Way back when, a technology security guru said we should have long, complicated, difficult to remember– and difficult to guess– passwords. What did the great technologically unwashed members of humanity do? We used stupidly simple passwords instead. Passwords like 1-2-3-4 or admin or worse, password. Yes, those passwords were easy to remember, therefore, easy to use, but also easy to hack.
Then along comes Apple with a better way. Instead of worrying about a long and convoluted password, Apple built the Touch ID fingerprint scanner into iPhones and iPads (and even in the MacBook Pro). Touch ID made it drop dead simply to unlock a locked device with a simple touch. Hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users cheered and rejoiced in the combination of elegance, simplicity, and security of Touch ID.
That was then and this is now and buttons are so 1999. iPhone X marks a change in security that is better than Touch ID. Face ID. iPhone X’s system blasts your face with tens of thousands of tiny infrared lights, captures them with a camera, and builds a facial recognition model. Think of it as a fingerprint from your face. It’s better and faster than Touch ID and I can see Apple putting it on all iPhones next year, all iPads, and even the Mac.
Who doesn’t like Face ID?
Technology writers and criminals.
Zach Whittaker came up with a list of changes you absolutely positively must implement now if you’ve installed iOS 11 on your iPhone or iPad. Hurry. Do it now. If you’re a criminal and have something to hide. If you’re merely like me and want another level of security mashed into ease of use, stop reading now because Touch ID and Face ID are the cat’s meow of security, privacy, and convenience.
Except for criminals.
This is good:
Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode, and enter your existing passcode if you have one. If not, select Turn Passcode On, and then select Passcode Options. This gives you the option of a custom alphanumeric or numeric code, or the older four-digit numeric code.
What if you fear the police and courts and you know there is something on your iPhone X that can be used against you in court?
Police in the US have compelled suspects to unlock their phones with fingerprints and facial recognition is no different. Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode, then enter your passcode. You can enrol you (sic) face from here if you choose to use it.
What if you don’t have an iPhone X but you have a recent iPhone with Touch ID?
Fingerprints and thumbprints might be convenient, but they can be used against you. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode, then enter your passcode. Make sure the Phone Unlock setting is disabled.
What if you’re not quite that paranoid, but you don’t want people browsing around on your iPhone or iPad’s lock screen?
Don’t give away free access to your locked iPhone through things like Siri. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode, and enter your passcode. Scroll down to see your lock screen access. The fewer items that are on, the better.
Remember, when everyone is out to get you, a little paranoia is the right attitude to have.
Two-factor authentication is all the rage these days, and Apple makes it easy to set up for your device and Apple ID. Give it a whirl.
Before Apple lets you into your account, it sends a code to a device that only you will own, which prevents someone from taking your data even with your username and password. Go to Settings > and tap your name at the top, then go to Password & Security, then Two-Factor Authentication.
Privacy and security on our devices these days is a two way street. We can use settings to keep us secure and be convenient to use. Good examples are, 1) password, 2) Touch ID, 3) Face ID. Or, we can get really paranoid because we’re unknown criminals and hackers, so it’s best to turn off anything that connects the iPhone to us and our deeds.