iOS 17 includes these new security and privacy features

“Today, Apple releases the much-awaited iOS 17 update for iPhones, featuring a host of new and improved security enhancements. These updates aim to protect iPhone users, especially those facing elevated risks of cyberattacks and spyware, such as journalists, activists, and human rights defenders. Additionally, iOS 17 introduces several user-friendly features, including enhanced anti-web tracking, secure password management, and simplified sharing of phishing-resistant passkeys.

Let’s delve into the exciting features that iOS 17 brings to the table.”

New protections in Lockdown Mode

“The most notable improvement to Lockdown Mode is its extension to Apple Watch, broadening its accessibility beyond just iPhones, iPads, and Macs. This enhancement arrives at a critical juncture, given recent security vulnerabilities that posed risks even to Apple Watch users.

Lockdown Mode functions by selectively deactivating certain features on both the iPhone and Apple Watch, features that have been targeted by malicious actors in the past. These include iMessage and HomeKit, creating a more robust defense against unauthorized access and data breaches.”

Lockdown Mode in iOS 17. Image Credits: Sarah Perez / TechCrunch

 

“In iOS 17, Lockdown Mode introduces several valuable features to enhance user privacy and security. Firstly, it now automatically omits geolocation data from shared photos, preventing the unintentional disclosure of one’s whereabouts.

Moreover, iPhones in Lockdown Mode take a proactive approach to protect against potential threats by avoiding automatic connections to insecure Wi-Fi networks. This feature safeguards against potential intrusions where individuals on the same network might attempt to analyze the iPhone’s network traffic. Additionally, Lockdown Mode blocks connections to 2G cellular networks, reducing the risk of vulnerabilities that have been exploited in the past. These vulnerabilities were often associated with devices like cell site simulators, commonly known as ‘stingrays.’ These devices, once controversial due to their indiscriminate nature and wide-reaching impact, are used to trick nearby phones into connecting to deceptive cell base stations for location tracking and surveillance of calls and messages.”

More anti-web tracking features

“In iOS 17, Safari’s browser now eliminates tracking information from web addresses that could be used to single out your device for monitoring across the internet. This enhancement effectively reduces the ability of websites and advertisers to monitor your visits to other sites.

You can activate this feature within your Safari settings on iOS 17, choosing to apply it only during private browsing sessions or across all your browsing activities, without any adverse impact on your regular browsing experience.”

Safari settings, including anti-tracking and fingerprint protection in iOS 17. Image Credits: Sarah Perez / TechCrunch

 

Check-in safety features and avoiding scammers

“Passkeys, the resilient alternative to conventional passwords designed to protect against theft, are undergoing an upgrade. A multitude of popular websites and services, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and PayPal, have already integrated passkeys. Soon, you’ll bid farewell to the burden of password management. This latest update allows you to securely share passkeys (and passwords, if required) with your friends and family. Importantly, this sharing process employs robust end-to-end encryption, guaranteeing that only those within the designated group can access the information, including Apple, which remains locked out.”

ios 17

Sharing passwords and passkeys in iOS 17. Image Credits: Sarah Perez / TechCrunch

 

“Introducing ‘Check In,’ a brand-new feature designed for iPhone users to confidently share their safe arrival at a destination with friends. This feature actively monitors the user’s real-time location and sends alerts to their friends in case of any concerns. It’s important to note that this location data is fully protected with end-to-end encryption, eliminating the need for third-party apps that have previously mishandled location data by selling it to advertisers and data brokers.

As an added benefit, there’s ‘Live Transcription‘ for those who want to avoid unwanted calls, whether spam or scams. Rather than answering or declining such calls (which can alert the caller to an active line), ‘Live Transcription’ swiftly converts the caller’s spoken words into on-screen text in real-time, ensuring uninterrupted communication.”

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