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Apple’s security check: How to lock down your iPhone from abusive partners

Under normal circumstances, it can be helpful to allow family members to see your location and personal information on your iPhone. But if you feel threatened by a partner or other family member who has become abusive or violent, Safety Check can help you take action.

With this new feature, introduced in iOS 16, you can sign out of iCloud on all your devices, revoke access you’ve given others, limit messaging to just one device, and stop sharing location data. The new mobile operating system should launch in mid-September, but you can try it out earlier by downloading the iOS 16 beta version.


Table of Contents

Set up a security check

Read the personal safety guide

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You can set up the security check at Settings > Privacy & Security > Security Check on your iPhone. Tap the Learn more Link to read Apple’s Personal Safety User Guide(Opens in a new window)which describes how to protect yourself and your sensitive information if you feel threatened by someone else.

You can tap at any time during this process Fast exit Link top right. This will instantly take you back to the home screen if you don’t want anyone to see what you’re doing.

Start emergency reset

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Tap the emergency reset button, and then confirm the action using Face ID, Touch ID, or PIN. This will stop location sharing and revoke access to all apps. You can also change your Apple ID password, review your security settings, and add or remove emergency contacts. Tap the Start emergency reset button to continue.

reset access

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To revoke information shared with other people and apps, tap Reset People & Apps to start the process. People you’ve blocked from sharing won’t be notified of your action, but they may notice that the information shared is no longer visible to them. To revoke access for everyone and all apps, tap Reset to default. To revoke access for specific people and apps only, tap Manage sharing and access.

Remove or add trusted phone number

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If you chose to reset access for any and all apps, the next screen will show your trusted phone numbers. Tap the minus () to remove a number you no longer trust. Beat Add a trusted phone number to add a number. This number will then receive an SMS with a verification code that you need to enter on your current phone. Beat Continue.

Update password

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You will then be prompted to update your Apple ID password. You can type Update later in settings if you want to skip this step for now. Otherwise, tap Update password Button. Enter and repeat your new password, then tap Update password Button.

Remove or add emergency contact

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You can then manage your emergency contacts. Tap the minus () next to an existing emergency contact to remove that person, or tap Add emergency contact to add another person. Beat Continue. You will then be informed that the security check is complete. Beat Finished.


Manage access manually

Manage sharing and access

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Instead of going through the entire security verification process, you can manually remove access to specific people and apps. To do this, tap on the Security Check screen Manage sharing and access instead of an emergency reset. You can then review the people, apps, and devices that have access to specific information. Beat Continue.

Manage people and information

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On the Share with People screen, you can see which contacts have access to your information and which services are shared with your contacts. Under the persons you can select the people with whom you no longer want to share your data. Under the information On the tab, select the type of data that you no longer want to share with others.

Tap the review release button to make more changes, then tap Continue. The next screen shows the apps that can access specific data. Check the list of apps and select any you want to remove. Tap the I Icon to show all the information that a specific app can access. You can then select specific data types to remove.

manage apps

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Tap the information and select any information or features you no longer want to share with apps, such as B. your location, your camera, your microphone or your media library. Tap the I Icon to show and remove from the list all apps with access to the selected data or function. When you’re done, tap Stop app accessthen tap Continue.

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Remove selected devices

(Image credit: PCMag/Lance Whitney)

The next screen shows all devices currently signed in with your Apple ID. Select any that you want to remove from your account. Then tap Remove selected devices.

Update password

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You can then type Update password to change your Apple ID password. Beat Update later in settings to skip this step for now. Next, remove any existing emergency contacts and add a new one if needed. Beat Continue.

Update passcode

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The next screen allows you to update your device’s passcode. To continue, enter your existing passcode and then enter a new one. You can also type Skip if you don’t want to change your passcode.

Reset Face ID

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If you’ve previously set up an alternate or second appearance on a Face ID-enabled iPhone, your next option is to reset Face ID and remove that second appearance. To do this, tap Reset Face ID and follow the steps to scan your face.

Check other promotions

(Image credit: PCMag/Lance Whitney)

The final screen tells you that the security check is complete, but describes other settings and features that may share data or access with other people. Review the suggestions on this screen and take any other action you feel is warranted to protect your location, your privacy, and yourself.

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