The default passcode for iPad and iPhone uses a fairly simple four digit numerical password, these are fairly easy to guess because statistically many people use common passwords or some variation of a simple theme, like a repetition, countdown, or birth year. Obviously, this isn’t the most secure.
An easy way to increase security to an iOS device is to disable simple passcodes. This allows for longer than 4 digit passcodes and you could improve it further by utilizing the full alphanumerical keyboard. Here’s how to enable the more secure passcode setting.
- Tap on “Settings” and tap “General”
- Tap on “Passcode Lock” and enter the current passcode
- Next to “Simple Passcode” slide the ON button so that it’s off
- Enter the old simple 4 digit passcode, and then enter the new password based on the full keyboard and special characters
However, compared to the considerably easier to tap numeric keyboard, the alphanumeric keyboard is a pain to type into every time you unlock. Luckily Apple built in a simple compromise. If you enter just numbers, when unlocking the device, you would only see the number pad which makes it easier to enter your password. This still makes your iPhone many times more secure as now a hacker would not know the number of digits required for the password. Even by increasing from 4 to 5 digits would increase the number of permutations by threefold.
And lastly for those especially concerned with security, you can also set the iPhone or iPad to “self destruct” and automatically erase all data after 10 failed password attempts. This is also a fairly good anti-theft countermeasure, just make sure you don’t forget it yourself or you could accidentally wipe your device.