Keeping track of my car keys remains a life-long challenge and I experience a “Where’s my iPhone?” panic at least once a week. So when it comes to security, I don’t worry about my iPhone data so much as the whereabouts of the physical device. That is until my aunt picked up my phone one day and began scrolling through my pictures, while offering unsolicited comments. That’s when I finally discovered and activated the Passcode Lock.
To activate the Passcode Lock, I simply went to Settings > General > Passcode Lock.
In iOS 4 and above, the Passcode Lock options include extra features, such as allowing the user to set requirements for different time intervals, create more complex passwords, and enable a feature that automatically erases all of the phone’s data if the Passcode is incorrectly entered 10 times. (Since I’m notorious for forgetting passwords, this is not a feature I would use).
Be mindful that on the iPhone 4S and above, users can enable Siri even when the phone is unlocked. This security vulnerability can be turned off on the Passcode screen, by moving the Siri slider to “Off.”
However, for those, like me, who are more inclined to lose their phones, a feature like the Find My iPhone app might prove a more valuable security measure. With this app you can find your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, by using another iOS device. Simply install the app on a different iOS device, open it, and sign in with your Apple ID.
Find My iPhone will locate the missing device on a map, play a sound, display a message, remotely lock the device, or erase all the data on it. After you install it, make sure it’s enabled in Settings > iCloud.
If the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch you want to locate is running iOS 6, Find My iPhone also includes Lost Mode. Lost Mode locks the missing device with a 4-digit Passcode and can display a contact phone number right on the lock screen. And while in Lost Mode, the device will keep track and display its recent location history. Please note that Find My iPhone must be enabled in the iCloud settings on a device for you to locate it with this app
As the iPhone becomes a more powerful mobile platform and offer more safe purchase and bill paying options, greater iPhone security will become essential. It’s amazing that we carry our lives in a little tiny box in our pockets.