Setting a passcode is a simple and essential step to protecting the security of an iOS device. In this video, learn how to set up a passcode and adjust some lesser-known options.
- [Instructor] In this movie I want to talk about the number one most simple and most important thing that you should do to protect your iOS device and that is to use a passcode. Now my phone is currently unlocked, but if I hit the sleep wake button to put it to sleep, now I'm just on the black screen. I don't currently have the touch ID fingerprint sensor set up, so if I click on the home button now it wakes up the phone and if I hit the home button a second time it prompts me for my passcode. So I'll put my passcode in, the phone wakes up, and I can start working with it.
So I need to put the passcode in whenever I use this iPhone, and I hope this is old information for you. When you first set up your iPhone or iPad, it prompted you to create a passcode which is a good thing. Now it is possible to skip the passcode creation when you set up your iPhone or iPad for the first time but that's really dangerous. If you don't use a passcode, anybody can pick up your phone and do whatever they want with it, and that defeats the purpose of our security goals. So I want to take a look at some settings so we can see not only how to set up a passcode, but check out some interesting settings related to the passcode as well.
So naturally I'll go into settings. I want to scroll through here and find the option for touch ID and passcode. On an iPhone 10, this will be labeled face ID and passcode and on some older devices it simply says passcode. When you touch on that, it will require your current password before you can make any changes, so I'll put in my passcode and now I'm on this screen. This is where you would go to change your passcode or set up a passcode if you don't already have one set up. Now even if you already have a passcode set up, there are some interesting settings that you might want to see if you change your passcode or turn the passcode off and set it up again.
So let's go through the process of turning off the passcode and then we can see how to set up a passcode from scratch and I want you to just watch me do this, so you can see what the options are. So first I'm going to turn passcode off. I'll just hit that button. I'm going to confirm that's what I want to do and naturally it asks me to put in my current passcode and now the passcode is turned off. My phone is completely unlocked, it's unprotected. So if I put it into the sleep mode by hitting the sleep wake button and then I wake it up by hitting the home button, I can hit the home button a second time and it immediately opens up.
So from a security perspective, this is a very bad place to be. All right so let's go through the process of setting up a passcode if you do not currently have one. So naturally I'll hit turn passcode on. It prompts me to put in the passcode that I want to use and by default it prompts you to use a six digit number, but we can hit this button that says passcode options and we can set it to some other setting. Now a four digit code is the most convenient but it's a bit less secure.
It's easier for somebody to guess or look over your shoulder when you input a four digit code. The default setting, the six digit code is much more secure but it takes a little bit more effort to unlock. That's probably the best balance between convenience and security for most people so that's why it's the default. But for even more security, you can set a custom numeric or alpha numeric code. With a custom alpha numeric code, you can set a passcode of any length you want using a combination of numbers and letters.
That would be so much more secure but really inconvenient to type in every time you go to use your phone. Now fortunately we can add some convenience back using the touch ID or face ID setting on some devices and we'll see how that works in another movie, but for now let's just focus specifically on the passcode. I want to stick with the default six digit passcode option, so I'm going to hit cancel here, and I'll put in the passcode that I want to use. So I'm just going to one, two, three, four, five, six which is a terrible choice for passcode.
It would be way too easy for somebody to guess it and in fact the iPhone gives me a warning here and tells me it's a bad idea to use that passcode, but I'm just doing this for demonstration purposes, so I'll hit use anyway. Now it prompts me to put in my passcode for the second time just to confirm and now we're in good shape. Now my phone is set up again protected by a passcode. Now one thing to make things more convenient is by changing when the passcode is required just by taping this option require passcode.
Now this is currently set to immediately so if I put this device to sleep then wake it up immediately it will require the passcode, but you can also choose to make it wait one minute, five minutes, 15 minutes, or more before requiring the passcode. That would be much more convenient but less secure, so I'm going to leave it on the default, I'm going to hit the back button in the top left, and there's one last thing I want to look at. I'm going to scroll all the way down and look at this option labeled erase data, and this is a pretty extreme option.
This will set the device to erase all of your data if somebody tries and fails to unlock it 10 times. If somebody thinks they can guess your password, this can be a useful deterrent, but if you set this up and forget your own passcode and try to guess it, you've got a limit of 10 tries to figure it out. This setting is not for everybody, but it's there if you need it. So these are our options for setting up or changing the passcode and really I just can't stress this enough you absolutely must have a passcode lock on your iPhone or iPad to ensure any level of security.
Think of the passcode as the master key to your device. An iOS device with a secure passcode is nearly impenetrable. On the other hand, if the passcode is comprised, if somebody gets your passcode nearly everything on that iOS device can be accessed including passwords to online accounts used on that device. Not having a passcode as far as I'm concerned is just not a viable option, and you should make sure to use the techniques that we've explored before to protect that passcode.
- Enabling locks on your device
- Creating strong passwords
- Protecting passwords
- Configuring Touch ID and Face ID
- Locating and disabling a lost device
- Adjusting your privacy settings
- Avoiding scams