iPhones and iPads are, out of the box, quite robust and secure platforms. But with a few tweaks you can harden that security dramatically without adding too much burden to your day-to-day usage of the device.
#1: Security starts with a really strong passcode
Good iOS security starts with having a really strong passcode. If this is something that’s easily guessable then everything else you do is pretty much pointless.
No matter whether you use Face ID or Touch ID to access your iPhone, you still need a passcode, and the longer the passcode you can use — and remember — the better.
Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode on older iPhones), enter your existing passcode, and then tap on Passcode Options to get a set of options. Choose between Custom Alphanumeric Code (the most secure) or Custom Numeric Code (second best option), or 4-Digit Numeric Code (I don’t recommend this last option).
#2: Block apps from having Bluetooth access
After you install iOS 13 you might find a whole swathe of apps such as Facebook asking you for permission to transmit data over Bluetooth. You can either allow or deny access when the prompts are displayed, or you can head over to Settings > Privacy > Bluetooth and make the changes there.
Note that this doesn’t affect audio streaming to headphones and speakers.
#3: Set brute-force protection
iOS has built-in brute-force protection to prevent an unauthorized user from trying to guess your passcode.
Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode on older iPhones), enter your existing passcode, and scroll down to Erase Data.
After 10 attempts (toward the end there will be a time lockout to slow down the entry process), the encryption key will be deleted and your data wiped.
#4: Make sure iOS automatic updates are enabled
iOS 13 has the ability to keep itself updated automatically, which is a great way to make sure that your iPhone is fully patched.
This should be set up automatically, but you can check it over at Settings > General > Software Update and make sure Automatic Updates is enabled.
#5: Reduce the lock screen timeout
The shorter you set the lock screen timeout setting (there are options ranging from 30 seconds to never), the faster your iPhone or iPad display will require authentication to access it.
You can change the auto-lock time by going to Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-Lock.
#6: Password AutoFill and third-party password managers
iOS 13 now comes with both a password autofill feature that can use information stored in the iCloud Keychain along with the ability to connect to third-party password apps such as LastPass, Dashlane, and 1Password.
Also: 5 reasons why you need a password manager
You can find this feature in Settings > Passwords & Accounts > AutoFill Passwords.
#7: Check for password reuse
If you use the iCloud Keychain to store web passwords, you can now use this to check for password reuse (which is bad, so don’t do it!).
Go to Settings > Passwords & Accounts > Website & App Passwords and authenticate with either Face ID/Touch ID or your passcode.
You will see a grey triangle with an exclamation mark next to any entry that is reused. To change the password, tap Change Password on Website.
#8: Wi-Fi tracking is blocked
Under iOS 12, it was possible to track iPhone and iPad users by the public Wi-Fi points the device was connecting to silently as the owner went about their business. This ability has now been blocked under iOS 13 so you can wander about without the fear of being tracked.
#9: Take control over Location Sharing
Another thing you might have noticed after installing iOS 13 is that you get notifications informing you that apps are using your locations data, and giving you the option of allowing this to continue or blocking it.
Don’t worry, you can change your mind by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and changing permissions for your apps.
#10: Find your devices
iOS 13 has a cool new app called Find My which you can use to locate your friends and family, share your location, or find a missing device.
This app has two cool features, one is Enable Offline Finding that helps you find lost devices that aren’t connected to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The other is Send Last Location, which sends the device’s location to Apple when the battery is low.
#11: Control what Touch ID/Face ID is used to authenticate
Do you want the convenience of Face ID or Touch ID, or do you prefer the additional protection that having to enter your passcode offers? iOS 13 allows you to switch Face ID/Touch ID on and off for:
- iPhone Unlock
- iTunes and App Store
- Apple Pay
- Password AutoFill
Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode on older iPhones), and enter your existing passcode to take control of this.
#12: Control access to what’s accessible when the iPhone or iPad is locked
Control how much — or how little — you want to be accessible on a locked device. iOS 12 gives control over the following:
- Today View
- Notification Center
- Control Center
- Reply with Message
- Home Control
- Return Missed Call
- USB Accessories
The bottom line is that the more you lock down, the more secure your device and data will be. The USB Accessories feature is especially useful, because it will prevent the Lightning port being used to connect to any accessory if your iPhone or iPad has been locked for more than an hour.
Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode on older iPhones), and enter your existing passcode to take control of this.
