Apple’s much-anticipated iOS 17 update for iPhones has officially revealed, boasting a range of new and enhanced security features. These features cater to iPhone users who may be at elevated risk of cyberattacks and spyware, such as journalists, activists, and human rights advocates. However, there also security enhancements designed for the broader user base, including anti-web tracking, secure password storage, and the streamlined sharing of phishing-resistant passkeys.
Lockdown Mode for Enhanced Security: iOS 17 introduces Lockdown Mode to Apple Watch, iPhones, iPads, and Macs. This feature selectively deactivates specific iPhone functions that have exploited by spyware developers in the past. Additionally, Lockdown Mode automatically removes geolocation data from shared photos, bolstering privacy. It also blocks automatic connections to non-secure Wi-Fi networks.
Enhanced Web Privacy: iOS 17’s Safari browser has upgraded to strip tracking information from web addresses. This means that your device will be less uniquely identifiable and harder to track across the internet. Private browsing now features default locking, requiring facial recognition or fingerprint scanning before accessing private tabs.
Passkeys for Secure Logins: Passkeys, which offer a more secure alternative to traditional passwords, receive an update. You can now share passkeys with friends and family, streamlining secure login processes.
Check-In for Safety: A novel feature called Check-In enables iPhone users to share their expected arrival time at a destination with friends. This feature continuously monitors the user’s real-time location and sends alerts to friends if any concerns arise. Notably, this location data is end-to-end encrypted for heightened privacy.
Live Transcription for Call Screening: To combat unwanted calls, iOS 17 introduces Live Transcription. Instead of answering a call, this feature transcribes the caller’s voice into real-time text displayed on the screen, allowing users to screen calls more effectively and avoid spam or scam calls.
These additions to iOS 17 not only cater to heightened security needs but also enhance the overall privacy and user experience for iPhone owners.