With over a billion devices sold, the iPhone is one of the most commercially successful products of all time. Apple’s user-friendly, no-nonsense approach has created a loyal fan base that has stood by the iPhone for 13 different models and culminated in nearly a 50% share of the US smartphone market.
This user-friendly approach and skyrocketing popularity, however, has also brought along a fair share of risks and dangers that each iPhone user must take seriously.
Most people think that the only way your iPhone can get compromised is if it is lost or stolen. While this is certainly true, hackers are also a very real threat to iPhones just like any other mobile device.This rings especially true in recent times, with the recent news of a Turkish hacking group holding 200,000 iOS accounts ransom.
While hackers remain the primary threat for iPhone users, a watchful eye must be also kept ongovernment and law enforcement agencies. Last year’s Apple case vs the FBI demonstrates the lengths to which the US government is willing to go to in order to access your personal data.
So, how can you avoid hackers or government agencies from spying on your iPhone and your private data?
A virtual private network (or VPN for short), creates a secure, encrypted connection between your device and the Internet, keeping any third-party snoopers from seeing your internet activity. VPNs are the most effective way to secure your data and don’t cost more than a couple dollars a month!
As well as being installed on your home PC, you can also set up a VPN on your mobile devices.
How to install a VPN on iPhone
The great thing about using a VPN for your iPhone is that most high-quality VPN services offer an iPhone app that lets you easily install and manage your iPhone VPN connection. Here is a step-by-stepguide showing just how easy this process is!
- Download and install a VPN app from your device’s App Store.
- Launch the VPN app on your iPhone.
- Connect to a server that fits your needs (the closer the server, the better your connection tends to be).
- That’s it! You can now enjoy the security of a VPN on your iPhone! Simply disconnect from the VPN when you want to end the connection.
If you are using a VPN without a dedicated iPhone client (such as AirVPN), you will need to download the OpenVPN Connect app to create a custom VPN connection. This process will be described in a provider’s VPN setup guide.
What should I look for in an iPhone VPN?
Unfortunately, not all VPNs are created equally. Here are some of the specifics you should look for when searching for a VPN for your iPhone:
- Speed:The main issue that comes with using a VPN on your iPhone is the inevitable speed loss that comes with the extra encryption. Selecting a service with a top-notch network and up to date technology is crucial to avoid any noticeable speed loss.
- Security:VPN providers use different methods of encryption when it comes to securing your data. For example, OpenVPN might be the most secure protocol for VPNs, but many providers also support L2TP/IPsec and PPTP.
- Servers: Since you are connecting to a VPN server each time you start your service, choosing a provider with a high amount of fast servers is critical. Servers goes hand in hand with speed, as connecting to a VPN server that is close to you will give you the best connection speeds.
- Privacy: A VPN provider can be asked by law enforcement to hand over user data and logs. Using a VPN where no logs of any user data is stored means there is nothing to hand over should the authorities come knocking on your VPN provider’s door!
What additional steps can I take to secure my iPhone?
- Keep your iPhone up to date: This one is pretty straightforward! With vulnerabilities within iOS frequently popping up, keeping the software up to date is crucial for patching these exploits. You can do easily this by going to Settings-> General-> Software Update on your iPhone.
- Reconsider permissions for apps: Apps are a great way to improve your iPhone experience. That being said, they can also seriously violate your privacy by collecting personal data about you. Manage the permissions given to all of your apps in Settings-> Privacy.
- Enable Auto-Wipe: This might be the toughest thing to do when securing your iPhone. Incasethe iPhone is lost or stolen, ten consecutive wrong passwords will result in all data being wiped. You can enable this feature in Settings-> Touch ID & Passcode.
- Disable Siri: While Siri makes for a useful companion, the reality is that there are a number of privacy issues with the service. If it isn’t Apple collecting data on your questions, it is the ability for hackers to use Siri to bypass your iPhone’s security.
While Apple is known for making secure products, the sad truth is that hackers (and government agencies) are always coming up with new ways to access iPhones. As the battle for digital privacy continues, iPhones will definitely be in the crosshairs.
Using a VPN to secure your iPhone from any threats is the best way to protect your data. Invest in one today – it is well worth it!