If you ever face a situation of handing over your iPhone to law enforcement, whether it be police, feds, or court systems, there are things you can do to prevent them from accessing everything as potentially self-penetrating data.
We have mentioned several times before Face ID and Touch ID are not your friends in terms of law enforcement and it is even clearer now with an applicant recently published regarding the investigation of federal authorities on possible Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
The search book provided access to premises and electronic devices (especially two iPhone models) by Michael Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer, to reveal evidence of bank fraud and hush money payments.
Detailed in the search order (starting on page 77), the process of accessing Coh's two iPhone devices, both of which are apparently locked with Face ID or Touch ID, is described. The highlight of the document is when advice is given to use Cohen's face or fingerprints to unlock the devices. While it is perfectly acceptable for the authorities to do so, it is not that easy for them to force you to use your password.
In other cases, it has been discovered that the law cannot make your post or give your password, PIN, or password because it would violate your fifth amendment to self-infringement. While referring to information you know, your face and fingerprint are something you have and are not considered self-discriminating.
As such, the easiest way to prevent law enforcement officials from accessing the information on your iPhone is to disable face ID or touch ID before taking care of it. However, it is not the only thing you can or should do. If you are ever in such a situation, be prepared by following some of the advice below.
Tip 1: Disable biometrics in a shared second
Although it is highly unlikely that any of you would like to disable face ID or Touch ID entirely on your iPhone, the next best thing is to know how to disable the biometric features without having to tap the screen at all. This is very important when you are dealing with police stops where your fourth change right against illegal search and seizure without copyright infringement can be broken.
With iOS 11, Apple included a security feature as part of the Emergency SOS that lets you temporarily disable biometric authentication when you press the right physical buttons together. On an iPhone 8 or later, these buttons would be the Page and either the Volume button. On an iPhone 7 and older, you have to click the side button five times in a row. After that, you must enter your password or password to activate biometric security again.
Tip 2: Enable protection against USB devices
If you've blocked law enforcement agents from using your biometrics against you The next thing you need to worry about is that they use special hack tools to break the power of your password or password. Tools like GrayKey and Cellebrite are known for doing so, and they need a connection to the Lightning port on the iPhone.
Beginning in iOS 11.4.1, Apple has included a setting that will prevent all data transfers from the flash port on your iPhone being accepted when you accept it. The setting, called "USB accessories", is located in the Facial ID, Touch ID and Password settings. While most features you need to switch on to enable, it must be disabled for it to work, because you want to deny access to USB accessories when locked.
With this setting, your iPhone automatically blocks all USB accessories after one hour of being locked. The only way to resume access is to use face ID, touch ID or your password or password. And if you followed Tip 1 above, the password is the only one accepted.
Tip 3: Use Find My iPhone to block access
The last thing you can do is use Find my iPhone. Anyone who cares about losing an expensive device or disclosing personal information should have already activated it. If you do not already, you should make sure of it.
If law enforcement takes care of your iPhone and you are unsure if the two previous tips succeeded, you can insert your iPhone "Lost Mode", preventing your iPhone from being accessed without your password or password.
If you never expect to get your iPhone back, you can also use Find My iPhone to delete your device remotely. An apparatus with zero information about it is essentially meaningless to the authorities. And if you dry your iPhone because it has incriminating information about it, you want to delete all the backups you have on iCloud and iTunes as well.
However, for any of these to work, your iPhone will have to be connected to the internet. If it is not connected, the next time it is connected, "Lost Mode" or "Erase iPhone" is activated, either locking or drying the device. The law enforcement authorities are well aware of this trick, as stated in the Cohen keyword, and they do everything they can to prevent an internet connection until they figure out how to get the information from the device.
Tip 4: Block warnings on the lock screen
If you do not dry it or put it in "Lost Mode", the device will still work as always, which means that messages are displayed on the lock screen if it is set. Fortunately, there is a way to prevent any notification being read on the lock screen without using face ID, touch ID or password or password. If you followed Tip 1, you just have to worry about people using your password or password to unlock the content behind the notifications.
Tip 5: Block widgets on the lock screen
Going even further than just messages, you may want to consider removing access to widgets on the lock screen, as frequent contacts, calendar events and other information are still visible without unlocking.
You do not have to completely disable them, but at least you should set it as widgets are visible only when the device is unlocked. For example, if you have an iPhone X or newer, you can use Face ID to unlock the device while remaining on the lock screen, free to view widgets.
Tip 6: Use a stronger password (or password)
An ongoing theme in this context allows law enforcement agencies to use only your password or password to unlock the device, which they cannot force you to give up. But if you didn't use Tip 2 above, at least would like to get a stronger password. Better than, use an alphanumeric password instead.
There are only one million possible combinations for a six-digit numeric password, the default option for iOS, which is much faster to crack than a longer code. While a six-digit numeric password could take a few hours to crack, an eight digit could take months with 100 million possibilities, and a 10-digit would take years with 10 billion possible combinations.
In the password settings, you can even go over 10-digit numeric passwords, with as many numbers as you can remember. Even better, you can use an alphanumeric password instead that can use letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and special characters. Plus, you can do it as long and safely as you want.
Editor's Note: While we do not encourage or support criminal activities of any kind, there are situations when preventing access to one The iPhone will do better than damage, and it is a way to fight potential violations of search and attack.