In September 2014 Apple introduced iOS 8 to the world, and along with it, came some really impressive encryption features. According to Apple, all personal information, including:
- Call history
Is now capable of being encrypted through a passcode. This obviously raised a lot of questions. When asked about whether or not the company has access to the original data and if they would give users’ personal data to the government, this is what they had to say.
Did you notice the term ‘technically feasible’? This is Apple’s subtle way of telling you that ‘yes, we do have an open door policy to the NSA, just like all the other major tech companies in the US’.
And even if it’s not the government that’s asking for people’s data, we all saw what happened when hackers tried their luck with iCloud.
That is why it becomes extremely important to safeguard your data in every which way possible. There are many ways to encrypt and protect data and we are going to discuss them one-by-one.
What is data encryption
Data in normal form can be read or understood by anybody. The idea behind data encryption is to make it so complex to decipher that even hackers wouldn’t understand it unless they had a key to it. Now an encryption key is a main feature here.
You take a heavy algorithm, feed an encryption key into it and use it to convert normal data into encrypted ‘cipher-text’. This ciphertext will vary, depending on the type of the key used. And unless the hackers can guess your key, they will be able to access your protected data.
This encryption key in most cases is a password. That’s why websites advice adding numerals and special characters to passwords. As annoying as that might feel, it actually effectively prevents hacking attempts on data.
How does Apple encrypt data in iOS device?
Apple uses a device’s UID and its passcode as an encryption key for the device’s data. Meaning that even if a device does not have a passcode set, its data is still encrypted.
To increase data security, it’s essential to set a passcode on your device. But that’s not enough, according to Apple, a passcode needs to be very strong for this purpose. On top of that, data protection cannot be done for the files that are synced with iCloud.
And that right there explains a lot about the infamous ‘iCloud Hack’.
As you can see, there is a lot of ambiguity from Apple’s side about data encryption. That is why it’s necessary to use third-party applications in order to safeguard data. We have carefully curated some of the most secure iOS encryption services for you.
Here are some the most secure iOS encryption apps
Wickr is a messaging app which works sort of like Snapchat, but it’s way more secure. You use a name and email address to log in and can talk to other contacts who are also using Wickr.
Unlike apps like Viber and Whatsapp, no personal information is stored by Wickr. Every message that you send is self-destructive and gets deleted after a specific time period (set by you). It uses the email address as a hash key for encryption.
But just like Snapchat, you can take screen shots of messages, unfortunately syncing is a problem in this app.
2- Splash ID
This is a great app storing sensitive information such passwords and credit card information. You can put crucial data in this app to avoid any breach of privacy. It has 256-bit Blowfish encryption and allows unlimited recording. It also helps with:
- Automatic password generation
- Wireless sync
- Anti-phishing URL icons
The downside is – if its stops working or your phone gets corrupted, all that data is gone and it’s almost impossible to retrieve it.
3- Secure File Box
If you are still doubtful about the cloud, then try downloading this app for data security. It claims to not save any data in the cloud and is completely NSA-proof. With several other features, such
- AES 256-bit
- RSA end-to-end encryption
The downside – You cannot import folders or work in landscape mode for some weird reason.
Signal is like an encrypted version of Viber. It can make encrypted phone calls to other users (who also have the Signal app installed). For Android phones, the app is called Redphone. The app is easy-to-use though calls can get dropped sometimes, minus that hiccup, it’s a great secure app for voice calls.