Your Passcode Might Not Protect Your Lost IPhone (and How to Fix It)


It seems like hardly a day goes by without a new reason to feel uneasy about the security of your personal information—both online and on your physical devices. Well, we just heard about one more safety concern that likely affects most iPhone users. Thankfully, this one has an easy fix.

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As it turns out, strangers can access your personal information on your iPhone if you happen to misplace or lose it, even if the device is locked. iPhones can be locked by choosing a passcode and/or by scanning your fingerprints. While both are solid options for security, the problem is, your phone stores information that can be accessed from the lock screen.

After finding a lost, locked iPhone, one woman realized that she had access to way more information than she was comfortable with. Twitter user uninterested hō explained her discovery in a series of tweets, and it's pretty alarming:

So she did what any kind person would do in that situation — she tried to figure out how to contact the owner of the phone.

But she realized that by pulling up the notifications on the phone and by asking Siri questions, she learned the girl's first and last name, her address, and even where her car was parked. In a matter of seconds, a complete stranger knew way more personal information than anyone would be cool with.

The default iPhone settings automatically allow your information to be shared on the lock screen, but that can easily be changed.

Here's how to fix it: Go to settings and tap the Touch ID & Passcode option. Under Allow Access When Locked, turn off Today's View, Notifications View and Siri. Simple as that.

Screenshot of iPhone settings
credit: Dave Johnson/Techwalla

And if you lose your iPhone but haven't disabled these features, remember that you can lock your iPhone remotely using iCloud.

The last thing you need to deal with when losing your phone is worrying about someone showing up at your house. Unless of course the person is returning your phone, but let's not take any chances.

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