What is Security Check in iOS 16 and How to Use It on iPhone

Among the many new features in iOS 16 is the new Security Check feature for your iPhone. This is a major feature intended to help anyone who finds themselves in a precarious situation with their spouse or another person with whom they are in close contact. While we hope you’re never in a situation where you need to use this feature, if you’re curious about it and just want to know what it is and how you box use it, here is what Safety Check is and how to use it on iPhone.

What is Security Check and How to Use It on iPhone (2022)

What is Security Check in iOS 16 and why is it important?

So what is the security check in the first place? Well, first of all, it’s important to know that Apple has always allowed users to revoke location sharing with apps and people, and a bunch of other things like access to their iPhone using Face ID and passwords. However, Safety Check allows people at risk of domestic violence to quickly adjust or completely revoke these permissions from one place, instead of having to search through the various settings scattered across the iPhone.

The security check works in two ways:

  • Emergency reset
  • Manage sharing and access

Below, we are going to discuss these two security check features in detail.

Point: When using Safety Check, you can tap the “Quick Exit” button to instantly close the Safety Check screen and exit the Settings app. This can be useful if someone asks to see what you’re doing on your iPhone and you don’t want them to know that you’re revoking data sharing and other permissions.

How to use Security Check on your iPhone

Emergency reset

As the name suggests, the emergency reset is pretty much like the kill-switch to stop sharing any access you may have granted to apps and people all at once. This is intended for use in situations where you urgently need to stop sharing data such as your location with anyone (including apps that might be used to track your whereabouts). Here’s how to use this feature.

  • Go to Settings -> Privacy & Security -> Security Control
security control options in iphone settings
  • Here, tap on “Emergency Reset”. After verifying your identity with Face ID/Touch ID/Passcode, tap the button labeled “Start Emergency Reset”. Once you have done this, there are three steps in the process.
start iphone emergency reset
  • Step 1: This step will ensure that your iPhone no longer shares location data, photo libraries, etc., with people or apps. Just tap “Reset People & Apps” to do this. Confirm by pressing ‘Reset’.
reset people and apps in security check ios 16
  • Step 1.1: Then Safety Check will ensure that only your staff devices are connected to your Apple ID. You can simply select all the devices you want to remotely sign out of and remove your Apple ID. Once you’ve selected the devices, tap “Remove Selected Devices”. If there are no such devices, just tap “Ignore”.
remove devices security check ios 16
  • 2nd step: This next step allows you to set up (or remove) trusted phone numbers for your account. These phone numbers must be yours. If there are other phone numbers in this list, you can delete them easily, then tap “Continue”.
check trusted phone numbers security check
  • Step 2.1: Next, if you’ve shared your Apple ID password with the person you’re trying to remove yourself from, it’s obviously important to make sure they can’t access your Apple account. In this step, Safety Check will allow you to reset your Apple ID password if needed. You can either update your password using the “Update Password” button or choose to keep the same password using the “Update later within settings”.
update Apple ID password security check
  • Step 3: Finally, it is important to configure your emergency contacts. They should be trustworthy people, such as family members or friends you can count on. These contacts will be notified if, God forbid, you find yourself in a situation where you need to use your iPhone’s Emergency SOS feature. You can add contacts here and then tap “Continue”.
manage emergency contacts check iphone security

Once you’ve completed all of these steps, Safety Check will recommend other steps you may want to take to further enhance your personal safety and peace of mind. Once you’ve gone through this list, just tap “Done”.

security check completed image

Manage sharing and access

If, on the other hand, you want to remove permissions and sharing settings for certain people, you can use the second option called “Manage Sharing and Access”. Here’s how to use this feature.

  • Go to Settings -> Privacy & Security -> Security Control.
security control options in iphone settings
  • Here, tap “Manage Sharing & Access” and then tap “Continue”.
manage share security control
  • Now there are three steps to follow.
  • Step 1: Here you can see who you have shared information with, as well as what information you are sharing. You can use this page to remove people with whom you no longer want to share information such as your location, iPhone access, etc.
manage who has access to your data security control
  • 2nd step: In the next step, you can see which apps have access to your information. You can remove any apps that you didn’t install yourself or don’t want to use anymore. When done, press ‘Continue’.
manage applications with access to your personal data security control
  • Step 3: Finally, a list of devices where you have signed in with your Apple ID will appear. If you notice any unrecognizable devices here, you should remove them. Additionally, you can remove all devices belonging to the attacker so that they can no longer access your Apple ID. If there are no such devices, you can tap “Skip”.
remove devices from Apple ID Security Control
  • Step 3.1: You can also check your trusted contacts, remove those you no longer trust, and add more if needed. Once done, just tap “Continue”.
manage trusted phone numbers security check
  • Step 3.2: Then the iPhone will ask you to update your Apple ID password. This is useful in case the author of the abusive relationship has your password written down or saved in a password manager. You can quickly update your password and make sure no one else has access to your Apple ID.
update Apple ID password security check
  • Step 3.3: It is important to set up your emergency contacts. They should be trustworthy people, such as family members or friends you can count on. These contacts will be notified if, God forbid, you find yourself in a situation where you need to use your iPhone’s Emergency SOS feature. You can add contacts here and then tap “Continue”.
manage emergency contacts security check
  • Step 3.4: Finally, you will be prompted to change your device’s passcode to keep your data secure. You can change your password or skip this step if you wish.
update device passcode security check

Once you’ve completed all of these steps, Safety Check will recommend other steps you may want to take to further enhance your personal safety and peace of mind. Once you’ve gone through this list, just tap “Done”.

What is Security Check in iOS 16 and How to Use It on iPhone

Will Apple notify anyone of security changes?

To ensure the security and privacy of its users, Apple will not notify anyone if you stop sharing information, account access, location data, etc., with them. This is to ensure that victims (or those at risk) of domestic violence can safely prevent perpetrators from accessing their devices and information without having to worry about them being notified of the change.

However, note that it is possible that other people will notice for themselves that your information is no longer accessible. As such, it is recommended that you ensure your safety and have an action plan before using Safety Check.

Use Security Control to quickly stop sharing information with people and apps

Well, that’s how you can use Safety Check on your iPhone to make sure no one has access to your information and location data. The feature seems to be quite well thought out and can be useful for anyone who finds themselves in a dangerous situation with their partner. Moreover, the “Quick Exit” option is also a nice addition. So what do you think of Safety Check? Do you think it is useful for people at risk of domestic violence and abuse? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.