Like any cell phone, your iPhone contains personal, sensitive data, which is very important to you and definitely you will not want any unauthorized person to get access to it. To secure this sensitive data, such as your text messages, you can lock messages on iPhone.
This can be achieved by adding a passcode to your iPhone. Once you set up a passcode on your iPhone or any iOS device, no one can access your data unless he knows the passcode because every time anyone tries to turn on or wake your device, he will need to unlock it with your passcode.
If your device supports Touch ID, then it is still better to use as here the chance of opening is negligible since you use your fingerprint as a lock instead of a passcode.
Here’s when you’ll need to enter your passcode or fingerprint.
- Turn on or restart your device
- Slide to unlock your screen
- Update your software
- Erase your device
The availability of personal data and communication threads by means of messaging content threatens the privacy of users if exposed to unauthorized persons. This raises the need for the development of system applications that can provide sustenance towards the access of unauthorized or malicious users.
This need can be satisfied either by using the lock features provided by iPhone security features or the users can also install the applications that are developed by third-party providers.
How to Lock Messages on iPhone
Step 1: Tap the ‘Settings’ button on the iPhone’s Home screen to launch the Settings application.
Step 2: Tap the ‘General’ button followed by the ‘Passcode Lock’ button.
Step 3: Another window will open where you need to tap on ‘Turn Passcode On’ to enable the security features. You will be required to key in the four-digit code. Make sure you use a code that you can easily remember but is not easy for anyone else to guess.
Step 4: Enter the code again to confirm that it is correct. The passcode lock is now active, and whenever you turn on the device, you will need to enter this code.
Step 5: Press the ‘Home’ button to exit from the Settings menu, followed by the ‘Sleep/Wake’ button on top of the iPhone to turn it off.
Your text messages are now protected, and cannot be accessed without the passcode. If someone tries to input a wrong code to access 10 times, it will result in the removal of all messaging content. This is a long-term security measure taken by Apple.
Apart from this inbuilt safety feature provided by Apple, there are numerous third-party applications that support the user’s requirement to safeguard their messages from any external contact. All of these applications claim to be the best in providing security against unauthorized access; so, it becomes difficult to find which application to trust and use.
Let’s see a few of these applications that can be used to lock messages on the iPhone.
1. Cover Me
This application works for iOS 7 beautifully and provides security to the phone calls, photos, and videos along with the messages with differentiated lock timing.
It is free to use and does not cause any glitches whatsoever during its progression in the system. Few of the users do find it complicated because unnecessary lock features prevail in this application, which is interdependent and makes its operations multifaceted.
2. Secret SMS Plus
This application is specifically designed to provide high security to text messages and emails. It gels beautifully with the iOS interface and addresses the overall need for user’s privacy by means of messaging threads and emails. Thus, it comprehends strong security to users.
This is, however, a paid application, though the pricing is hardly anything, still, it prohibits a large number of iPhone users from using it. Sometimes, it can make the explorer crash, though this happens rarely.
3. Crypt Me
The application is known as “Crypt Me” is good in the sense that it enables the users to send and receive crypt messages. Since the messages are in crypt form, the accessibility of messages is highly exclusive. Users need to generate a password to transform these crypt messages into a readable format.
Again, this application is also a paid one, which discourages people from using it. People might find this application to be complex as the code lock and encryption takes time for individuals to access new and received messages.
4. Folder Lock
Another way to keep your data safe from snoops is to use a folder lock. As the name suggests, it is a storage utility where you can store your pictures and files and lock it using a password.
You need to delete those files and pictures from the iPhone yourself as this app does not have access to get rid of copies stored outside its folders. This app takes care of photos, music, documents, voice memos, notes, contacts, and more.
Other than using these third-party applications or the inbuilt security feature provided by Apple, there is one more thing that you can do to lock messages on iPhone. You restrict your apps with ‘Guided Access’. This is again an inbuilt feature.
Go to Accessibility settings > Guided Access and enable it. Enabling this will allow you to keep your iPhone in a single app and control which features are available to it.
Once Guided Access is enabled, triple-click the home button feature to bring it up. Draw across the screen to block certain areas from being accessed, and tap ‘Start’. When this feature is up and running, no one will be able to touch the parts of the screen that are disabled by you unless they know your passcode.
This little trick is useful in stopping others from reading your text messages.
Whenever you want to get rid of this feature, just triple-click the home button and enter your passcode to get rid of it.
Using these inbuilt features and third-party applications according to your needs will make your phone free from unauthorized snooping for sure.