November 15, 2011, 2:16 PM — by Tom Eston, SecureState - Apple mobile devices are among the most popular gadgets today. In fact, Apple reports that 250 million iOS devices have been sold and 18 million apps downloaded. I often find that, while the popularity of these devices increases, many don't understand the basic security features that Apple makes available to them. Some of you may not even realize that these features exist and how easy they are to use. Let's walk through the top five security settings for these devices:
This is the most important security feature of your device. It's also one of the least configured settings. While it may be a pain to "unlock" your device when you want to use it, it's also your first line of defense if your device is ever lost or stolen. The key to the passcode is to ensure its complex and greater than 4 characters or digits. Never use simple passcodes like "1234" or your ATM PIN number. The two other settings that you need to set are to "Require Passcode Immediately" and set "Simple Passcode" to OFF. You can find these settings under the "Settings" icon then "Passcode Lock".
The erase data functionality adds another layer of security to your device. This function will erase all data after 10 failed passcode attempts. What this means is that if someone steals your device and tries to brute force your passcode, if they enter it incorrectly, the device is erased and returned to the factory default settings. Turn "Erase Data" to ON in the Passcode Lock screen.
Find My iPhone/iPad
If you ever lose or misplace your iPhone or iPad, "Find My iPhone/iPad" is a very important feature to enable. Simply download the application on your device or access it through iCloud (icloud.com). If your device is iOS 4 or below you will need to use the "MobileMe" (me.com) feature instead of iCloud. Either way, you will need to login with your Apple ID to set it up. You can then send the device a message or alert, locate the device on Google Maps, remotely set a passcode, and remotely erase the device. This feature is invaluable if your device is lost or stolen.