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Apple’s Lockdown Mode is designed to prevent sophisticated and powerful cyberattacks, it is meant to provide ultra-high security settings for iPhones and iPads running iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, respectively. This guide explains what it is, what it does, and who should use it. 

Lockdown Mode: What does it mean

According to Apple, Lockdown gives a very high level of security for certain users. Customers will have the choice to put it on and it is meant to stop even high-level security threats. Apple gives the example of Pegasus a spying tool which is developed by Israel-based NSO Group. It has been supposed that lot of governments including the Indian government used Pegasus to target certain citizens. Lockdown mode will further secure the iPhone’s defense by strictly limiting certain functionalities. Lockdown mode will sharply reduce the attack surface that potentially could be exploited by highly targeted mercenary spyware like Pegasus.

The advantages and disadvantages of Apple Lockdown Mode 

In security, there is always a trade-off between giving protection and taking away so many features that your device is no longer useful. That’s certainly true of Apple Lockdown Mode.

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When enabled, here’s what Lockdown Mode does to secure an iPhone or iPad:

  • FaceTime: Every FaceTime calls will be obstructed apart for those coming from people you have called in the past.
  • Messages: In Apple’s built in texting app, All attachments except images, links, and other shared content will be blocked. 
  • Web Browsing:Some advanced, performance-enhancing technologies are disabled in the Safari web browser.
  • Shared Albums: All shared albums in the Photos app are removed and new shared album invitations are blocked.
  • Device Connections: Hardwired connections to computers and other devices are blocked if your device is locked, 
  • Apple Services: Invitations sent by others to join Apple services are blocked except for people you have sent invitations too before.
  • Profiles: Configuration profiles that can be used to install beta or modified versions of your device’s operating system cannot be installed.

Each of these options are blocked because they are used in the kinds of hacks and cyber attacks facing the people Lockdown Mode is designed for.

Advantages of Apple Lockdown Mode

  • It provides powerful security for those who need it
  • Apple will proactively contact those who need it and recommend it to them
  • Built into iOS and iPadOS, so no extra software is needed

Disadvantages of Apple Lockdown Mode

  • This features only works on iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 and up
  • Greatly reduces key functionality when enabled (but that’s what makes you safe!
  • Not foolproof, so it should be one layer of security, not the only layer

How to turn on Lockdown Mode

When lockdown mode becomes available to you, simply go into the Settings app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to enable it. Follow these steps below:

1.Open Settings.

2.Navigate to Privacy and Security.

3.Click Lockdown Mode.

4.Choose Turn On Lockdown Mode

5.Your device will then restart to enable Lockdown Mode.

Navigate back to settings and toggle it off to turn off Lockdown Mode.

How to Decide if You Need to Use Apple Lockdown Mode  

Deciding if you need to use Lockdown Mode on your iPhone or iPad is not difficult: almost everyone in the world does not need it.

Everybody needs powerful security, but Lockdown Mode is designed particularly for those who are likely to be the target of the most powerful and sophisticated cyberattacks. They are people like the politicians, journalists, activists, and dissidents. Originally, people doing important and potentially sensitive or risky work whose opponents might want to target them to get access to the data they have.

For people like that, the standard sort of hacker and cybercriminal behavior phishing, scams, and the like are not serious concerns. Instead, they need to worry about attacks from hackers employed by governments, companies that sell devices to hack Apple’s security, and other extremely sophisticated attacks.

So, Lockdown mode is probably more than you need as the average person. Unless you are in one of those sensitive categories.

When Should You Use Lockdown Mode?

You probably won’t be the target of a sophisticated cyber attack, Unless you are a politician, celebrity, or public figure. Therefore, you probably won’t ever need to use Lockdown Mode.

If you are an average iPhone user who cares about security, rest assured that your iPhone is already secure enough for daily use. Putting on Lockdown Mode won’t provide much additional security for you, and it will restrict several iPhone features that you may rely on.

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