Apple has just released its new iOS 16 Developer Beta 3 and in it is a new feature called Lockdown Mode. While the word “lockdown” might give us all a little PTSD from the past two years of living in lockdown, it is actually one of the most advanced new features implemented into Apple’s ecosystem in a while.
Apple explains that this new Lockdown Mode offers extreme protection for its users and acts as a defence mechanism that locks down your iOS, iPadOS or macOS device if you believe you’re being compromised by a cyberattack.
Now, this Lockdown Mode is a lot more sophisticated than it sounds. In fact, it blocks a lot of system features that might have vulnerable entry points for hackers to target. It disables message attachment types, disables link previews, disables certain web browsing features, blocks invitations, stops FaceTime calls and disables all wired connections to your devices. Basically, your hardware turns into a brick for a moment while this Lockdown Mode is activated.
Apple says all the security measures in the new Lockdown Mode have been carefully implemented to close any open doors right from the start. Apple calls this an optional and “extreme” form of protection and doesn’t expect the average user to make use of the mode. However, it has been implemented to protect those who might find themselves in a situation where they have been targeted by a cyberattack. Apple’s head of security and engineering Ivac Krstic says:
“While the vast majority of users will never be the victims of highly targeted cyberattacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are. That includes continuing to design defenses specifically for these users, as well as supporting researchers and organizations around the world doing critically important work in exposing mercenary companies that create these digital attacks.”
So when iOS 16 does release to the public, anyone can activate Lockdown Mode. You can then disable the mode at will.