Apple was recently accused of creating “backdoor” services in iOS that make it easier for government agencies to spy on users without their knowledge, although the iPhone maker promptly denied those claims in an official response issued yesterday, and followed it up by publishing a support document that provides information about the diagnostic services. Regardless of what you choose to believe, we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide on how to secure your iPhone or iPad from unauthorized pairing using Apple Configurator.
Forensic scientist and iPhone jailbreak expert Jonathan Zdziarski who had raised the concerns recommends pair-locking your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch using the Apple Configurator tool to prevent anyone from dumping your private data, installing malicious apps, or doing anything malicious.
Keep in mind that by following these instructions, you will be inhibiting the ability to pair your iPhone or iPad with another device and its services. If you regularly sync your iOS device with iTunes on a Mac or PC, this solution might not be ideal for you. But if you are determined to maintain your privacy and value the comfort of knowing your personal information is safe, read ahead to learn how to secure your device.
You must first download Apple Configurator for free from the Mac App Store.
By changing your iOS device’s profile with Apple Configurator, it might force the latest iOS version to be installed and could wipe your content or remove your jailbreak as such.
Jailbreakers can install the PairLock jailbreak app from Cydia which was released by Zdziarski last year, when he had first raised this issue.
How to disable unauthorized pairing on iPhone or iPad
Step 1: Open Apple Configurator.
Step 2: Click on the Prepare button in the top menu.
Step 3: Give the device a name — it doesn’t matter what you choose.
Step 4: Turn on the Supervision toggle switch.
Step 5: Uncheck the box for “Allow devices to connect to other Macs.”
Step 6: Click on the + sign at the bottom of the window.
Step 7: Click on “Create New Profile…”
Step 8: Click on the Restrictions menu.
Step 9: Click on the Configure button.
Step 10: Scroll down and uncheck the box next to “Allow pairing with non-Configurator hosts (supervised only)”
Step 11: Click on the Save button.
Step 12: Check off the box next to the profile you just created. It should be called Untitled unless you named it.
Step 13: Click on the Prepare button.
Step 14: Fill in the organization information with whatever details you wish, even if they are not accurate.
Step 15: Click on the Done button.
Step 16: With your iOS device plugged in to your Mac or PC via sync cable, click the Apply button.
It is also recommended that you take additional security measures to protect your iOS device against unwanted usage or data snooping, by enabling two-step authentication and setting a strong password in conjunction with a password manager like 1Password.