This is an update of these previously published articles:
- Passwords: Are your Smart Devices Secure
(PortlandWestsideGuy.com, July 14, 2014)
- Happy Monday: Repeat – 7-Step Smart Device Security
(MacNet LinkedIn Group, July 14, 2014, Private)
- By Popular Demand: iPad Security: Beyond the 4 Digit Password
(MacNet LinkedIn Group, January 6, 2014, Private)
- iPad Security: Beyond the 4 Digit Password (iOS 6.1.3)
(MacNet LinkedIn Group, May 13, 2013, Private)
It’s March 2015, and hopefully you’re running your iPad on iOS 8.2
you’re protected from any software security holes as the most recent versions will have made the necessary fixes = Get It Done
Because having the latest Operating System for your Smart Device installed is ALWAYS the first line of defense. For good reason; don’t you think the creators of the operating system code would know when it’s best to upgrade Security = I THINK SO!
We get it!
Updating operating systems for your devices can be time-consuming and a chore but it’s beyond a good habit now; It’s imperative! The iOS 8.2 update is the most significant in a long time and contains many fixes related to security and more general stability issues.
Beyond the 4-Digit Passcode, the Basics
“Because even a Caveman can crack a 4-digit passcode”
There are ways beyond the basic 4-Digit Password to protect your data if an iPad is stolen or lost. Here are my “5 Basic and Simple Steps” to walk you through what I’ve done:
[tab title=’1. Passcodes’]
Your BEST Front-Line Defense
Turn On Passcode Lock and Simple Passcode to Off
This is so important that I’m providing a couple of ways for you to learn:
Launch Settings from the home screen and tap Touch ID & Passcode
1. Turn off Simple Passcode before you tap Turn Passcode On.
2. Scroll down and tap Turn Passcode On
3. A new screen will appear where you will enter your existing PassCode
4. Once you complete that, a new screen will appear where you will be allowed to enter your new and Improved Alpha-Numeric Secure Passcode for your iPad.
[tab title=’2. AutoLock’]
In “Settings“, under General, tap Auto-Lock. By default, it’s set to 2 minutes (and it dims 15 seconds prior to locking) if it is already there = leave it. You can change the iPad to auto-lock every 5, 10, or 15 minutes of inactivity.
[tab title=’3. Self-Destruct’]
Turn Erase Data after 10 Tries to On
This is my favorite. Not even the most sophisticated software cannot crack a passcode in under 10 tries.
By enabling the “Erase Data” option you can make your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch erase all the data stored in it when 10 failed passcode attempts have been made. This means your device will not only get disabled at a certain point but it will also delete your private data to ensure it doesn’t get into the wrong hands = Pretty Cool!
- Open Settings and tap on the “Passcode” option. On devices with Touch Id this option will be called “Touch ID & Passcode“.
- On the next screen find “Erase Data” option. Simply turn the toggle next to it on.
- You will be asked to confirm the change, just tap on the “Enable” button from the menu.
- That’s it = Done
[tab title=’4. Find My iPad’]
PREVENT Disabling of Find My iPad (or iPhone)
The first thing a savvy iPad thief would do after they stole your iPad would be to turn off the Find My iPad app and disable location services. You can prevent them from doing this by turning on Restrictions and lock changes to “Location Services“.
Disallow Changes to Accounts
By enabling Restrictions, you can prevent a thief from turning off Find my iPad. This method is quicker and more convenient, however it will not entirely stop a thief.
- To set up Restrictions, go to Settings > General > Restrictions, and tap “Enable Restrictions.” You will then be prompted to enter a 4-digit passcode, different than your passcode lock, the password that you enter in the lock screen.
- Next, you will be returned to the Restrictions screen, where you can choose what you want to restrict. Anything in the “ON” position is allowed. Scroll down until you see a section called “Allow Changes,” and tap Accounts.
- Then, tap Don’t Allow Changes.
This will prevent changes to your iCloud account by disallowing access to the iCloud menu of Settings, which would be needed to turn off Find my iPhone. However, a thief can still power off the device, or even erase it.
To make your phone even harder for a thief to compromise, consider creating a stronger iPad passcode by turning off the ‘Simple Passcode’ option (which enables a full keyboard for inputting a passcode instead of just allowing a 4-digit number) = See #1 Passcodes.
The more time a thief has with your phone, the more likely they are to circumvent your security.
[tab title=’5. NO Talking to Strangers’]
Tell Siri to Never Talk to Strangers
The novelty of Siri may have worn off, but chances are you still have the Siri personal assistant enabled and are allowing the Siri feature to bypass the passcode lock that can provide a thief or hacker the ability to make phone calls, send texts, eMails, and access other personal information without having to enter your passcode. It’s a user’s choice based on individual risk tolerance what you choose to do = All I will say is I’ve witnessed the aftermath of a Stolen Identity = YOU DO NOT WANT TO EXPERIENCE THIS.
There is always a balance that must be struck between security and usability.
To block Siri from being able to bypass the screen lock passcode perform the following:
- Tap on the “Settings” icon from the home screen (Grey icon with gears in it)
- From the “Settings” menu, tap the “Touch ID & Passcode” option.
- Turn the “Allow access to Siri when locked with a passcode” option to the “OFF” position.