How to secure your iOS Lock Screen

how-to-secure-your-ios-lock-screen

Configure your iOS Lock Screen to block those picking up your device from reading messages, viewing the Today View, or interacting with Siri unless your device is unlocked first.

cnet.com

We spend a lot of time on our mobile iOS devices and it may seem that securing our devices with Touch ID and Face ID is all we need to protect our data. However, there’s other data accessible on the Lock Screen, through Siri, or through the Today View that can still be read by potential data thieves or on-lookers that can gain valuable information.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to secure the Lock Screen so that your messages and push notifications aren’t visible to anyone except you when you pick up your device. We’ll do this by disabling push notification previews when locked, disable Siri when the device is locked, and disable the Today View access when the device is locked.

By doing all of these things, you will make your device more secure and prevent onlookers, or someone picking up your device, from being able to gain access to any valuable information contained on the Lock Screen. All of these tips work on both the iPhone and iPad and the instructions are the same regardless of which device you’re using.

SEE: WWDC 2020: The biggest takeaways (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to disable notification previews and the Today View

Messages and notifications from third-party apps can contain private information that you don’t want someone to be able to see if they pick up your locked iPhone or iPad.

To change what an unauthenticated user can see on the Lock Screen for Touch ID devices, use the following steps: 

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Touch ID & Passcode. 
  3. Scroll to the section labeled Allow Access When Locked and uncheck Today View, Notification Center, Control Center, Reply With Message, Home Control, Wallet, and Return Missed Calls, for the most security (Figure A).

Figure A

Unchecking items in this section will make them unavailable from the Lock Screen when the user is not authenticated by passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID.

If you are on an iOS device that has Face ID, however, you won’t need to disable these features. Instead, navigate and enable the following feature:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Scroll to the Attention section.
  4. Enable the option for Attention Aware Features (Figure B).

Figure B

The Attention Aware Features setting is available on iPhone and iPads with Face ID sensors.

When this option is enabled, you will be unable to view notifications on the Lock Screen or Notification Center until the face of the device owner is visible to the Face ID sensor. All of the data will be hidden in the notification until the user is authenticated and then it will be visible. This feature can also provide some other nifty features including not dimming the screen when you’re looking directly at it.

However, even with this Attention Aware Features enabled on Face ID devices, the Today View will still be visible, so if you have any information contained in widgets that shouldn’t be visible without authentication, then you can disable that from the Lock Screen when unauthenticated by following the first set of instructions above.

How to disable Siri

Siri can give out a lot of personal information–though most of it can be protected behind authenticating first. You can also ensure that Siri cannot be used on your device unless you’re authenticated first. 

Siri is fairly secure by requiring you to unlock your device for many personal interaction requests, but if you want to ensure the highest privacy protection, you can disable Siri completely on the Lock Screen unless your device has authenticated with the passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID first.

To enable this security feature, navigate to the Settings app, then perform the following actions: 

  1. Select Siri & Search.
  2. Disable the switch for Allow Siri When Locked (Figure C).

Figure C

Disabling Siri on the Lock Screen when the device is locked is very easy.

Now whenever you try to access Siri and any personal requests it allows, you will first need to enter your passcode or authenticate with Touch ID or Face ID.

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