#13: Disable biometrics to force passcode entry
Here’s a simple trick to know that allows you to disable Face ID or Touch ID and force the use of the passcode.
To do this press the power button five times (just be sure to cancel the SOS Emergency calling feature if you have this activated).
#14: Set up two-factor authentication
One of the best ways to protect your data is to set up and use two-factor authentication. This means that, even if an attacker has your iCloud username and password, Apple will send an authentication code of a device you’ve chosen, which should block most attacks.
Go to Settings > and tap your name at the top of the screen, then go to Password & Security, then choose Two-Factor Authentication.
Also: Protect yourself: How to choose the right two-factor authenticator app
While setting up two-factor authentication you can also set up a Recovery Key.
Once set, without this key, or another device signed in with your Apple ID, you will not be able to reset your password.
#15: Delete your Siri and dictation history from Apple’s servers
This is a new feature in iOS 13.2 that allows you to erase your Siri and dictation data from Apple’s servers.
First download and install iOS 13.2 on your iPhone or iPad. Then fire up the Settings app and go to Siri & Search > Siri & Dictation History. From there tap the big, ominous-looking red button marked Delete Siri & Dictation History. Then you confirm that you want to carry out this action by tapping Delete Siri & Dictation History on the popup. You should finally get confirmation that the request has been received by Apple.
#16: Opt-out of sharing your voice information with Apple
Another new feature in iOS 13.2 that helps you prevent data leakage.
Go to Settings > Privacy > Analytics & Improvements and look for Improve Siri & Dictation and toggle the switch to off.
#17: Control notification data leakage
Notifications displayed on the lock screen can leak sensitive information.
To stop this go to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews and change the setting to When Unlocked or Never.
#18: More control with Safari
Under iOS 13, the Safari browser now has the ability to control access to features such as the camera, the microphone, and current location on a per-site basis.
Go to Settings > Safari and look for the toggles under Settings For Websites.
#19: Block unknown callers
This is a great way to get rid of nuisance and spam callers. To enable this feature, go to Settings > Phone > and toggle to Silence Unknown Callers.
Twitter announces ‘Super Follow’ subscriptions – TechCrunch
Twitter reveals its move into paid subscriptions, Australia passes its media bargaining law and Coinbase files its S-1. This is your Daily Crunch for February 25, 2021.
The big story: Twitter announces ‘Super Follow’ subscriptions
Twitter announced its first paid product at an investor event today, showing off screenshots of a feature that will allow users to subscribe to their favorite creators in exchange for things like exclusive content, subscriber-only newsletters and a supporter badge.
The company also announced a feature called Communities, which could compete with Facebook Groups and enable Super Follow networks to interact, plus a Safety Mode for auto-blocking and muting abusive accounts. On top of all that, Twitter said it plans to double revenue by 2023.
Not announced: launch dates for any of these features.
The tech giants
After Facebook’s news flex, Australia passes bargaining code for platforms and publishers — This requires platform giants like Facebook and Google to negotiate to remunerate local news publishers for their content.
New Facebook ad campaign extols the benefits of personalized ads — The sentiments are similar to a campaign that Facebook launched last year in opposition to Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Sergey Brin’s airship aims to use world’s biggest mobile hydrogen fuel cell — The Google co-founder’s secretive airship company LTA Research and Exploration is planning to power a huge disaster relief airship with an equally record-breaking hydrogen fuel cell.
Coinbase files to go public in a key listing for the cryptocurrency category — Coinbase’s financials show a company that grew rapidly from 2019 to 2020 while also crossing the threshold into unadjusted profitability.
Boosted by the pandemic, meeting transcription service Otter.ai raises $50M — With convenient timing, Otter.ai added Zoom integration back in April 2020.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
DigitalOcean’s IPO filing shows a two-class cloud market — The company intends to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DOCN.”
Pilot CEO Waseem Daher tears down his company’s $60M Series C pitch deck — For founders aiming to entice investors, the pitch deck remains the best way to communicate their startup’s progress and potential.
Five takeaways from Coinbase’s S-1 — We dig into Coinbase’s user numbers, its asset mix, its growing subscription incomes, its competitive landscape and who owns what in the company.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Paramount+ will cost $4.99 per month with ads — The new streaming service launches on March 4.
Register for TC Sessions: Justice for a conversation on diversity, equity and inclusion in the startup world — This is just one week away!
The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.
