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Securing Your iPad

iPads are even more portable than laptops. Therefore, we recommend that you configure your iPad in the following manner to ensure the security of the data on the iPad in the event it is lost or stolen. These steps will: enable a passcode; automatically lock your iPad after a period of inactivity; and automatically erase all data if a wrong passcode is entered multiple times.

  1. Make sure to keep your iPad software up-to-date. To do this, hook your iPad to your computer. Go into iTunes on your computer. Click the name of your iPad which is shown in the list of devices in the left hand navigation bar of the iTunes window. Make sure that Summary is selected at the top of the iTunes window. In the Version box which appears in the middle of the screen, click Check for Updates and follow the directions as they appear on the screen.
  2. Configure your iPad to require a password to access. To do this, touch Settings from the main window, then General in the left column of the window that appears. Touch Passcode Lock in the right hand column. Make sure Simple Passcode is set to Off. Touch Turn Passcode On. In the Set Passcode window that appears, enter what you want for a passcode. It will appear as bullets as you enter it so that someone looking over your shoulder cannot see what you’re typing. The passcode must be at least 8 characters long, with one of the first 6 characters being a non-alphanumeric character (e.g. punctuation). Touch Next. Enter the passcode again when prompted. Touch Done. Next, touch Require Passcode then touch After 15 minutes. Finally, make sure Erase Data is On. With this last setting on, all data on your iPad will automatically be erased if an incorrect passcode is entered ten times in a row.
  3. Configure your iPad to automatically lock after a period of non-use and require your passcode to access it. To do this, on your iPad touch Settings from the main window, then General in the left column of the window that appears. Touch Auto-Lock in the right hand column then touch the number of minutes of non-activity after which the screen will automatically lock. This should be set to 5 or 2 minutes.

Once your iPad has been configured as described above, you will be prompted to enter a passcode after 15 minutes of inactivity or when you first turn on your ipad. If you enter your password 5 times incorrectly, your iPad will be disabled for 1 minute; after the 6th failure, it is disabled for 5 minutes; after the 7th failure, it is disabled for 15 minutes; after the 8th failure, it is disabled for 60 minutes; after the 9th failure, it is disabled for 60 minutes; and after the 10th failure, your iPad is disabled and must be restored. This timing is designed to protect you against accidental erasure.

Copying Data from Your iPad to Your Computer

If you have data on your iPad that you won’t be able to easily get again. We recommend that you back it up to your computer. To do this, hook your iPad to your computer. Go into iTunes on your computer. Control+click (Macintosh) or right click (Windows) on the name of your iPad which is shown in the list of devices in the left hand navigation bar of the iTunes window. Select Backup from the menu that appears.

If you do back up the data on your iPad to your computer, you need to encrypt that backup on your computer so that if your computer is stolen, the confidential data that was on your iPad is not also compromised. To do this, hook your iPad to your computer. Go into iTunes on your computer. Click the name of your iPad which is shown in the list of devices in the left hand navigation bar of the iTunes window. Make sure that Summary is selected at the top of the iTunes window. In the Options box which appears at the bottom of the screen, click Encrypt iPad Backup and set a password for this backup. This password must be at least 8 characters long, with one of the first 6 characters being a non-alphanumeric character (e.g. punctuation).

Accessing Your iPad When You’ve Forgotten Your Passcode

If you forget your password, you’ll need to restore your iPad from iTunes. This will reset it to the factory default settings, with no passcode, and no data. To do this, hook your iPad to your computer. Go into iTunes on your computer. Click the name of your iPad which is shown in the list of devices in the left hand navigation bar of the iTunes window. Make sure that Summary is selected at the top of the iTunes window. In the Version box which appears in the middle of the screen, click Restore. After you perform the restore, you will be prompted to restore your data from a backup via iTunes – assuming you had made a backup.

Last Updated: 5/26/11