How to Use Lock Mode on iPhone, iPad, and Mac (and Why You Don’t Want It)

LongJon / Shutterstock.com

Lockdown Mode places severe restrictions on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac in an effort to enhance security. But who do you target, how do they work, how do you enable them, and what kind of flaws are there?

NB: At the time of writing in September 2022, this feature was available on iPhone with iOS 16However, it is not available on iPad even iPadOS 16.1 Released Later in Fall 2022. Until it arrives, you won’t be able to access Lockdown Mode on your iPad. also, macOS is coming Not available as of mid-September 2022 but expected to be released in October 2022.

What is the lock mode?

apple Describe Lock mode as “additional specialized protection for users who may be at risk of highly targeted cyberattacks from private companies developing state-sponsored mercenary spyware” and admits that the mode is designed to benefit “a very small number of users”.

This maximum level of protection is designed to benefit those at risk of being tracked by governments or private companies using tools like NSO Group’s Pegasus Spyware. Apple in progress A lawsuit against the NSO . group In a move it hopes will “reduce the misuse of state-sponsored spyware”.

Once enabled, Lock Mode limits many standard features in an effort to limit entry points for potential spyware. This includes:

  • Block most types of message attachments (except images).
  • Disable link previews in messages.
  • Turn off “just in time” (JIT) JavaScript objects unless you exclude a trusted website.
  • Block incoming calls, service requests, and FaceTime calls from unknown contacts (unless you’ve already started calling).
  • Limit wired connections to computers and accessories.
  • Removal Shared albums of photos.
  • Prevent device registration in Mobile Device Manager (MDM) as used by many corporate devices.
  • Prevent a device from installing configuration profiles, such as those used in iOS beta previews.

Apple states that these limitations are included in Lockdown Mode “at launch” which may indicate that the company intends to include more restrictions in future releases.

Available with iOS 16, iPadOS 16.1 and macOS Ventura

Lock mode is available for all iPhone and iPad Compatible with iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 And all Mac models Compatible with macOS Ventura. This means the iPhone 8 and the second generation iPhone SE or later, the fifth generation iPad and iPad mini, the third generation iPad Air, and all iPad Pro models.

iOS 16 Lock Mode button in Settings

You’ll need to update your iPhone, iPad, or Mac using the Software Update feature before you can use Lockdown Mode. If you have an old device that is not compatible with the update, you can Still getting security updates To close known vulnerabilities, but you will lose this new maximum level of protection.

Related: Will iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 run on my iPhone or iPad?

How to enable lock mode

Enabling Lockdown Mode is easy, no matter what device you’re using. On your iPhone or iPad, head to Settings > Privacy & Security menu, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap “Lock Mode” followed by the “Turn on Lock Mode” button.

Enable Lock Mode in iOS 16

You will now see a popup informing you of the restrictions you are about to enable. To continue, use the “Turn on Lockdown Mode” button and then press “Turn On & Restart” to confirm your decision.

Restart iPhone to enable Lock Mode

On a Mac, the process is almost identical. Head to System Settings > Privacy & Security, then click Lock Mode followed by On before you’re invited to restart your Mac.

Once your iPhone, iPad, or Mac restarts, you will now have Lockdown mode enabled. You can turn it off again by visiting the “Privacy and Security” menu and undo your decision.

A balance between security and privacy

Lock mode is a security feature that hopes to prevent your device from being compromised Zero Day Gaps. As a result of its restrictive nature, using the lock mode leaves something of a fingerprint that can reveal who is using it.

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) a statement Cover Your Tracks web fingerprint tool can detect when an iPhone owner has been using Lock Mode due to restrictions in the Safari browser.

EFF explained that Lockdown Mode limits potential entry points that could become targets for spyware and other malware authors. One of them is the ability to load custom fonts, which can be used to exploit the web browser’s rendering engine. EFF notes that it is easy to use JavaScript to detect whether or not a font is blocked.

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
EFF.org

Together with the browser user agent And other device information left when visiting a webpage, EFF has been able to confirm that the iPhone owner is actually using Lockdown mode. The concern here is that it could draw a target on an individual’s back, drawing attention not to the information left behind but to the way Lockdown Mode attempts to secure their device.

This illustrates one drawback of using Lock mode in that it betrays user privacy in an effort to enhance overall security. EFF continues to say that “Apple’s introduction of this powerful new protection is a welcome development for those who need it most” but that “users should also be aware of what information they view on the web” if they choose to switch it over.

If you are concerned about online privacy and how trackers view your browser, test your browser with Cover your tracks a tool.

Insurance status is unnecessary for most people

The good news is that the vast majority of people do not need to worry about their insurance status. Apple states that “very few” people experience the kind of attacks this mode is designed to prevent, and most can continue to use their iPhone, iPad, and Mac to its fullest.

Forget setting lock now and check out Best iOS 16 Features You Should Try Right Now.