New Security Features Coming to Apple Devices with Software Update

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Need to Know from SafeWise
  • Apple announced new security features, including increased privacy permissions for data, password updates, and live voicemail, among other features.
  • Check In will help users tell friends and family when they’ve reached their destination safely with location tracking.
  • Apple introduced user safety protections, including communication safety in messages and sensitive content warnings across AirDrop, Messages, and FaceTime.
  • The company also announced updates for MacBook and its first virtual reality headset, Apple Vision Pro.

The release of iOS 17 in the fall will bring new security features to Apple devices, the company announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). While the highlight of WWDC is Apple Vision Pro—Apple’s new spatial computing, or virtual reality, system—at SafeWise, we’re digging into the latest security features for iOS 17.

Already, Apple is well known for its security features, including parental controls to keep kids safe on devices. The new features double down on child safety with sensitive content warnings across the device and location-tracking systems that can help protect iPhone users on their journeys and let contacts know when they’ve arrived.

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 Apple has also been adding accessibility features and focusing on protection tools after researchers discovered data vulnerabilities. These new privacy and security features will increase the protections Apple users can expect with their devices.

Sensitive content warnings help kids on devices

According to the press release, sensitive content warnings across Messages, AirDrop, FaceTime, and Phone contacts, are designed for user safety and help “adult users avoid seeing unwanted nude images and videos” across Apple apps.

The feature is optional and can be turned on in Settings. The Sensitive Content Warnings only occurs on the device, so Apple and third parties won’t get access to anything sent.

Since it’s available in settings, it can also be turned on for kids’ devices, protecting them from predators who may text or AirDrop unwanted images and videos.

Communication Safety has been designed with children in mind to warn them when receiving or sending photos or videos in Messages that contain nudity. Developers can integrate Communication Safety into their apps as well. Like Sensitive Content Warning, Communication Safety will work with all the same apps and process images on the devices.

The warning is turned on automatically for child accounts on Family Sharing plans, but parents can turn it off.

Check In keeps users safe with location tracking

Combining location tracking with Messages, Check In ensures friends and family are up-to-date on user travel.

“Once turned on by the user, Check In automatically detects when the user has reached their intended destination, and will let selected contacts know via Messages,” Apple announced in its press release.

If something happens along the way and Check In notices that the user isn’t making progress toward their destination, the system will check in with the phone user to check in. Then, if there is no response, “the feature will share useful information—like the user’s precise location, battery level, cell service status, and the last active time using their iPhone—with the contacts the user selected,” Apple announced.

However, Apple has had issues with location tracking before. When the company released AirTags two years ago, there was worry about how bad actors would use the location data from tags.

With security and privacy in mind, the user’s information is only shared with specific people the phone user chooses. All information is end-to-end encrypted and can only be read by the intended recipient.

Alex Kerai
Written by
Alex Kerai
Alex began writing for student newspapers and has managed to turn that into a career. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he wrote about small businesses for Biz2Credit and Before that, he spent time in communications for higher education institutions, created marketing materials for nonprofits, and worked for entertainment companies in Los Angeles. Today, he reports on emerging consumer trends and his work can be seen on The Penny Hoarder, SafeWise,,,,,,, and When he's not writing, Alex watches too much TV, plays guitar, reads and writes fiction, and goes on nature walks.

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