Our phones are our lives. Although most of us don’t want to admit it, for almost all of us it’s true. We depend on our phones for almost everything and keep personal information inside, including text messages, emails, pictures, videos and documents. Because of this, we don’t want our personal data falling into the hands of a stranger. As a result of this need, Apple has done some impressive work on the iPhone 6 and iOS 8, which boast some pretty incredible security features to help you feel better about the data on your device.
One of the iPhone 6’s most unique and secure features when stacked against other smartphones is Touch ID, which is a fingerprint sensor on the iPhone’s home button. Although this technology was originally limited to unlocking the phone’s screen on the iPhone 5s, it now has new applications with the iPhone 6 and iOS 8.
The biggest and best of these new applications is Apple Pay, which uses Near Field Communication (NFC) to pay at a register using the iPhone. Android phones have been using NFC payment for a few years now, but the marriage of Apple Pay and Touch ID makes the iPhone the safest way to pay digitally because, no matter what happens to your phone, a fraudulent purchase can’t happen without your thumb print.
iCloud security has been a hot topic over the last year, mainly because of the breach of dozens of celebrity pictures, which made iPhone users unsure about the safety of their data online. iCloud itself has used two-factor authentication (or the requirement of a password and a token such as a temporary code sent to your phone), but the extra layer of security never extended to Apple’s other branches, until now.
iMessage, one of Apple’s most popular services, now can use two-factor authentication when logging in away from your phone. With this, each new and unique login requires a four-digit pin sent to your iPhone to gain access. This way strangers will no longer be able to get a peek at any text messages or pictures (like the ones sent from the celebrities) sent from your device.
Another noteworthy feature of iMessage is that it hides behind powerful encryption. So powerful, in fact, that the FBI has concerns about not being able to access your messages even with a search warrant. Unlike typical SMS, iMessages are difficult for others to see and even Apple itself can’t look at your content, which is why the FBI can’t access them. In the event of a court order, Apple could do nothing to provide the authorities with the messages they desire. So, if Apple can’t see it and the FBI can’t see it, you can feel good about hackers not seeing it either.
Find My iPhone has some really handy applications when your phone is missing or stolen. The most important being a remote wipe option. If you have sensitive data on your phone and it goes missing, you can delete everything by logging into your iCloud account from a computer. Or, if you don’t want it deleted but just want to keep anyone from seeing what’s inside, Find My iPhone can lock the device remotely until you retrieve it.