Here are 6 super security tips to help protect iPhone 7 users

3 Oct 2016

iPhone 7 Plus. Images: Connor McKenna

The launch of the iPhone 7 was Apple enthusiasts’ stand-out moment of 2016, with another swathe of new fans entering the iOS fold. But how can users truly be secure?

In early September, Apple revealed what we called the “biggest overhaul to the iPhone line-up in three years”, with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus bringing the line’s processing power and camera capabilities to a new level.

We liked it, the public liked it, and they will probably continue to like it throughout the next few months. But could the iPhone 7 now prove the most tantalising target of all for hackers?

Future Human

iPhone 7 Plus

NordVPN thinks so, providing us with six pieces of security advice for the privacy-preferring iPhone 7 owners out there. Though in truth, this advice applies to us all.

Secure messaging apps

To communicate safely with a smartphone, Tor Messenger is a convenient solution, according to NordVPN.

Launched by the people behind Tor, a heavily encrypted browser, Tor Messenger is a cross-platform chat app that works like most others.

“The app supports a good number of transport networks, such as IRC, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, Yahoo, and others, and enables off-the-record (OTR) messaging – a safe and encrypted way to have private conversations – over Tor’s network of computers for greater anonymity,” said the company.

Signal is another encrypted messaging and voice calling app that gets NordVPN’s nod of approval.

Tor iPhone 7 Plus

Password security apps

Changing passwords regularly, varying them across your different online accounts, and keeping them complicated are obvious, yet overlooked, tips on internet safety. NordVPN, quite rightly, advises users to wise up on this.

However, if you are struggling to remember too many passwords, or you have multiple people accessing via one password, there are easy options.

“1Password for Teams, from the makers of the original 1Password, lets an entire team securely log in with only one single password, as the app remembers all the real passwords. The data is encrypted before any information leaves a device.

“A new product is 1Password for Families that allows a family to share passwords, credit cards, and other sensitive information. The app remembers everything, keeps the information safe and signs into their favourite sites with one click.”

1Password iPhone 7 Plus

Internet encryption apps

Given its business model, NordVPN was pretty keen to promote virtual private networks (VPNs), creating a connection tunnel that automatically encrypts all data coming in and out of a device, secures the internet traffic, and effectively protects anyone operating online.

Alongside the iPhone 7’s release, NordVPN launched “a powerful new app” for iOS, rerouting and encrypting all internet traffic. This makes the connection private and secured “while using top-of-the-line security protocol IKEv2/IPsec”.

NordVPN iPhone 7 Plus

Email security apps

“Industrial espionage is getting more and more sophisticated, leading to billions in damages,” according to the company, in no way sugar-coating an issue even Europol is getting fed up with.

Indeed, a number of EU countries may be at a point where reporting of cybercrime now outnumbers that of more traditional crimes. With ransomware becoming the norm, and phishing attacks going nowhere fast, it’s fair to assume email accounts are under attack all over the place.

“That’s why everyone needs a secure app that will encrypt all emails,” said NordVPN, namechecking Mynigma (an email app that doesn’t operate in the cloud) and ZeroEmail as helpful tools in this regard.

Mynigma iPhone 7

iPhone data security apps

Staying away from the cloud is often advisable when aiming for some level of security online. Keeply is NordVPN’s top tip in this regard, storing financial information, images, communications and other data securely on the phone rather than the cloud.

“Although the idea itself is not particularly new, Keeply’s strong features make it a refreshing app,” claimed NordVPN.

One impressive tool Keeply employs is the ability to take a picture of anyone who tries to access the phone with the wrong pin. It will also shut everything down when you put the phone face down somewhere.

Keeply iPhone 7

Paired device lock apps

Many iOS users are also operating Macs, iPads or Apple Watches. Pairing up security in this regard is often appealing. For this, NordVPN recommends Knock 2.0. “When a user wants to lock their Mac, they just need to pull out their iPhone and knock on it twice, even if it’s in the pocket.”

NordVPN notes how handy this is for Apple Watch owners, with fingerprint recognition meaning you can shut down satellite devices with the tap of a wrist. You’re not limited to Apple products, however. LockItUp app allows users to simply lock a PC or Mac from anywhere by using iPhone.

Knock iPhone 7

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Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic