Protect your Data (iPad)

secured ipadNow that technology is allowing us to be everywhere and have access to anything one should keep in mind that you need to protect your data.  You hear stories about the government official that dropped a large envelope of highly classified material or that executive that forgot their phone and had all their contacts stolen.  Your device is no different.  In fact, it’s probably accessing a lot more of your personal information or your work that you want to keep out of the hands of others.  Here are some tips for securing your device and your data.

Protect Your Data

In the Settings menu you can assign a Passcode for your iPad (or iPhone). After all, the iPad is meant to be mobile, so its potential to get lost or left behind is high. And without a passcode, anyone can unlock the screen and have full access to your e-mail, Web history, apps, and more. To set a 4-digit code that needs to be entered to unlock the iPad, choose General>Passcode Lock>Simple Passcode. (ie: 1942)
To take that a step further, unselect Simple Passcode to set a code that uses the full keyboard so that you can create a complex passcode (ie: M@rvin45!)

Even Better, Demolish That Data

To ensure that your data doesn’t wind up in the wrong hands even if your iPad does, in the same Passcode Lock menu you can set the iPad to erase all of its data after 10 failed passcode attempts. It’s important to sync your iPad regularly so important data is backed up in iTunes on your computer or backed up into iCloud.
If you have files within DropboxSugarSyncBoxetc. your files will not be destroyed on those cloud services.  This function will only wipe out the files locally stored on your device.  But if you forgot to sync that document that you worked all night on…’ll probably be gone.

Track your Device

Apple has included into the iOS a free service called “Find My iPad” (or on iPhones “Find My iPhone”) located in the Settings -> iCloud section. Turn on this function and you will be able to track your device and where it currently is.  Whereas devices connected to cellular or GPS can be pinpointed to the device, even if the device is only connecting to wireless internet it can still track the device to a fairly close proximity of the actual location.
If you have multiple iDeivces you can download the app “Find iPhone” on each device and use it to track your other devices.  You can also use the website and access the “Find My iPhone” section to also locate your iPhoneiPad.  Once you do this you can do a few things;

  • Make your iDevice play a sound (ie: oh there it is, it was behind the couch)
  • Send your iDevice a message (ie: If found, please return to John Doe at his home)
  • Remote Lock your iDevice
  • Remote Wipe your iDevice

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Lock Down Your Device

Even though you set a password to lock your device, a thief may be able to get through that.  And once a person is into your device they can stop you from doing things like “Find my iPhone” or disable your ability to locate andor wipe the device.
There is a setting called Restrictions [Settings -> General -> Restrictions].  When you enable this area you will be required to enter a 4-digit passcode to secure access to this area.  I would recommend not to use the same passcode that you used for your lock screen.
For starters, you will want to look for the item called “Accounts” and disable changes made to any accounts.  Once you have all your accounts set up, it’s unlikely you will need to change them anyway.  But if you disable the ability to modify accounts this stops any thief from disabling or turning off the “Find My iPadiPhone” function and all the things you read above.

The Cloud

Everyone always talks about the cloud.  Is it useful, what do I need it for?  Something to think about is that if you keep your files stored on some type of Cloud storage and your device is stolen there are no files actually on your device.  So, if you do lose your device you can log on to any computer log into your Cloud storage and change the password eliminating access to your files on your stolen device.  Some Cloud storage providers will also allow you to disassociate your device from the service which will auto-wipe the files from that service from the device.
Some Cloud storage options from your iPad are:

  • Dropbox (Documents to Go, GoogleDocs, QuickOffice, MindJet, and much more)
  • Sugarsync (Documents to Go, QuickOffice, GoodReader, PDF Expert, iFiles)
  • (Documents to Go, GoogleDocs, QuickOffice, iThoughts, GoodReader)

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