This Is How You Should Secure Your iPhone

Your iPhone features a simple passcode functionality that secures the device by requiring a four-digit PIN (by default) to unlock your phone. But a four-digit PIN isn't the most secure. To address this, Apple allows you to enter a longer, more secure alphanumeric password, but compared to the considerably easier-to-tap numeric keyboard, the alphanumeric keyboard is a pain to type into every time you unlock. Fortunately, Apple built in a simple compromise.

If you enter a longer passcode made only of numbers, the lock screen will display the handy numeric keyboard rather than the alphanumeric keyboard. Yes, potential phone thieves will know that you've got a numbers-only passcode, but they don't know how long it is, and you can considerably beef up your phone's security.

Here's how to set it up if you aren't currently using a passcode:

  1. Unlock your iPhone and open Settings > General > Passcode Lock.
  2. Toggle Simple Passcode to Off.
  3. Tap Turn Passcode On (assuming you don't already have it turned on) and enter your new passcode using only numbers. You'll see the standard alphanumeric keyboard during your initial passcode creation and confirmation, but don't worry — if you stick with numbers, you'll get the numeric keyboard later.

That's all there is to it. Lock your phone, and the next you unlock it, it should look like the screenshot above.

Remember that even if you add only one extra digit to your current passcode (making it a five-digit passcode), you still get a considerable security benefit: a potential thief can't tell whether your passcode is five or 15 digits, and all it costs you is two extra taps (one for the fifth digit, one to hit the OK button).

iOS Security - May 2012 (PDF) [Apple via Abraham Vegh]


Comments

    Just wondering, if you set the device to lock and wipe itself after 10 incorrect tries would this still be necessary? Or is there some way to crack the lock without triggering a wipe, maybe by connecting to a computer?

      There is a way to crack lock codes using a computer, but the software needed to do this is mainly used by law enforcement and other channels where it is worth the cost, the software costs around $11,000 to buy and then another $5000 to maintain your license to use it each year.
      Source: I know this only as I emailed a company the fbi use to get into iPhones to see if I could use the software as a service for my companies clients. Maybe the figures they gave me were to scare me off? But if i had of had the cash I would have gave them a run for their money ;-)

    could this work on an iPad also?

      Yep, it does

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