When it comes to security concerns, the Heartbleed security flaw is currently dominating headlines everywhere. The good news is that iOS devices are not vulnerable to Heartbleed. Regardless of this fact, setting a passcode is the first step in securing personal information on the iPhone from prying eyes.
Simple passcodes are convenient to use, but limited to a four-digit number. For those looking to beef up the security of their iOS devices, replacing these four digits with a complex passcode will help. Once activated, this feature allows numbers, letters and special characters to be used, vastly improving the strength of the passcode. A long string or several words strung together can be used, locking down an iOS device at the specified time interval.
Looking for a faster way to access heavily used apps on your iPhone? A new tweak named AppSlider makes it possible to add two app icons to the unlock slider at the bottom of the lock screen. You can choose which apps to make available at all times.
The best part is that the AppSlider tweak respects your passcode, and will follow the same rules as the unlock slider. Once installed on a jailbroken iPhone, AppSlider will shorten the width of the unlock slider and add two app icons when enabled. Any native or third party apps can be opened directly from the lock screen.
Some of you may be wondering if Siri is too good to be true. After all, the technology offers to solve many of your problems via real-time speech interaction. Voice dictation of texts and search parameters is convenient, but at what price? Battery power is not the only thing sacrificed using Siri on the iPhone 4S, that is unless you check your security settings.
Turns out that Siri (much like Voice Control before its time) can access a whole range of functions without ever entering the passcode lock number that protects your iPhone. Reports have indicated that Siri is capable of changing calendar appointments, writing text messages and sending emails, all without ever entering the passcode that normally protects your iPhone 4S.
Screenshots acquired by 9to5 Mac reveal a gesture-based passcode lock screen already in use internally at Apple. The AppleConnect iOS application for employees makes use of the feature.
Much like a similar gesture-based passcode lock found on Android devices, the Apple version allows users to set a private code based on points that are connected by the user on the screen. The iOS version has a progress bar indicating the strength of an individual gesture entered for use as a passcode.
Now there's another reason to update your iPhone when Apple releases the iOS 4.2 firmware this November. The company has stated they are aware of the passcode lock security flaw and will issue a fix with the update. It's not clear whether or not Apple had the fix on their radar before reports about the security hole hit the web this week.
A forum user posted the simple procedure which allows iPhones to be accessed even if passcode lock is engaged. With a simple button sequence at the right time the Phone app can be accessed along with all of the contact information stored on an iPhone. Contacts can be called, emailed or even sent an MMS once the iPhone has been accessed, completely avoiding the four-digit passcode.
Your iPhone personal data is protected by the passcode lock screen at all times, right? Turns out that it's pretty simple to bypass the four-digit passcode to access the phone app revealing contacts, email information, recent calls and even visual voicemail. The process to circumvent the passcode lock revolves around the emergency call feature built into iPhones to allow 911 calls on a locked phone.
MacRumors forum user jordand321 announced the security flaw this weekend. The problem happens when the iPhone is locked but you enter the emergency call screen. Type any non-emergency number and touch the call button.
Many iPhone users have used the passcode lock feature to protect personal data. So everyone's information is safe and secure, right? Turns out it can easily be viewed without the password if the phone has been updated to firmware version 2.0.2. Even if the phone is locked, in emergency call mode a double-click of the home button brings up favorite contacts.
This alone might not be a problem, except that from this screen dialing provides access to the full contacts list, voicemail, and dial keypad. From the contacts list, sending a text opens the SMS application and text history. One click on an email address opens the mail application and all of your mailboxes. Similarly, any links in emails or contacts will open Safari, including history and bookmarks.