud Keychain. In addition, both local access keys and those exchanged with iCloud are encrypted with end-to-end encryption, so they cannot be read.
While the availability of this feature is still limited, it is valuable. tool that makes it harder for attackers to hack accounts.
Secure and encrypt notes
While the possibility of blocking or “protection” notes created in the Notes app are not that new, it's worth noting that this feature exists. Secure notes are fully encrypted and can be viewed with a user-entered passphrase or by authenticating with Face ID or Touch ID.
There are several ways to secure a note. , but the quickest way is to tap and hold it inside the folder, tap “Lock Note” and voila.
Apple on. how it encrypts secure notes:
“When a user secures a note, a 16-byte key is derived from the user's passphrase using PBKDF2 and SHA256. The note and all its attachments are encrypted using AES with Galois/Counter Mode (AES-GCM).”
AES-GCM is a secure cipher and cryptographically provides greater data integrity and is slightly faster, than similar encryption modes such as CBC. While this type of encryption can technically take billions of years to break with modern computing technology, it is important to note that no system is completely secure.
Another important new security feature in iOS 16 security check. This new tool is designed for people experiencing or at risk of domestic violence and allows users to check who they are sharing information with, restrict any messages and FaceTime, reset system privacy permissions, change any passcodes associated with their iPhone or Apple ID, and more.
Here's how Apple describes Security Check for iPhone:
“If your personal security is at risk, you can use Security Check on iPhone (running iOS 16 or later) to quickly stop sharing or view and update sharing to individuals and apps.”
Ultimately, this feature can act almost like a panic button, in a situation when you want to completely disable access. You can find it by going to Settings > Privacy & Security > Security Review
As our devices become more integrated, so does the security of our data and privacy. Even if none of the new security-focused features of iOS 16 interest you, it's important to keep yourself updated to the latest version of iOS, which likely adds critical fixes to security flaws and fixes bugs that will help improve your experience.
More security topics from 9to5Mac:
- Report: Nearly 50% of macOS malware comes from a single source
- How to stop SIM spoofing attacks Maps on iPhone using Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and more
- Mosyle secures Apple endpoints for iPhone and iPad