Apple’s long-awaited iOS 17 replace for iPhones lands right this moment with plenty of new and improved safety features. A lot of the brand new options are geared toward defending iPhone house owners who’re at higher threat of cyberattacks and spyware and adware, like journalists, activists and human rights defenders. Different iOS 17 options are higher fitted to the broader inhabitants, together with anti-web monitoring and safely storing passwords and the straightforward sharing of newer phishing-resistant passkeys.


Right here’s what we’ve seen to this point.

New protections in Lockdown Mode

The most important addition to Lockdown Mode is that it now runs on Apple Watch, not simply iPhones, iPads and Macs. It might’t come quickly sufficient, on condition that current exploits used to plant spyware and adware have been able to compromising Apple Watch house owners.

Lockdown Mode works by selectively turning off sure iPhone (and Watch) options which were abused by spyware and adware makers up to now, reminiscent of iMessage and HomeKit, making it far harder to interrupt into a tool and steal its knowledge.

Two screenshots of Lockdown Mode side by side featuring a dialog box asking if the user wants to switch on Lockdown Mode


Lockdown Mode in iOS 17. Picture Credit: Sarah Perez / TechCrunch

Lockdown Mode in iOS 17 additionally mechanically removes the geolocation knowledge from images by default when sharing images with different folks, reminiscent of the place the photograph was taken, which may reveal the place an individual is positioned.

One other nifty function means iPhones in Lockdown Mode will block mechanically becoming a member of non-secure Wi-Fi networks that would enable an individual on the identical community to research the iPhone’s community site visitors. Lockdown Mode additionally blocks connections to 2G mobile networks. This goals to dam a variety of cellular-based exploits which might be typically utilized by cell website simulators, or “stingrays,” which regulation enforcement use to trick close by telephones into connecting to pretend cell base stations and observe cellphone places and eavesdrop on calls and messages. Stingrays are controversial as a result of they work over a large space and are indiscriminate through which units they ensnare.

Extra anti-web monitoring options

iOS 17’s Safari browser now strips monitoring info from internet addresses that can be utilized to uniquely determine your system and observe you throughout the net. This makes it harder for web sites and advertisers to see which different websites you entry.

You may choose this function in your Safari settings on iOS 17 to work once you’re utilizing non-public shopping, or you may apply it to all shopping periods to actually make a dent. This shouldn’t have an effect on or break your day-to-day shopping expertise.

Two screenshots side by side of Safari settings with an option to switch on Advanced Tracking and Fingerprinting Protection

Safari settings together with anti-tracking and fingerprint safety in iOS 17. Picture Credit: Sarah Perez / TechCrunch

Personal shopping may even lock by default, prompting the system proprietor to scan their face or fingerprint earlier than their non-public tabs will open.

Examine-in security options and avoiding scammers

Passkeys, the phishing-resistant password alternative that permits you to log in with out worrying that your passwords would possibly get stolen, are getting an replace. Tons of websites and companies already assist passkeys — Apple, Google, Microsoft, PayPal, and loads of others. Earlier than lengthy, you’ll be password free for good. Now you can share passkeys (and passwords, if you happen to should) with family and friends. Passkeys and passwords are shared utilizing end-to-end encryption, so no one aside from these within the group can entry them, not even Apple.

Two screenshots side by side showing shared passwords and passkeys, including the ability to set up shared credentials that are end-to-end encrypted

Sharing passwords and passkeys in iOS 17. Picture Credit: Sarah Perez / TechCrunch

Examine In is a brand new function that lets iPhone house owners share with pals after they plan to reach at their vacation spot safely. The function displays the particular person’s real-time location and can alert the pal if one thing appears flawed. This location knowledge is end-to-end encrypted, negating the necessity for third-party apps which have offered your location knowledge to advertisers and knowledge brokers.

And, lastly: Stay Transcription is an added bonus for folk who by no means need to be bothered by a spam or rip-off name once more. As an alternative of answering (or declining) the cellphone — each can notify the caller that the road is energetic — reside transcription converts the caller’s voice into textual content displayed on the display screen in real-time.

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