Losing your iPhone is bad. Losing your entire digital life, from photos to finances, is excruciating. Unfortunately, the latter is very common. Journalist Joanna Stern He recently published a report with the Wall Street Journal It details how thieves in places like New York not only steal iPhones, but also every bit of valuable data inside them. the culprit? The humble iPhone passcode.
Your iPhone passcode can be used against you
Your passcode is designed to keep your iPhone and its data safe, but it’s too weak to really count. Believe. Once the thief locates those six numbers on your lock screen, the game is over. This makes it a prime target for bad actors in cities around the world. It’s easy to spot what’s over someone’s shoulder, but some thieves orchestrate actions to accurately capture passwords, and task someone with logging others with passcode on their phone for ease Sign after the theft.
for you The passcode unlocks the deeply personal parts of your iPhone. Within minutes of stealing the device, thieves can reset your iCloud password by punching in the numbers they saw you type. (You can see this for yourself: On your iPhone, head over to Settings> [Your Name] > Password and security > Change password. your phone will Just Ask for your passcode again To start resetting your iCloud password. Yikes.)
From there, it’s smooth sailing for thieves. They can remove other devices from the Find My network And turn off Tracking Finding completely, which will prevent you from accessing all of your connected Apple devices. You lost your iPhone, but now you can’t use your Mac or iPad either. And because they changed your password, you cannot solve the problem On your end anymore.
Face ID won’t protect your sensitive apps either, as they can all be unlocked with a passcode as well. This includes personal notes, banking apps, and money transfer apps like Venmo, Apple Pay, Coinbase, and more. People don’t just lose devices and data in these thefts, tThey are losing real money. scary stuff and as it standsApple doesn’t have a real answer to offer. But there are some steps you can take to protect yourself right now.
Use an alphanumeric password on your iPhone
The first thing to do is to optimize your passcode. Switch to a longer alphanumeric password –It means one that contains letters, numbers and special characters. You can do that from settings > face id f Passcode > Change Passcode > Passcode Options. Sure, it’s less convenient than a six-digit digital passcode, but it is far Safer, especially since it’s harder for someone to see you enter on your shoulder. Plus, you’ll just need to go through the pain of entering it every now and then, since Face ID and Touch ID will still be the two authentication methods you use most of the time.
dont let anyone See your iPhone password
Treat your new passcode like your ATM PIN. If you have to type it in public, cover your iPhone when entering the passcode, especially when you’re in a crowded place like a bar or a train. Remember: this password is the key to your entire iPhone.
Mind your password managers
Password managers can be a great way to keep your strong and unique passwords in one secure place. However, if at all possible, try not to use a password manager for financial apps. The Wall Street Journal reported that the thieves were able to access the bank accounts because the information was saved to iCloud Keychain. They can simply autofill your password to crack it, or access your input keychain with your passcode.
Of course, password managers are much easier than remembering passwords for individual accounts. If you want to use one for your financial apps, use a third-party password manager like 1Password or Bitwarden, as they require a separate master password to access. This way, even if the thief knows your phone’s passcode, he won’t be able to see your financial passwords.
Use an authentication app instead of SMS-based 2FA
Always use the two-factor authentication (2FA) method if your bank’s app allows it, and make sure it is Custom authentication applicationdoes not work via text message. If the thief has access to your iPhone, he will be able to read any 2FA code that arrives via SMS. Instead, choose an app like Aegis or Raivo that lets you set a unique password for the app, rather than relying on your iCloud password to get in. Like a third-party password manager, hackers won’t be able to break into your authenticator app without your master password. Even if they had your bank password, they would still be stuck.
Don’t keep pictures of your financial information on your iPhone
Finally, go to your photo and notes gallery and delete all entries containing credit cards, bank details, social security number, or identity documents. Sometimes a scanned copy of your credit card is a bad actor Need To make a mess of your bank account.
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