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If you keep personal information on your iOS device, or if you just want to make sure that no one will be able to use your device just by picking it up or if it has been lost or stolen, it's a good idea to use the passcode feature found in Settings > General > Passcode Lock. If you're using an iPhone 5S, this will read passcode and fingerprint, since the 5S has a built-in fingerprint sensor. We looked at how to set that up back in the first chapter. Okay, let's look at the settings here, starting with Turn Passcode On. When I tap that option, I'm prompted to enter a four digit passcode.
This is a four digit passcode of your choosing. Just tap one in, and then tap it again to confirm that you typed it correctly. Now at this point it's important to stress that you have turned Passcode on. Meaning that if you were to lock your screen right now, and then go to wake it up again. You're going to be prompted to enter your passcode before you can access your phone, so it's very, very, very important that you don't forget what this code is. If you forget your passcode, the only way to access the device again is to restore it in iTunes, which involves completely wiping the device and restoring it to factory settings. Now, if you regularly sync your device, you have a backup copy of mostly everything on it.
But having to restore your entire device is still pretty inconvenient and time-consuming, so avoid having to restore your device by remembering your passcode. Once you have passcode lock on, you need to enter your passcode to reaccess the passcode lock settings. So back here from the general settings, when I go back into passcode lock, notice it asked me for that code. All right, working our way down here, the next option is Change Passcode. So, if you're not sure your current passcode is secure, maybe your friend or coworker guessed it, you can come in here to change it. First, type your old passcode, and then enter a new one.
And confirm it. That dumps you back into the Passcode Lock settings and your new passcode is now in effect. Again, don't forget it. Next we can determine how soon after locking your device you want it to require passcode. The default is immediately, and we just saw that once I locked my screen, I had to enter my passcode right away when I tried to wake it up again, but you can choose 1, 5, or 15 minutes, or even 1 or 4 hours. Obviously, shorter times are more secure. Now also, if you set up a Microsoft Exchange Server account on your site, you'll only have the 1, 5, 15 minute and 1 hour options available. If you wanted to choose the 4 hour option, you'll have to disable the exchange account on your device.
So for this example I'll choose one minute. That way if I put my iPhone to sleep and then change my mind I can just wake it up immediately without having to enter the passcode again. Notice I can now put the phone to sleep and then wake it up without having to enter the passcode. I'm going to have to enter my pass code to go back into Passcode Settings. The next option here is Simple Passcode, and that's on by default. A Simple Passcode is the four digit number system we've been using so far, but if you're really serious about keeping your device secure, you might want to consider a more secure password. So you can slide Simple Passcode to off, then enter your old passcode, and now you're free to enter an alphanumeric passcode, meaning you're not just limited to four numbers.
You can now have a passcode with letters, numbers, and even special characters. I'm just going to cancel this for now and leave my Simple Passcode on. Now, if you have a device with a built-in fingerprint sensor, like the iPhone 5S, the next option will be fingerprints, which is where you can teach your device your fingerprints to unlock it. Again we looked at this feature back in Chapter One, so be sure to watch that movie if you want to see how the Touch ID system works. The next two options here are Voice Dial and if you have a Siri capable device, Siri. By default you can use the iPhone Voice Dialing or Siri commands even when the screen is asleep and locked.
So technically even if your screen is passcode protected someone who knew about voice dialing could pick it up, hold the home button to invoke voice dialing and make a call with your phone. In the case of Siri-enabled devices, they can even do more since Siri can do things like look up information, read and send text messages, and access your calendar. If you want to prevent that from happening, turn Voice Dial and/or Siri off. But that does mean you'll have to unlock your phone in order to use Siri or Voice Dial. Similarly, Passbook and reply with message also function when your device is locked. If you don't want to have access to those services on your locked phone, you can just shut them off here.
That will require you to unlock your phone in order to use them. And in case you can't remember what those are, Passbook is the app where you can store things like airline tickets, hotel cards, gift cards and so on. And Reply With Message is the ability to reply to an incoming phone call with a text message. Now this last option here is the really serious one. If your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch is stolen and you have it passcode protected, and you have Erase Data turned on, your device will automatically erase itself if someone unsuccessfully tries to unlock your phone ten times. Now some people have asked well, what if my kid picks up my phone and starts playing with it.
If he starts typing numbers on the passcode he could erase my phone. But there are actually significant safeguards built-in to prevent this sort of thing. After six unsuccessful attempts at entering the passcode you have to wait one minute before the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch will let you try again. After that, the waiting period increases each time to five minutes, 15 minutes, one hour, and then four hours. So you have to be deliberately trying to break into the device before you hit ten attempts and the phone is erased. There's very little chance of that happening accidentally. But if the feature still makes you nervous, you can always leave Erase Data off.
Lastly, if you don't think you need the passcode protection and want to turn if off, just scroll back up to the top of settings, and tap, Turn Passcode Off. Notice you get this warning screen, telling you that with it turned off, your safe passwords, credit cards, and important data can be viewed and used by anyone who has access to your iPhone. If you want to take that chance, just tap turn off. You have to enter your passcode one more time. Now, if you've enabled Safari AutoFill, which includes the ability to remember your website passwords and credit card information if you've added it, you get the option to turn that off as well. I'll just choose keep using Safari AutoFill for now, but again if you're worried about security after turn off passcode, you might want to consider turning that off and deleting the passwords.
And once you've done that, your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch will be un-passcode protected. So, those are the passcode settings in iOS 7.
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