Introduction to the Advanced Security & Privacy Features of iOS 16

Apple continues to surprise users with cool new features with every update or release of a new product. For instance, Family Sharing or Apple family plan is a wonderful feature that comes in-built with all Apple devices and helps users save tons of money. Moreover, it allows users to exercise parental control to monitor the content they are watching and downloading. 

Along those lines, iOS 16 was released in September 2022, and Apple hasn’t disappointed its users, especially regarding privacy and security. Here’s a lowdown of the most advanced privacy and security features you can enjoy with iOS 16. 

Adoption of the Passkey 

The introduction of passkeys eliminates the traditional use of usernames and passwords when logging into digital accounts. With iOS 16, Apple has taken the first step into the password-free world with passkeys. 

Passkeys are unique digital keys stored in the phone that will only log the user into the website it was created for. Users can sign into websites with their saved passkeys by scanning the QR code with their Apple devices. Then, they must verify their identity using a form of biometric authentication like Touch or Face ID. 

You don’t have to worry about potential data leaks because the passkeys are created and stored on your device. Also, each passkey is unique to the website it is created for and offers a nearly phish-proof solution. 

Passkeys present an excellent solution to most users’ online password security problems. Moreover, it eliminates the need to create and remember complicated passwords. 

Lockdown Mode 

Lock Mode is a new security feature that temporarily switches off specific core features of the iPhone that spyware makers typically abuse. Blocking these features ensures that the efforts of the spyware makers to break your iPhone’s security defenses are thwarted. 

The attack surface of iPhones is significantly reduced, thanks to the Lockdown Mode feature. Someone trying to plant spyware remotely on your device will be unsuccessful in their attempt. 

The feature is aimed at groups of people like activists, journalists, politicians, and human rights defenders who are already at risk and targeted by spyware makers. 

You can enable this mode by opening the Settings app > tapping Privacy & Security > tapping Lockdown Mode > tapping Turn On Lockdown Mode > tapping Turn On & Restart > entering the device passcode. 

Text messaging with attachments and phone calls will function normally in this mode. Emergency features are also unaffected. 

New Authentication Practices 

New authentication practices are introduced to make your phone more secure than before. For instance, sensitive images or the ones you wish to delete are safe from prying eyes because they are protected with an extra lock. 

Hidden and Recently Deleted albums in the Photos application will only unlock with Touch ID, Face ID, or a passcode. 

Moreover, iPhone users can unlock their phones with Face ID in portrait and landscape modes. 

Settings for Victims of Cybercrime or Domestic Violence 

Safety Check is another new feature in iOS 16’s privacy and security settings. The feature is designed to help people in intimate partner or domestic violence situations. It even helps those who are victims of cybercrime. 

The feature allows users to reset access granted to others and manage their sharing settings. 

Users can access Safety Check by opening the Settings application on their iOS device > navigating to Privacy and Security > scrolling to Safety Check > selecting either Emergency Reset to immediately reset access for all the applications in an urgent situation or Manage Sharing & Access if there’s time to walk through the data currently being shared with others. 

The Safety Check feature also has a Quick Exit button. Users can tap the button if they get caught using this feature. In addition, all the emergency contacts will be deleted if you tap the Emergency Reset option, and your Apple credentials will be reset. So, nobody can log into your account without your permission. 

Rapid Security Response 

Two tracks of automatic updates are brought in iOs 16. One update is for your iOS software, and the second is for rapid security response. This new option allows your phone to install security hotfixes the moment Apple releases them. 

The concept of this feature is to push essential security updates without forcing users to install a full update every time. So, it means that Apple will push out emergency patches to the devices, like protecting users from exploited zero-day vulnerabilities, without relying on device owners to complete the job with a phone restart. 

The rapid security updates are also available to macOS Ventura users. 

Final Thoughts 

These are some great new security and privacy features introduced by Apple in iOS 16. However, you must not forget to explore your Apple device to find out more such features that can beef up the security of your phone and enhance your experience.

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