iOS 16: Apple’s Most Secure Mobile Operating System Yet

New looks, new features

iOS 16 is introducing a significant facelift to the lock screen. For the first time in the history of the iPhone, users can customize the font and color of the time and date shown on every lock screen. Alongside this, Apple is adding widgets (similar to those found on every Apple Watch) to the lock screen for increased functionality and information.

Another exciting feature with iOS 16 is the ability to edit, unsend, or mark as unread iMessages. For up to two minutes after sending an iMessage, users can undo that sent message. For up to fifteen minutes after an iMessage has been sent, users can also edit that message. In both cases, the user receiving these messages will be notified if an iMessage has been edited or deleted. It is important to note that these iMessage features will only work with other devices operating on iOS 16.

Lockdown Mode

As with every new iteration of iOS, Apple is ramping up its security features to adapt to modern security needs. Most notable in iOS 16 is a feature called Lockdown Mode. In Apple’s own words, Lockdown Mode “is an extreme, optional protection for the very small number of users who face grave, targeted threats to their digital security.”

Lockdown Mode trades functionality for higher security. When enabled, this feature blocks incoming attachments (other than images) in iMessage, blocks web technology that requires processing on the user end, blocks incoming calls and requests from numbers the user has not interacted with, stops wired connection to the iPhone when it is locked, and lastly, prevents the device from being enrolled in a mobile device management program.

This is just the beginning for Lockdown Mode. According to Apple, they “will continue to strengthen Lockdown Mode and add new protections to it over time.”

Additional security features in iOS 16

Another security feature Apple is introducing with iOS 16 is Safety Check. Designed for those at risk of stalking or domestic abuse, Safety Check quickly allows end-users to block their information from being shared, such as real-time location, from any apps or people of their choosing. Check out Apple’s Personal Safety User Guide here to learn more about this feature and specific steps for taking action.

Rapid Security Response is another crucial new security feature coming with iOS 16. This allows software and security updates that do not affect the device’s firmware to be deployed without requiring a restart or user involvement. This means Apple can seamlessly apply a patch or critical security updates immediately. This feature will automatically be turned on for any device running iOS 16.

The last security feature to be discussed is Passkeys. Using the iPhone’s built-in biometric verification systems, Touch ID or Face ID, Passkeys can create passwordless login credentials for various apps and websites, associated with your Apple ID. Since these credentials are tied to your trusted Apple device and used in conjunction with biometric verification, they can remain secure even if your Apple ID login credentials were compromised.

To learn more about Apple’s involvement in a passwordless future, in accordance with the FIDO Alliance, read our article here.

IOS Apple graphic

Final Thoughts

With every new iteration of iOS, Apple balances expanding functionality with increased security. Apple’s focus on personal safety in this upcoming version of iOS is a welcome addition to the standard security updates we are accustomed to.

At Computer Business Consultants, we always recommend staying up to date with software updates to keep your devices as secure as possible. For more information, such as how Computer Business Consultants can help your business with a Mobile Device Management solution, contact us here.

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