YOU may think a locked iPhone is safe from pranksters, but it’s far from secure.
An easy trick lets anyone holding your iPhone or iPad send messages to your friends and family even when it’s locked.
Apples Siri assistant exposes you to pranksters[/caption]
It involves sneakily using Siri to get around the lock screen, but don’t fret: We’ve shown how to block the hack below.
What is the iPhone Siri hack?
Apple’s personal assistant Siri lets your send messages and emails and even make phone calls without touching your iPhone or iPad.
Simply ask her to send something to a contact using the “hey Siri” wake word and she’ll dutifully oblige.
The problem is, Siri opens up your phone to mischief-makers trying to send trick messages from your phone.
By default, gadgets with Siri (that’s anything newer than an iPhone 4S or iPad 3) allow you to speak to her even if your screen is locked.
All a trickster needs to do is get hold of your phone and say “Hey Siri, send a message to Dad” or “Hey Siri, send a message to Rosie” and they’ll be asked to dictate a message.
Anything they say will then be sent to your contact but will look like it was sent by you – potentially landing you in hot water.
Fear not though, as Apple has handed fans an easy way to switch off the feature.
To deactivate the feature, head to your settings and tap “Siri and Search”[/caption]
In “Siri and Search”, turn off “Allow Siri When Locked”[/caption]
How to block Siri from working on your lock screen
To switch off the feature in iOS 12, head to your settings and tap “Siri and search”.
From here, scroll down to “Ask Siri” and turn off “Allow Siri When Locked.”
You can also switch the feature off in your security settings.
To do that, open up your settings and tap “Face ID and Passcode”.
Type in your passcode if you have one, and then under “allow access when locked”, turn off Siri.
Why is Siri called Siri?
Here's the origin story of Apple's AI assistant…
- Although the virtual Siri assistant lives on every iPhone, it wasn’t actually created by Apple.
- It was actually a spin-off project from the SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center.
- The tech was eventually bought up by Apple for the iPhone, but Apple had no say over the name.
- No one has ever revealed who came up with Siri, but we do know why it was chosen.
- Siri co-creator Adam Cheyer said the name Siri was picked because it’s “easy to remember, short to type, comfortable to pronounce, and a not-too-common human name”.
- Writing in Forbes, he said: “Once Siri became the leading candidate, everyone on the team had their own favourite explanation of the meaning.
- “Dag Kittlaus, our Norwegian-American CEO, once considered using Siri as the name of his child and liked the Norse meaning ‘beautiful woman who leads you to victory’.
- “For me, Siri, which means ‘secret’ in Swahili, was a tip of the hat to our pre-named days when we began as stealth-company.com.
- “I also liked the fact that it was the reverse of Iris, a software system I helped build as part of the CALO project which Siri was spun out of.
- “Some liked the resemblance to SRI, which was the research institute that ran the CALO project.”
- In any case, no one at the team expected Apple to actually keep the name – but Siri lived on.
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