Security–it’s on our minds more than ever before. It seems like there isn’t a week that goes by where we don’t hear about some new exploit that allows someone to hack your most personal information. With our mobile devices containing more of this information with each new iteration, we need to stand up, take notice and do something about it. Through our own due diligence we can monitor some of this information. But what about our devices? What can we do to keep our iPads, and our data more secure?
Create a Passcode
I know this one seems obvious–but it’s crazy the number of people out there who don’t take a few extra seconds when setting up their iPad to create a simple passcode. An even safer move would be to take advantage of the iPad’s functionality to create a dynamic unique passcode with a combination of letters and numbers.
Backup and encrypt your data
Since you’re already backing up your data through iTunes and/or iCloud, well at least you _should_ be, you can also choose to encrypt your data, too. If you’re backing up to iCloud, you’re data is already secure and encrypted. iTunes back-ups, however, are not encrypted automatically. These back-ups are simply saved locally on your computer. Luckily, for those who don’t use iCloud, you can still encrypt your iPad data in iTunes via the Encrypt Data option in the back-up menu. When checking the box activating this feature, all of your stored passwords used on your iPad will also be backed-up.
Trust no one–including computers you aren’t familiar with
All iPad’s running iOS 7 or later are prompted to acknowledge whether or not they trust the computer they are connecting to the first time a connection is made. Basically, if you don’t want the computer you are connected to to have access to all of your settings and data while connected, then select Don’t Trust in the pop-up menu after connecting via USB. It is important to note, though, that if you chose not allow the computer access to your iPad, you will not be able to synch or even manage your data with that computer.
Set-up Find my iPad
Find my iPad is a great tool for tracking your iPad via Apple Maps. I know this feature has saved me some gray hairs a few more times than I’d like to admit when I can’t remember where I left my iPad. Usually it’s close by, where I can use the utility to play a loud sound from my iPad in an electronic version of Marco-Polo. However, there are definitely those times when my iPad isn’t close by. I know I have left mine in my work vehicle across town, or in my office a few times. With Find my iPad you can remotely lock your device until you can safely acquire it again. In addition, you can even choose to erase your iPad if you are worried it was stolen. One important piece of info to note–you need to have an active iCloud account to utilize Find My iPad, which you can acquire at any time at no cost to you.
Manage your Privacy Settings
The apps we run on our iPad interact with our personal data in many ways. We share information with our apps that include our photos, our location information, access to our contacts, microphone and much more. What we decide to share, though, is completely up to us. When an app initially requests access to our personal information we are presented with the option of allowing access to that information. Whether you grant access to your data or not, you can always change your mind later in the Settings app.
Apps can use and share your contacts, location services, photos, microphone access, and other data and features. The first time an app requests your data, you’ll be asked to allow access.