5 important iPhone security features you should know about


While iOS 16 fronts a snazzy redesigned lock screen, underneath, the latest operating system hosts a slew of new security and privacy features built to help protect you and your data. Here are five new features to better secure your iPhone from hackers and give you greater peace of mind.

Rapid security response

iOS, as well as macOS and iPadOS, now allow for automatic “rapid security responses.” This allows Apple to quickly patch software (i.e., zero-days or other critical vulnerabilities) and ship it to millions of devices without requiring a reboot or any end-user interaction.

This is available under Settings > General > Software Updates > Automatic Updates

Interestingly, even with this feature toggled off, Apple says “some system files” can still update automatically in the background.

Lockdown Mode

A feature initially created in response to spyware like NSO’s Pegasus, Lockdown Mode offers an extreme level of additional protection to device owners that may be at risk from highly sophisticated cyber attacks – such as journalists, politicians, activists, and government officials. It works by limiting the most-abused device features, like Messages and web browsing, to make it far more difficult for malware to break through.

Or, as Apple explains it, Lockdown Mode is used “to reduce the attack surface that potentially could be exploited by highly targeted mercenary spyware, certain apps, websites, and features are strictly limited for security….”

Most people will never be targeted by attacks of this nature, but if you want to try it out: Settings > Privacy & Security > Lockdown Mode and then Turn on Lockdown Mode.

Passkeys

For those unfamiliar, Passkeys is a new authentication method implemented with iOS 16 to replace the need for passwords. The feature comes in partnership with Apple, Google, and Microsoft – based on the FIDO Standard.

The setup is pretty simple. Users who want to sign up through a website or app that uses Passkeys will be prompted to register an account as usual (this process hasn’t changed). Next, a window will appear asking to save a passkey. When the user returns to this website or app to sign in, they can select their passkey…

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