We all love our iOS devices. We carry them with us wherever we go. For an unlucky few, though, that means a lost or stolen iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. If you’ve set up Find My iPhone, that’s a great first step to retrieving your lost or stolen property. What might be more valuable then your device is your personal information. Thankfully, Apple has made it possible to keep thieves and other prying eyes from your personal info. This article will show you how to keep your iPhone, iPad or iPod secure.
Let’s begin with the Passcode Lock. In Settings>General, scroll down to Passcode Lock, then Turn Passcode On.
You can choose a simple 4-digit code, or by sliding the Simple Passcode button to ‘OFF’, you can choose a longer, alpha-numeric passcode that’s harder to guess.
Once you turn Passcode Lock on, you have a some more options. Siri access when locked and Erase Data. If a thief or any other unauthorized person tries to guess your passcode, after ten failed attempts all data on your iPhone will be erased, i.e. Contacts, Passwords, Messages, etc.
If that’s not enough, there is also an app, provided by Apple, called Find My iPhone. Despite it’s name, Find My iPhone will also track your iPod Touch and your iPad. After you install it, make sure it’s enabled in Settings>iCloud. Also, make sure Location Services is On (Settings>Location Services). You can also read this guide on how to use find my iPhone.
So, your iPhone is lost or stolen. You can now go to www.icloud.com, log in with your Apple ID, and track your iPhone or other device from any web browser. Ah, but what if you forgot to turn Passcode Lock on? You can still find your device, right? Not necessarily! A smart thief, or at least a thief who knows anything about iOS, can simply go to Location Services and disable it. This renders Find My iPhone useless.
Provided you’ve forgotten to turn Passcode Lock on, you still have another line of defense. Restrictions (Settings>General>Restrictions). Enabling Restrictions gives you the opportunity to manage the changing of certain settings, such as granting or denying permission to install or delete apps, change Mail settings, or, in this case, accessing iCloud to enable/disable Find My iPhone as well as Location Services.
After enabling Restrictions, you will be prompted to create a passcode. It can be different from the passcode you created to lock your device.
Of course, turning on Passcode Lock is your best bet, but since a workaround or two on how to bypass the Passcode has been published on the internet, it’s a good idea to implement most or all of the above safeguards.
Security Apps for iPhone
Outside of the built-in apps, there are some useful iPhone security apps available in the App Store that will help further secure your personal data.
Dot Lock Protection Pro $0.99
This application is a swiss army knife of iPhone security. You can choose from standard keypad entry or dot lock, which requires you draw a pattern with your finger to unlock your iPhone. Where this app differs from most, it will file a break-in report with the intruder’s photo, date and GPS location. This app also allows you to hide personal information including contacts, notes, photos, videos, bookmarks, browser history and downloads.
Tip: If you should locate someone who has stolen your iPhone, it’s best to contact local law enforcement and provide them with all the relative information on the suspects. You’ll have an infinitely better chance at retrieving your iPhone back and more importantly, it’s safer for you.
Password Apps for iPhone
If you keep any critical data on your iPhone, you should consider using a password application that offers a sufficient level of encryption. This type of protection is vital when storing bank, credit card numbers, personal identification information such as your license number. If you lose your iPhone, protecting this information will help protect you against identity theft. Top password apps for iPhone include mSecure $9.99 and 1Password Pro $14.99.
Using a combination of the tips provided, along with some of our app recommendations will help secure your iPhone or iOS device in the event it is lost or stolen. Have a suggestion or would like to share your iPhone security tips, let us know in the comments.