Thursday, May 19, 2022

How to securely show your COVID-19 certificate on your iPhone?

How to securely show your COVID-19 certificate on your iPhone?
How to securely show your COVID-19 certificate on your iPhone?

If you are required to show or if you have to physically hand over your iPhone to present a COVID-19 certificate of vaccination, this article will show you exactly how to do it quickly and in the most secure way possible. 

If you are entering a venue that has a large group of people, for example, a stadium or a bar, there is a pretty good chance of you being familiar with the whole process of showing your COVID certificate. This process typically involves a representative of the venue scanning a QR code on your iPhone, to confirm that letting you inside is safe.

Systems have been rolled out to enable these checks to be completed via a verifiable certificate. The situation has evolved to become a more user-friendly process. Many of these apps offer the ability to display the certificate within the user’s Apple Wallet, making the whole process just a few button presses away, while also making it easy to access.

All of the apps don’t provide the option to use the Wallet, which leaves us to resort to having to unlock our iPhone, then manually open the app.

This could act as a security concern for iPhone users, as the users are effectively placing their device in an unlocked condition, while it is visible in public. And, you’re potentially handing it over to somebody, whom you might not know.

How to create a Shortcut Solution?

A way to make this situation better is by implementing a method outlined by @DLX on Twitter. This method as the name suggests is creating a custom Shortcut in iOS to perform multiple actions in quick succession. To be more specific, three elements will be happening in the Shortcut itself.

At first, the iPhone display brightness will be raised to 100%. As a QR code has to be shown on your display, you will want the screen to be nice as well as bright, so it is clear and more easily readable.

The second task the shortcut will perform is to open up the app that holds the certificate itself. While Shortcuts can not necessarily get to the bit of the app, what it does is that it displays the scannable code, the opening of the app goes through some other way to make things easier.

The third element as part of the shortcut, after the app opens up, is that it will enable Guided Access. This will temporarily lock down your iPhone in a way that only the currently-displayed app containing the certificate can be viewable, thus preventing anyone from navigating away from the app.

While meddling with Shortcuts may be intimidating to the people who are unfamiliar with automation, this method to create this particular shortcut is pretty straightforward, due to it containing only really three main components.

How to create a Shortcut in iOS to show your COVID-19 certificate, while locking it down with Guided Access?

  • Open Shortcuts.
  • In My Shortcuts, tap on the Plus in the top-right, this will create a new shortcut.
  • Tap on the Shortcut Name to give it a relevant title. This is also something that you will have to say to Siri, so you better make it speakable and relevant. If you are not satisfied, or it is not speakable, you can tap on the icon to the left to change this.
  • Tap on Add Action.
  • You have to use the text box to search for Set Brightness, then select it.
  • Tap the blue 50% to change the value using the slider to slide it to 100%.
  • Tap on the Search for apps and actions box, search for Open App, then select it.
  • Tap on the blue App, then search for and select the relevant app for displaying the COVID-19 certificate.
  • Tap on the Search for apps and actions box, search for Start Guided Access, then select it.
  • Then test the shortcut by tapping the play button at the bottom of the display.
  • After the Shortcut is triggered, it will brighten the screen, it will then open the app, and later enable the Guided Access. You might be asked for a passcode that will be required to exit the Guided Access.
  • At this point, after the shortcut is running, you can hand the iPhone to someone else to scan the certificate, without having to worry. The other person will only be able to use the selected app, and cannot exit the Guided Access without entering the passcode.
  • If you want to leave the Guided Access, tap on the power button three times, then you will have to enter your passcode.

What are the ways of triggering the shortcut?

Now that we have successfully set up the Shortcut, all that remains is to create a way to run the Shortcut. After creating the Shortcut, you can always run it by opening the Shortcuts app, then selecting it. However, you can set up easier ways.

  1. To start, you can ask Siri to use the Shortcut, by saying “Hey Siri, [Shortcut Name]” out loud. This is easy; however, you might not want to do say it out loud when you are in populated surroundings.
  2. A secondary option is you can add it to your Home Screen as a dedicated icon.

How to add a Shortcut to the iOS Home Screen?

  • Open the Shortcuts app.
  • Tap on the Shortcut and hold.
  • In the pop-up that appears, click on Share.
  • Choose to Add to Home Screen.
  • Customize the name, you can also customize the icon if you want, then tap on Add.

If you want some more options. there is a third option, as suggested by @DLX. You can take advantage of the Back Tap functionality in iOS. By performing either a double-tap or a triple-tap, you have the ability to summon the shortcut quickly, without having to navigate the Home Screen.

If you liked this article (or if it helped at all), leave a comment below or share it with friends, so they can also know How can you securely show your COVID-19 certificate on your iPhone?

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