NSA surveillance: How to Protect iPhone data from snooping

The extent of the NSA surveillance program has raised concern across the world over the last few years and the shocking revelations have confirmed what we feared: Everyone’s privacy is under threat. The NSA is looking for ways to get access to our data and some even claim that iPhone users are exposed to snooping, even if their device is turned off. While this is a possibility that raised a lot of concern when it was initially disclosed, there is no evidence to support such claims. The idea is not that users become paranoid and that they live in a constant fear of what kind of information can be gathered about them through their iPhone. Still, it is important to take measures to ensure that our privacy is protected at all times and by following a few recommendations, you can feel safer when using your iPhone or at least reduce your exposure to prying eyes.

Protect your Apple ID and iCloud account

Ensuring that your Apple ID/iCloud account is safe is crucial since it controls the most important functions of your iPhone, including backup data and “Find My iPhone”. If the security of your Apple ID is compromised, your data may be accessed or deleted. Never share details of your Apple ID with others. The best thing to do is to change your passwords regularly and ensure that they are strong.

Only install trusted apps

Apple checks every app available in the App Store to ensure that it does not include malicious content. The control checks and the filtering process are very strict, making the App Store highly secure. Even though the way the App Store works and how the iPhone is set, make it very difficult for users to install apps that have not been properly approved or rated, it is still important to make sure that you look for reviews and details about an app before downloading. Research the developer to ensure that they are trusted.

Take an even more cautious approach if your iPhone is jailbroken
The main advantage of jailbreaking is that it gives you a higher level of control over what you can do with your iPhone and it can make it even more versatile. However, when it comes to security, jailbroken has a big downside and it is the fact that it makes your iPhone less secure. This is because some of the tweaks you install could come from malicious developers that aim to get access to the data of your iPhone. This is why, you need to be extra careful when installing tweaks.

Do not share location data if it is not necessary
There are many apps that work with location data and you will be asked for permission whenever an app requests this feature Even though sharing data location may be indispensable when it comes to using apps for navigation or maps, you should not allow it for every app. Make sure that you only share this data with trusted apps.

Get into DFU Mode or Hard Reset
The chance of your iPhone being able to become a spying tool controlled remotely is slim, since it is very unlikely that a malware can be installed in your device. However, if you want to be cautious and ensure that your iPhone is secure at all times, you can do a hard reset or DFU mode. The Hard reset is simple and all you need to do is to hold the Power and Home button at the same time until the screen is switched off. Then you can turn on the iPhone.

If you are upgrading the firmware, you can use DFU Mode. Simply connect your iPhone to your computer, then switch off the device by keeping the Power button pressed and slide to turn off. Hold the power button for three seconds. Press and hold the Home and Power (sleep/wake) buttons for about ten seconds and then release it, keeping the Home button pressed for 15 seconds more. This will set the iPhone in DFU mode while the screen will remain turned off.

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