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I've got to give my iPhone to a 3rd party repair shop to get a smashed screen replaced. The official Apple store is too far away, and the wait time is too long.

My iPhone is running the latest iOS 11.4, but I want to make sure that the content on iPhone remain as secure as possible, whilst it's in the hands of a 3rd party. The potential dangers I could think of are:

  1. Service personnel accessing user data on the iPhone

  2. Installation of undesirable software/malware on the iPhone by service personnel.

My first instinct was to backup the iPhone, factory reset and wipe it and then hand it over to the repair shop. Once received from service, factory reset and wipe again, and restore the data from backup.

Is this a failsafe approach? Any other thoughts?

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My first instinct was to backup the iPhone, factory reset and wipe it and then hand it over to the repair shop. Once received from service, factory reset and wipe again, and restore the data from backup.

This is an extremely safe approach. While the concerns raised in the question are well-researched and fairly obvious, this approach may involve a lot of work & time from your side. If I were in the situation, I'd do the same to remain extra cautious.

iOS is a fairly safe and robust platform and the likelihood of getting unintended data transfers (to and from) are very low when the device is locked. The likelihood can be further strengthened manyfold just by turning off the iPhone or restarting and not unlocking it (even once).

With recent releases of iOS 11.4.1, Apple has further strengthened the device security by introducing a feature called iOS Restricted Mode, which when enabled (it is enabled by default) restricts unauthorised access over the device Lighting Port. You should update the iPhone to iOS 11.4.1 and turn on the setting.

Learn more about iOS Restricted more here:

  1. Using USB accessories with iOS 11.4.1 and later

  2. Apple’s USB Restricted Mode: how to use your iPhone’s latest security feature

Last but not the least, It will be a good idea to learn about the credibility of the repair shop before handing over your device.

  • Agreed. Apple want you to remove it from Find My iPhone before they will accept it for repair.... that's the point at which I'm definitely gonna erase the entire phone before giving it away. That way, the absolute worst that can happen is you lose the device... but none of its data. [I don't imagine for a minute that Apple would steal my device, but this is safe.] – Tetsujin Jul 29 '18 at 20:28
  • OP is not giving the device to Apple authorised repair shop, but rather some 3rd party shop. With a properly kept backup, there's no worry of losing data, just the device :-/ – Nimesh Neema Jul 29 '18 at 20:30
  • 'Same but different' ;) I would still backup & wipe, so the 'maximum loss' is the device itself, not any of its data. – Tetsujin Jul 29 '18 at 20:31
  • I'd second that. – Nimesh Neema Jul 29 '18 at 20:32
  • I like this approach. It is the safest way to ensure that no data is looked at, and nothing is put on there. However - remember that you can also do an encrypted local backup using iTunes, which can be WAY faster than waiting for all your data to come down from iCloud when you get your phone back – Scott Earle Jul 30 '18 at 13:22

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