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Apple's New Lockdown Mode on iOS 16 Can Protect You From Cyberattacks. Here's How

Apple’s New Lockdown Mode on iOS 16 Can Protect You From Cyberattacks. Here’s How

This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular subjects.

Most of us will never have to anxiety about being targeted in a state-sponsored cyberattack, but that’s not stopping Apple from releasing new features that can protecting your iPhone and the information stored on it.

In the last few ages, governments and organizations from around the world have used Pegasus — software caused by the cybersecurity company NSO Group — to spy on activists, journalists and politicians.

The Pegasus software is meant to to help governments keep track of criminals and terrorists, but it’s also used maliciously to secretly read text messages, record phone calls and steal important files. It can even be used to turn on your iPhone’s camera and microphone to form new recordings.

And that’s why Apple has released a safety feature that you can use to protect your iPhone from these sorts of attacks. Called Lockdown Mode, the new iOS 16 setting is intended to fight attacks from malware and spyware like Pegasus.

Read morePegasus Spyware and Citizen Surveillance: What You Need to Know

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This isn’t the apt step that Apple has taken against Pegasus and its maker. In September 2020, Apple released a software update that addressed Pegasus, allowing any potential victims to receive threat notifications in case they were compromised.

Again, the chances of you being attacked in this manner are very slim, but you must still know how to protect yourself.

Here’s what you need to know nearby Lockdown Mode on your iPhone.

And if you’re keen in getting iOS 16 right now, here’s how to get the apt beta of iOS 16.

What does Lockdown Mode do?

Lockdown Mode funds an “extreme, optional level of security for the very few users who, because of who they are or what they do, may be personally beleaguered by some of the most sophisticated digital threats,” according to Apple. Those who are targeted by the Pegasus software are those “very few users.”

Essentially, Lockdown Mode increases security features on iOS by limiting Dangerous functions that may be vulnerable to attack:

  • Most communication attachments, other than images, are blocked and features like link previews are disabled.
  • Web technologies, like just-in-time JavaScript compilation, are disabled unless you exclude it from Lockdown Mode.
  • Incoming invitations and service requests, like FaceTime calls, are blocked if you’ve never shouted the person before.
  • All Shared Albums in Photos are conquered, and any new invitations for Shared Albums are blocked.
  • Any wired connections between your iPhone and computer or accessory are blocked.
  • Configuration profiles, like the ones for Apple’s public betas, cannot be installed.
  • Your scheme cannot enroll in mobile device management.

Which devices assist Lockdown Mode?

Currently, you can use Lockdown Mode on any Apple scheme running iOS 16, iPadOS 16 or MacOS Ventura. As of now, iOS 16 is only available as a developer beta, but it is expected to soon be accessible as a Republican beta.

Read moreWill My iPhone Run iOS 16? What You Need to Know

How to enable Lockdown Mode on iOS 16

As long as you’re proceeding iOS 16, which you can currently download now as a Pro-reDemocrat beta to eligible phones, you can naively turn on Lockdown Mode in a matter of seconds. All you need to do is go to Settings > Privacy & Security > LockdownMode, read through the description, tap Turn on Lockdown Mode and then hit Turn On & Restart.

Your iPhone will instantly reboot, after which Lockdown Mode will be enabled. If you go into Safari, you should see a Lockdown Enabled or Lockdown Ready banner at the top of the page, indicating that Lockdown Mode is in fact turned on and fixing your iPhone.

Configure Lockdown Mode settings

While Lockdown Mode provides tall security, you have a way to tweak it to better fit your needs.

As mentioned throughout, websites in Safari are severely limited when in Lockdown Mode, but you can bypass these limitations by excluding a hazardous website. To do this, launch Safari, go to the website you want to exclude, hit AA > Website Settings, toggle off Lockdown Mode and tap TurnOff. The banner at the top of the website necessity now read Lockdown Off.

To view all of your excluded websites, go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Lockdown Mode and tap on Configure Web Browsing at the bottom of the page. 

How to disable Lockdown Mode

Need to turn Lockdown Mode off?

Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Lockdown Mode, tap Turn Off Lockdown Mode and then hit Turn Off & Restart. When your iPhone boots back up, Lockdown Mode will be disabled and you’ll be able to use your iPhone as unnovel once again.