New iOS 17 Security and Privacy Features You Need to Know

Here are all the new privacy and security features in iOS 17

By Kristina Terech - Staff Writer
2 Min Read

Every iOS update adds new privacy and security features, and iOS 17 is no exception. iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 include better protections against explicit content, revamped photo permissions for apps, improved Calendar permissions, Lockdown Mode, and more, with details on all of the new privacy and security options outlined below.

Family Passwords

Apple’s built-in password manager grows more competent with every major iOS release. In iOS 17, it adds the option to easily share passwords with family members or other trusted people.

To get started:

  • Go to Settings > Passwords, and tap Get Started under Share Passwords with Family.

  • Read the explanatory text and tap Continue.

  • On the New Shared Group screen, change the group name if you’d like.

  • By default, everyone in your Family SharingFamily Sharing group (if any) is included in the group. To remove someone, tap their name and then Remove From Group. You can also tap Add People to add other contacts to your password sharing group.

  • Tap Create.

  • On the Family Passwords screen, you can select multiple passwords or passkeys to share with the group. Tap Move to transfer the selected passwords or Not Now to skip this part.

  • Tap Notify via Messages to notify the folks you’re sharing passwords with or Not Now to skip this part.

For those with whom you’ve shared passwords, those passwords should appear whenever they use autofill, like in Safari or in other apps.

Using passwords shouldn’t change, regardless of which group they’re in. Here are some notes on managing shared passwords:

  • Create More Groups: You can make more password groups by going to Settings > Passwords, tapping the plus button.

  • Add or Remove People from Groups: To add or remove people from a group, go to Settings > Passwords > Password Group > Manage. To remove someone, tap their name and Remove From Group.

  • Transfer Passwords Between Groups: To move a password to a different group, go to Settings > Passwords > Password Group > Password, tap the setting for Group, and choose another group.

Communications Safety

iOS 15.2 introduced Communications Safety, which attempts to discourage minors from sending or receiving nude photos in Messages. Apple has extended this feature in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 to include videos as well as photos. It now also works with AirDrop, the system photo picker, FaceTime, Contact Posters, and third-party apps.

To enable Communications Safety for a child in your Family Sharing group, go to Settings > Screen Time > Child’s Name > Communications Safety and enable Check for Sensitive Photos.

Sensitive Content Warning

In addition to enable sensitive content warnings for children, you can now also set them for yourself for AirDrop, Contacts, Messages, and Video Messages. Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Sensitive Content Warning and enable Sensitive Content Warning.

Improved Calendar Permissions

Calendar permissions are improved, and you can now allow an app to add events to your calendar but not read existing events. To view an app’s calendar permissions, go to Settings > Privacy & Security > App Name . There, you can enable Add Events Only as an option.

Improved Lockdown Mode

iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 introduced Lockdown Mode, which protects you from the most sophisticated cyberattacks but also severely limits what you can do with your devices. Apple has beefed it up in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 to be even more secureeven more secure . It now:

  • Prevents connections to 2G cellular networksPrevents connections to 2G cellular networks

  • Doesn’t auto-connect to insecure wireless networks

  • Hardens media handling to prevent exploits from malicious media files

  • Locks down media sharing

  • Further restricts app sandboxing

You can enable it in Settings > Privacy & Security > Lockdown Mode.

However, you should not enable this unless you are in a sensitive role and under threat of state-level actors. Or you’re attending DEF CONDEF CON .

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the new security and privacy features in iOS 17, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Drop a comment and let us know.

Share This Article
By Kristina Terech Staff Writer
Kristina is a staff writer at GeeksChalk, and is interested in all things Apple. This includes its best products such as the iPad, iPhone, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch. When she's not tinkering with the latest Apple gear, you’ll find her watching movies, taking pictures and exploring the great outdoors.
Leave a comment