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Secure Your iPad

by on June 17th, 2010

Do you keep information on your iPad that you may not want thieves to steal or others to see? Have you wondered about how you can secure your iPad to lower the risk of theft or unwanted viewing? Here are some security tips that will help you minimize risk to your iPad and make it less vulnerable to attack:

Use a passcode when taking the iPad out in public. The passcode blocks unauthorized users from accessing your apps and information. Keep in mind however that the passcode only provides limited protection because it can be eventually be bypassed by users with long-term physical control of the device.

Consider enabling automatic data erasing. You can configure the iPad to erase all user data on the device after 10 failed passcode attempts. This could be good or bad depending on the quality of data backups (if you have them), and how likely you are (or your children and pets are) to exceed the 10 failed passcode attempts.

Know where it is at all times. The single most effective thing you can do to protect your iPad from any security issue is to keep it in your possession. Keeping the iPad under your physical control means you have complete control over the iPad including data access.

Restrict the capabilities of the iPad. To add additional controls, the iPad allows you to restrict certain functions. You can restrict access to Safari, YouTube, the  installation of applications and explicit media content.

Use a VPN: The iPad lets you encrypt all your Wi-Fi traffic using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. Use a VPN whenever possible.

Consider using MobileMe. Apple’s MobileMe service provides several tools for syncing, backing up and securing data, including the ability to sound a tone and/or display a message on a lost iPad if you have temporarily misplaced it. If your iPad is stolen or lost, you can access MobileMe from a computer and can display the location of the device on a map in order to help find it. You can also use MobileMe to keep information in sync across multiple devices, to share information through iDisk, and, when you get desperate, to initiate a remote wipe of the device, thus removing all information from the device, including all potentially sensitive information.

Jailbreak with care. Jailbreaking is really just another term for hacking an iPad. Jailbreaking can allow you to install non-App store apps and have access beyond Apple control, but jailbreaking also removes some of the controls that help make the iPad more secure than a PC.

Share with care. Unlike a Mac or PC, you can’t create multiple user accounts on the iPad and block access to information between accounts. Everyone with access to the iPad has access to all the information on the device, including your e-mail, browser and personal information. However you can protect some of your privacy, by disabling the option to autofill browser fields, and regularly clearing browser history, cookies and cache.

Install software updates. Apple regularly updates its operating system software on all devices to keep up with the latest vulnerabilities. Make sure the iPad software is kept current by connectecting it to iTunes on a regular basis.

For a more detailed description of these security tips you can link to the Computerworld Blog site here.

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Posted under: Recommendations, Tutorials

  • Dave

    The major security problem with the iPad is that it does not have user accounts. That means that every time you let someone else try it out, they have full access to everything on your iPad. Apple really missed the boat on this one.

  • Dave

    The major security problem with the iPad is that it does not have user accounts. That means that every time you let someone else try it out, they have full access to everything on your iPad. Apple really missed the boat on this one.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    I agree. User accounts would be very useful, since the iPad gets shared a lot. I wouldn't want people rummaging through my To Do lists, emails, etc.

  • Xaroc

    This is a very useful list. I do however do most of this except the passcode. I jailbreak my iPhone, but not my iPad, as I feel the iPad offers all I need already. Also as a personal rule with any electronics, if your not direct family, you don't touch.
    My security method is the back of my hand lol.

  • Xaroc

    or that Secret plan.PDF on destroying that neighbor no one likes lol jk

  • Justin

    Speaking of using a VPN,

    Can anyone suggest a good VPN for accessing NBC, Pandora, Netfllix, and (eventually hopefully HULU) for an iPad user in Canada? I'm notoriously tech un-savvy so not really sure what i'm looking at when I look at features listed on the websites for various VPN services.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary
  • Justin

    on witopias site it says the personal vpn pptp that is recommended in that link is blocked or throttled in canada?

  • http://www.staypad.com GaryD214

    If your iPad is sometimes left alone or is vulnerable to theft, check out the new STAYPad security enclosure for the iPad.

    All metal construction, you can bolt or cable the STAYPad to a table.

    Silly name.

    http://www.staypad.com

    The STAYPad can also be used to quickly create an iPad kiosk system.

  • http://twitter.com/Xaroc  Xaroc

    Your right, thats perfect for a kiosk setting.
    But looking like that who would want to steal it?

    lol cool find though ^_~