The iPhone XS security blanket


The shiny new iPhone XS is on the shelves today with a hefty price tag that consumers will happily take out a loan for. So, if you’re one of the gadget gurus that has remortgaged their house for the latest and greatest toy on the market, here is the lowdown on making sure that beauty and all the data you gather on it stays safe and secure.

The iPhone XS has been released fresh off the heels of the annual iOS facelift. iOS 12 hit Apple devices earlier this week and the XS come with it as standard. New features like winking 3-D emoji will blow your mind, while Measure will give you and your friends hours size-guessing entertainment; seriously, it’s better than Netflix, but (ever-so-slightly) more importantly iOS 12 also comes with more security.

Web browsing on Safari with iOS 12 has been given a security promotion. As well as blocking third party cookies, it now blocks comment boxes and social media sharing icons by default too so the likes of Facebook can’t follow you around the internet just for visiting a site that has its share button. Code is embedded in this icon that lets Facebook know you have arrived on a site, even if you don’t hit the button.  If you’re logged into Facebook in your browser, expect to see something related to that link on your news feed. Even if you don’t have a Facebook account, that information could be used to build a shadow profile.

But Apple has hit back with iOS 12 Safari. If such tracking is spotted the user will be given the option to allow or block it. It’s nice of Apple to care about our privacy, but let’s be honest, it’s good PR for them, and a great way to hit their big tech competitor, Facebook, where it hurts—right in their data privates.  Fingerprinting, which lets ad trackers recognize you from the device’s fingerprint and spot what sites you visit. iOS 12 will restrict this, too, in Safari.

There is also Security code AutoFill which takes away the three second headache of copy and pasting a passcode from one app to the other. Now, it automatically goes to the app requesting the code, with the code.  

There is encryption all over the iPhone XS, in iMessage, location data logged by apps, FaceTime chats which now incorporate group chats—finally, hooray! Video calls can now take place with up to whopping 32 people at once. Not tested that yet, but it would be fun to see how reliable it is.  

There are some upgrades that seem great, but make you wonder. Apple’s location technology HELO for example. This pinpoints your location in case of an emergency and the phone can share it with, let’s say, the emergency services. It also makes you wonder, who else can they share it with?

And while the new iPhone and iOS in general has more security features that get the thumbs up from us, we here at get2Clouds can’t shake last year’s Wikileaks revelation that the CIA utilizes specialized hacking tools to successfully infiltrate, spy on, and in some instances remotely control any smartphone, including iPhones. It was revealed that the CIA has a dedicated internal group to exclusively exploit iOS.

It might be paranoid to worry about what the CIA are doing, who cares right? I’m no criminal, but do you respect your privacy at all? And if the CIA have these tools, you can be sure they never far away from a brute force attackers. If you really want to secure you data, you can’t just rely on your brand new iPhone XS to do it. You have to take extra measures.  

The get2Clouds app, available to download for free on iOS. It is an easy to use one-stop solution for your data privacy. The app incorporates the securest E2E encrypted messenger with cloud encryption and large file transfer. Every action in the get2Clouds bubble is encrypted with advanced encryption and sent via a secure socket layer. The app doesn’t store your data or sell it to third parties.  It is also the only free private messenger that can be used on SIM-less devices.