How to Secure an iPad


As an iPad owner, you love your device. Unfortunately, thieves love it, too, but for different reasons. They love that your stylish iPad can easily be snatched, sold, mined for lucrative data and used for virtual joyrides. With time, your iPad will eventually store lots of data, including confidential passwords, contact, banking and credit card information. To turn your iPad into a safe that keeps sensitive personal information hidden from prying eyes, activate its passcode feature in a few simple steps. With a passcode, you will also completely block usage of your iPad except by you and those you allow.

  • Tap "Settings" on your home screen. You'll see a settings navigation pane on the left and a main pane on the right.

  • Tap "General" on the left pane and then "Passcode Lock" about midway down the right pane.

  • Tap "Turn Passcode On" at the top of the screen. A "Set Passcode" window will pop up.

  • Key in a four-digit passcode that you can remember easily. When prompted, re-enter your passcode to confirm it.

  • Tap "Require Passcode" to choose the delay before a passcode is required. You'll see six options, from immediately to four hours. Bear in mind that if you choose one, five or 15 minutes, or one or four hours, someone using your iPad will have that much time to make calls, send emails, make online purchases and peer through your iPad data before keying in a passcode. The shorter your delay time, the more secure.

  • Tap the "Simple Passcode" switch to toggle it "Off" if you prefer to create a longer, more complex passcode using letters and numbers. Enter your old, four-digit passcode in the pop-up window. Next, enter your new passcode and then re-enter it when prompted.

  • Tap the "Picture Frame" switch to toggle it "Off". Your iPad will deactivate the lock-screen slideshow of the photos in your albums or camera roll.

  • Tap the "Erase Data" switch to toggle it "On". This instructs your iPad to self-erase after 10 failed passcode attempts. Failed passcode attempts suggest that someone with less than honorable intentions is trying to guess his way to unlocking your device, and this prevents him from succeeding.

  • Press the "Sleep/Wake" button on the upper-right edge of your iPad to put it to sleep. Next, press the "Sleep/Wake" button again or the "Home" button to awaken your iPad and then drag the "Slide to Unlock" slider to the right. Type your passcode in the "Enter Passcode" window to confirm your new passcode settings.

Tips & Warnings

  • When traveling or in a public area, never leave your iPad unattended and keep it out of sight as much as possible. It's always good idea to use your device indoors rather than outdoors while remaining alert for possible iPad-hungry crooks nearby.
  • Save your passcode in a safe place to prevent forgetting it altogether. If you forget your passcode, you will not be able to use your iPad until you reconnect to your computer and restore your device using iTunes.
  • Tap "Settings", "General" and then "Restrictions" if you wish to to create a second line of defense. You can set a different passcode to hide apps and block certain iPad features from use.
  • For maximum security, consider paying an annual fee for MobileMe service. This online, cloud-based service can help locate, passcode lock, remote wipe, display a message or sound an alarm on your iPad when it is activated near a 3G of Wi-Fi network by someone without your permission.

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  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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