iOS 17: All security features in the latest update for iPhone

Apple is introducing several new security-focused features in iOS 17, including new measures to keep you safe when you’re on the go and to stop you from seeing images you don’t want to see.

iOS 17 security features
This guide highlights all the security features that Apple has added to ‌iOS 17‌ and accompanies our iOS 17 privacy and security guide.

Warnings about sensitive content

With sensitive content alerts, incoming files, videos and images are scanned on your device and blocked if they contain nudity. It’s a feature that will put an end to unsolicited nude photos and similar content.

nude photo lock ios 17

Opt-in blur can be applied to images in Messages, AirDrop, Contacts Poster for Phone app, FaceTime Messages, and third-party apps. This is separate from the communication safety features implemented for children and is designed for people of all ages.

All nudity will be blocked by default if the feature is enabled, but can be viewed by tapping the “Show” button. Sensitive content warnings can be enabled in the Settings app.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Choose Privacy & Security.
  3. Tap Sensitive content warning.
  4. Touch to turn on the sensitive content warning.

You can turn on sensitive content warnings for specific services, including AirDrop, Messages, and Video Messaging. All image detection is done on the device and there are security resources that you can access.

Message check-in

Message check-in is a feature that lets you let other people know when you’re going somewhere so they can keep an eye on you and make sure you get to that location safely.

message check-in

It tells a friend or family member your destination and the time you should be there, and if you don’t check in at the right time, they can ping you to see what’s going on and gain access to your location in case of emergency. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Open the conversation with the person you want to check-in with.
  3. Tap the “+” button next to the text entry bar.
  4. Tap More.
  5. Tap Check In.
  6. Tap Continue.
  7. Follow the prompts to start the feature.

With Check In, a friend or family member will be notified of your destination and approximate travel time, with another automatic notification sent when you reach your destination. So if you go from a friend’s house to your own late at night, you can set up check-in and your friend will get an alert when you get home.

messages control changes

If you’re not making progress towards your destination, it will prompt you and you’ll have 15 minutes to respond on your iPhone. If you don’t reply, your friend will get an alert.

There are two options for sharing your check-in data. With “Limited”, the current location, battery level details, and network signal for your ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch are shared. With “Full” data selected, all of this information will be shared along with the traveled path and location of the last ‌iPhone‌ unlock and Apple Watch removal.

Checking in requires your friends or family to be running ‌iOS 17‌.

Communication security

Last year, Apple introduced Communication Safety, a switchable feature that alerts children when sending or receiving photos that contain nudity. It blurs nude photos and provides children with helpful resources and prompts them to get in touch with a trusted adult.

communication security function yellow

Communication Safety in ‌iOS 17‌ is expanding worldwide, so it will be available in more countries than before. It will be turned on by default for children under 13 who are signed in to their Apple ID and are part of a Family Sharing group.

Parents can enable it for older teens as well, with the option to turn it on available in the Settings app under Screen Time.

In addition to being available worldwide, Communication Safety’s protections will expand to AirDrop, the system-wide photo picker, ‌FaceTime‌ messages, and third-party apps in addition to the Messages app.

Offline maps

The Maps app works offline in ‌iOS 17‌, providing access to directions and turn-by-turn information for the area you’re in even if you don’t have a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

Offline Apple Maps

Offline Maps is useful if you plan to travel to a remote location, such as on a hike or road trip in rural areas. Downloading a map can be done by entering a location, tapping the ‘More’ button, then choosing the ‘Download Map’ option.

You can select the size of area you want to save and more areas can be downloaded. You can manage your map downloads by opening the Maps app, tapping your profile picture, and selecting Offline Maps.

Maps can be updated, deleted, renamed and resized, and you can also download new maps from this interface. Downloads can be set to update automatically, and there’s an option to use maps offline even when a connection is available.

Critical medication reminders

The Medications feature in the Health app can send you a follow-up reminder if you haven’t marked a medication as taken within 30 minutes of the initial notification.

iOS 17 health app medication follow-up reminder

Apple also plans to add a critical alerts feature for important medications that will appear on the lock screen and play a sound even if the ‌iPhone‌ is turned off or Focus mode is turned on.

to know more

Learn more about the additions in the ‌iOS 17‌ update in our iOS 17 roundup.

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