How to use Guided Access to secure your iPad or iPhone

You can control the apps and how they work

There’s a smart way you can let people use your iPhone that may help you control what they see – it’s really useful if you want to let a friend see your photos but not your emails.

Introducing Guided Access

Apple developed Guided Access for families. The idea behind it is that you can let your child use your iPhone in this mode without being concerned they will accidentally buy, break, or otherwise cause problems with what is on your device.

This is because Guided Access keeps your iPhone in a single app, lets you disable areas of the screen that aren’t relevant to a task, and disable the hardware buttons. You can end a session by entering a passcode to return your iPad or iPhone to normal mode.

Enabling Guided Access

To enable this feature, Open Settings and Tap General>Accessibility and scroll down to Guided Access.

You’ll need to toggle Guided Access to On (Green), after which you should tap Passcode Settings and set a Guided Access Passcode (or use Touch ID).

To exit a Guided Access session you must triple click the Home Button, enter your passcode (or use Touch ID) and tap End. You’ll also want to set whether the device can go to sleep during a session.

Using Guided Access

With Guided Access enabled you can open the app you want to make available and annotate its controls. This means you can circle those areas on the screen you’d like to disable (such as an app’s buy it now button), or tap the Options button at the bottom let to disable other actions. You can also set an app to ignore all screen touches.

Once you have your iPhone setup correctly you can press start and you can lend your device to another person – they won’t be able to look at other apps, get into any information you don’t wish to share with them, nor will they be able to use app features you've set to be off-limits.

You can also set Time Limits to a Guided Access session, useful if you want to lend your device to your child for a short 20-minute gaming session. 

Why Guided Access?

As well as being a good way to let you share your personal data-filled iPhone with others, Apple promotes this as a useful tool for parents wanting to limit what their children can do with their iPhone when they lend it to them.

The company also suggests some users may want to disable parts of their screen when engaged in tasks in order to limit potential distractions. Naturally it could also provide a little protection when people ask to look at your iPhone.

How else can I stay safe?

There are lots of ways to maximize the security of data stored on your smartphone: take a look at Life after Yahoo: How iOS users can stay safe online for a few more ideas.

It also makes sense to control what personal information your device collects. Using Safari in Private Browser mode, controlling which apps can access your Location data and flushing (or disabling) the Frequent Locations data gathered by iOS are some good ideas, while use of encrypted messaging, VPN, and apps like Keeply should also enhance your personal data security.

As will installing software updates regularly and avoid using older devices that cannot be updated. Stay safe out there.

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Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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