Use Touch ID / Passcode to Escape Ransomware Attacks on Your iPhone/iPad

Setting a passcode / using the fingerprint scanner on iPhone 5s thwarts attacks

By on May 28th, 2014 13:52 GMT

As reports continue to emerge discussing the “Oleg Pliss” hack involving Apple’s Find My iPhone mechanism, we’ve decided to highlight a best practice to ensure no one else gets their phone locked, even if their credentials have been compromised.

We’ve already conveyed to our readers that a recent phishing campaign could be responsible for the leaked passwords, so first and foremost everyone should make sure they don’t submit their Apple ID and passwords through forms coming by means of emails signed Apple / the Apple Team / the iTunes Team, etc.

Even if the email sounds legit, it’s best to check everywhere if Apple is indeed requesting action on your behalf or whether it’s a scam (usually, it’s the latter).

With that out of the way, probably the best thing you can do right now to ensure your iPhone/iPad doesn’t get remotely locked by someone who may have your password is to set a passcode lock. On iPhone 5s, this can be coupled with using the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Here are the steps.

How to set a Passcode Lock


Step 1

On your iPhone/iPad Home screen, tap the Settings icon.

Step 2

Once inside the Settings panel, find the section populated with General | Wallpapers & Brightness | Sounds | Passcode | Privacy, and select (tap) Passcode. On iPhone 5s devices, this will show up as Touch ID & Passcode.

Step 3

Once inside the Touch ID / Passcode pane, select Turn Passcode On (it’s the first option at the top).

Step 4

At this point you should be prompted to punch in a four-digit code. Go ahead and think one up, and be sure it’s simple enough for you to remember, but hard enough for anyone else to guess. You’ll be asked to type it in twice, just to make sure you haven’t made any mistakes.

That’s it!

How to set Touch ID (fingerprint authentication)


Step 1

Settings > Touch ID & Passcode.

Step 2

Set a passcode (which you should have already done by now).

Step 3

Make sure both your finger and the Home button are clean and dry, and put your finger on the Home button (without pressing it too hard) and hold it there until you feel a quick vibration coming from the phone, or until you are asked to take your finger off the button. Continue this (including adjusting your grip) until the phone is satisfied with the image of your print.

That’s it!
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