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what is the best way to secure data on my iphone?

In my opinion I have to protect myself against the following risks:

  • theft
  • fault and phone must be returned

I fear for the following data

  • Logins to email, dorpbox, calender, ...
  • mails, photos, chat history, ...

The phone is allways locked, but with hardware access it might be possible to read the data...

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  • The number one rule: don't put your sensitive data on it in the first place. My phone has a few phone numbers and that's it. No mail, no sensitive documents, no passwords, etc. I even avoid the various stores so I don't have to enter a password that's automagically saved. I do store downloads on a laptop or MacBook and then transfer to the device.
    – noloader
    Jun 21, 2014 at 10:52
  • agreed but that's not an easy choice to make, not always.
    – Ashesh
    Jun 21, 2014 at 10:57

2 Answers 2

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Take the following steps as there is no one sure shot way to get the protection that will actually protect you (at-least to some extent):

  1. Enable data Encryption on your device, even if someone is able to gain access to your data on the phone memory, there will be a layer of protection.

  2. Apple/Google provide web management device utilities which gives ability for remote locking, remotely wiping data, changing passwords etc, check out those settings. Some third-party app provide for this as well.

  3. don't install apps from outside the app store.

  4. setup secure passwords and locks (use numbers lower-case, upper-case, symbols etc, you may even use special characters that are not directly available on the keyboard)

  5. change your passwords often, maybe every 6 months atleast.

  6. Enable 2-step authentication. PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST THING YOU COULD DO RIGHT NOW. Most leading service providers, DropBox, Gmail (and other google services), Evernote provide this option. then you need two bits of information to access your account:

    • one, the information you know, your password.
    • second, the information you get (through an SMS/Email).
  7. Provide an option for recovery, such as secondary mail/ contact number in case you forget your password.

  8. keep a track of security holes such as the recent Heartbleed bug.

  9. when some one uses your phone to make a call/text, be close and it might be a good idea to take his/her picture (you don't know whome he/she might be calling to, maybe some terrorist?)

  10. you may even want to subscribe for sms updates for your facebook, twitter and google+ etc notifications for any suspicious activities in real time.

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  • "Enable data Encryption" - not very helpful when folks like Apple provides no protection over important passwords and other secrets (i.e., kSecAttrAccessible=all, which means its always available - even without a login). The passwords include VPN, LDAP, and email password. See, for example, iOS Keychain Weakness FAQ.
    – noloader
    Jun 21, 2014 at 11:01
  • 1
    Then such people better not use apple. ;-)
    – Ashesh
    Jun 21, 2014 at 11:18
  • Yeah, its not just Apple - its all of them. Don't fall into the trap of thinking a mobile device or tablet is like a laptop with full disk encryption ;)
    – noloader
    Jun 21, 2014 at 11:20
  • is data Encryption on Iphone enabled with Passcode or is it necessary to enabled "Erase Data" -> below this setting the iphone shows text that "data protection is enabled"?
    – HrKarlsson
    Jun 21, 2014 at 11:44
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so after googeling around based on the suggestions above, I am faced with the following situation:

Parts of my data are encrpyted by default with apple passcode but most of it is not encrypted:

  • fotos
  • chat history form skype, facebook
  • E-Mail and SMS

A small possibility is to remote wipe the phone, if it has not previously jailbreaked or opened...

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