Secure Your iPhone with strong password

Although Apple has numerous protections in place to keep your 6-digit and even the old 4-digit passcodes safe – from time delays to optional erasure – typing in a short series of numbers is more about convenience than it is about security. It’s not easy, but shoulder surfing (someone watching you as you type) or simple brute force (finding a way to try every alternative) is still easier than having a long, strong password.

If absolute security is what you desire, you’ll want to switch to a long, strong alphanumeric password.

Before we begin, figure out the password you want to use. If you need some help achieving this, there are plenty of articles on the internet that can be of assistance. The password should be long enough that it’s extremely difficult to crack using current technology, but not so long that you can’t remember it or enter it accurately when you need to.

So, what’s the process for making the switch?

  1. Unlock your iPhone and launch Settings
  2. Tap the Passcode or Touch ID & Passcode option
  3. Enter your existing 4-digit or 6-digit passcode (if you have one)
  4. Tap the Change Passcode option
  5. Re-enter your existing passcode (if you have one)
  6. Tap the Passcode Options option
  7. Tap the Custom Alphanumeric Code option
  8. Enter your new alphanumeric password
  9. Re-enter your new alphanumeric password to confirm 

In the past, we have seen people use as few as 8 characters (letters, numbers and symbols) and as many as 20 characters, but most people use somewhere in between these amounts.

If you’re going somewhere that you suspect might be a little bit risky in terms of security, you can also temporality deactivate Touch ID for unlock – this will force password entry for your iPhone. This can prevent an unscrupulous person from trying to touch your finger to the Home button whilst your asleep or otherwise immobilised in order to unlock it.

This sort of action might be less convenient, but it’s definitely more secure. Most people will hopefully not have to worry about taking all of these precautions to keep their iPhones safe against unauthorised access or even theft, but you should definitely take comfort in them being available. Keep in mind that the same steps can be taken to improve the security of your iPad – just make sure that you don’t use the same alphanumeric password.