10 ways to improve iPhone security

Apple Inc. sold a record 74.5 million smart phones in its most recent quarter, the company said Tuesday, led largely by its new and bigger iPhone 6 models. That should come as no surprise as Android phone sales have in part been powered by the larger formats it offers.

For years iPhones have been a prime choice for business staff  if they have the opportunity to drop their BlackBerrys. But if you’re a chief security officer they raise a number of security questions. At the company-wide level a good mobile device management suite helps overcome a number of difficulties. For individuals CSO Online has complied a number of ways users can secure their iPhones which can be passed around to staff. Most of the recommendations apply to BlackBerrys and Android devices.

There is one suggestion that doesn’t necessarily apply to Canadians:  Complex passwords — and not a fingerprint — should be used to lock an iPhone. That’s because some American courts have ruled that police can compel people to unlock handsets that use a biometric. In this country the Supreme Court ruled last December that police don’t need a warrant to search a smart phone if the search is related to a criminal offence. However, that case involved an unlocked phone. The high court here hasn’t ruled yet on what police can do without a warrant if the phone is locked.

Other recommendations include:

–set the phone to be erased after 10 incorrect passcode entries;

–never Jailbreak a smart phone

–turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when they’re not needed. Keeping them on all the time is convenient as we walk from hotspot to hotspot. And it’s a pain to have to turn on Bluetooth every time we get in a car. But every wireless network is a way for hackers to gain access to a device. Similarly, do you need GPS turned on all the time?;

–clean up your system and app caches;

–make sure the remote wipe capability is implemented if the phone is lost.

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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