In recent days, several prominent Indian opposition leaders have raised concerns after receiving warning messages from Apple, alerting them to the potential targeting of their iPhones by state-sponsored attackers. This alarming development underscores the increasing sophistication of digital threats faced by specific individuals.
Apple responded to such concerns in 2022 by introducing a robust security feature known as Lockdown mode, specifically designed to protect users from privacy-invading spyware like Pegasus.
Understanding Lockdown Mode on iPhone:
Lockdown mode is a cutting-edge security feature introduced with iOS 16, aimed at safeguarding individuals who may be targeted by advanced digital threats from entities such as the NSO Group and other malicious actors. This feature restricts certain apps and functionalities, providing an additional layer of defense against potential privacy breaches. It’s important to note that Lockdown mode is not intended for the general user, as these highly targeted attacks typically focus on specific individuals.
Enabling Lockdown Mode on iPhone or iPad:
If you believe you could be a potential target of state-sponsored digital threats, follow these steps to enable Lockdown mode:
- Open the Settings app and select Privacy & Security.
- Scroll down and tap on the Lockdown mode option.
- Tap “Turn On Lockdown Mode” and confirm by tapping the button again.
- In the pop-up, tap “Turn On & Restart” and enter your passcode.
- Wait for your iPhone to reboot.
Note: Once Lockdown mode is activated on your iPhone, it will automatically extend to other Apple devices linked to the same Apple ID.
Excluding Websites from Lockdown Mode:
Certain apps and features may experience limitations in functionality when Lockdown mode is active. However, Apple allows users to exclude specific websites from these restrictions. Follow these steps:
- Open the website you want to exclude in Safari during Lockdown mode.
- Tap the Page Settings button (AA icon) and select Website Settings.
- Toggle off Lockdown mode and tap “Turn Off” to exclude the website.
Disabling Lockdown Mode on iPhone or iPad:
If you no longer require Lockdown mode, follow these steps to turn it off:
- Open the Settings app, go to Privacy & Security, and select Lockdown Mode.
- Tap “Turn Off Lockdown Mode” and confirm by tapping “Turn Off & Restart.”
- Enter your iPhone’s passcode and wait for the device to reboot.
Remember, Apple designed Lockdown mode for individuals facing the most sophisticated digital threats. Understanding and utilizing this security feature is crucial for those in professions susceptible to spyware and similar threats.