You probably use your iPad about as much or more than your Laptop or MacBook, but is it as secure as your laptop, or have you left it wide open without even a simple passcode to protect it?
If you leave your iPad in a cab or in an airport, how can you be sure that whomever finds it won't be able to harvest the huge treasure trove of information that you may have left on it unprotected?
Let's take a look at some tips for turning your iPad into a security-hardened mobile information fortress:
Tip #1 - Create a Strong Passcode and Encrypt Your Data
One of the first steps to securing your iPad is creating a passcode to lock it so that if someone steals it that they won't be able to access your data. Setting a passcode also turns on data encryption. Additionally, you should choose the strong passcode option because the 4-digit numeric password is way too simple to be effective. Check out our article on How to Strengthen Your iOS Passcode for full instructions.
Tip #2 - Lojack Your iPad
Another feature that you should enable out of the box is the Find My iPad app. Find My iPad allows your iPad to relay its location should it become lost or stolen. You must have location services enabled in order for your iPad to know its location and your iPad must be connected to a Wireless network for it to communicate with Apple's services which will hopefully tell you where it is.
Tip #3 - Turn on Anti-Tamper Self Destruct Mode (Remote Wipe)
If you have sensitive data on your iPad and you travel a lot you may want to consider turning on what I like to call the iPad's Self-Destruct mode. This setting will automatically wipe all the data on your iPad should the wrong passcode be entered more than a set number of times. For full details on how to turn this feature on, check out our article on Enabling the iPad's Data Wipe on Failed Passcode setting (I still think that self-destruct mode sounds cooler).
Tip #4 - Prevent Disabling of Find My iPad
The first thing a savvy iPad thief would do after they stole your iPad would be to turn off the Find My iPad app and disable location services. You can prevent them from doing this by turning on restrictions and changing a few settings which are discussed in our article on How to Prevent Thieves From Disabling Find My iPad.
Tip #5 - Tell Siri to Never Talk to Strangers
While the novelty of Siri may have worn off for many, chances are, you have the Siri personal assistant enabled and you may be allowing Siri to bypass your lock screen security for certain functions. In certain situations this might be a security risk. Check out our article on How to Secure Your Siri Assistant so Siri won't allow strangers to access your contacts and other information on your iPad.
Tip #6 - Use a Personal VPN to Protect Your Network Traffic
Your iPad has the capability to connect to and use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs provide a wall of encryption that helps protect your network traffic from hackers and eavesdroppers. VPN's used to be a luxury that was only associated with large corporations who provided secure VPN access for their employees to access their corporate networks. Now, with the advent of cheap personal VPN services such as WiTopia and StrongVPN, the average Joe can afford the added security provided by a VPN. Read our article on Why You Need a Personal VPN for more details and check out this article on how to configure your iPad to connect to a VPN.