Twitter plans to double revenue by 2023, reach 315M daily users – TechCrunch
Just ahead of its 2021 virtual investor day on Thursday, Twitter this morning announced its three long-term goals focused on user base and revenue growth, and a faster pace of shipping new features across its platform. The company said it aims to “at least” double its total annual revenue from $3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion or more in 2023. It also expects to reach at least 315 million mDAUs — that’s Twitter’s self-invented metric for “monetizable” daily active users — by the fourth quarter of 2023.
That would represent a roughly 20% compound annual growth rate from Twitter’s base of 152 million mDAUs reported in the fourth quarter of 2019, the company noted in a new SEC filing.
Active user growth has been difficult for Twitter — the growth tends to be slow or even flat, at times. Per Twitter’s most recent earnings, mDAUs in the fourth quarter 2020 had reached 192 million instead of the 193.5 million expected, for instance. Investors are used to Twitter under-delivering on this metric — or even inventing its own user base metric to hide that its monthly user growth sometimes declines.
In any event, Twitter’s longer-term plans indicate it believes it will finally be able to deliver on user growth — perhaps aided by its investment in new features.
In its filing, Twitter said it would “double development velocity by the end of 2023,” which means doubling the number of features shipped per employee that “directly drive either mDAU or revenue,” it said.
On this front, Twitter has been fairly active in recent months. Late last year, it launched its “stories” feature called Fleets to its global audience. It’s also now testing new features including a Clubhouse rival, Twitter Spaces, and a community-led misinformation debunking effort known as Birdwatch. And it acquired newsletter platform Revue, which is already now integrated on the Twitter website. The company has made smaller acquisitions, as well, to build out product teams, including with social app Squad, stories template maker Chroma Labs, and podcasting app Breaker.
New features may help to attract increased Twitter usage, but revenue growth will also come from diversification beyond advertising. Twitter has spoken several times about its plans to build out a subscription product, which the company said would begin in 2021 but wouldn’t impact Twitter revenue in the near-term. The company has also said it may investigate other areas of monetization, like tipping and various paid consumer-facing features.
Today, Twitter said publicly it plans to reach the $7.5 billion or more target by “growing our audience and gaining advertising market share in both brand and direct response.” But the company did not speak to its plans for subscriptions.
Investors are already responding favorably to Twitter’s announcements this morning. Twitter stock is up by nearly 7% as of the time of writing.
New Facebook ad campaign extols the benefits of personalized ads – TechCrunch
Online advertising can be a “pretty dry topic,” as Facebook’s head of brand marketing Andrew Stirk acknowledged, but with a new campaign of its own, the social networking giant is looking to “bring to life how personalized ads level the playing field” for small businesses.
The Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found campaign will include TV, radio and digital advertising. Individual businesses will also be able to promote it using a new Instagram sticker and the #DeserveToBeFound hashtag on Facebook.
The campaign will highlight specific small businesses on Facebook, including bag and luggage company House of Takura, whose founder Annette Njau spoke about the benefits of digital advertising at a press event yesterday.
“What those platforms allow us to do is, they allow us to tell stories,” Njau said. “I can’t tell this story on TV, I can’t tell this story in a huge magazine because it costs money and I don’t know who will see it.”
These sentiments are similar to a campaign that Facebook launched last year in opposition to Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature, where apps will have to ask for permission before sharing user data for third-party ad targeting. In response, Facebook claimed that it was “standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere,” though the social network also pointed to these changes as one of the “more significant advertising headwinds” that it expects to face this year. (Apple’s Tim Cook, in contrast, has said that these changes provide consumers with the control that they’ve been asking for.)
When asked how this fits into the broader dispute with Apple, Stirk said that while Facebook has been publicly opposed to Apple’s changes, this campaign is part the company’s longer-term support for small business.
“There is a degree of urgency in the fact that … small businesses are hurting right now,” he said.
Head of Facebook Business Products Helen Ma added that this is “very much an extension of the work that we did on the product side at the very start of the COVID period,” which included the launch of the Businesses Nearby section and a #SupportSmallBusiness hashtag.
In addition to launching the campaign today, Facebook is announcing several product changes, including a simplified Ads Manager dashboard, new options for restaurants to provide more information about their dining experiences and more information about personalized ads in Facebook’s Business Resource hub and Instagram’s Professional Dashboard.
The company also said it will continue to waive fees on transactions through Checkouts on Shops through June 2021, and will do the same for fees collected on paid online events until August 2021 at the earliest.
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