Category Archives: iPad Security

How to reset an ipad when the passcode is lost

I received a stack of redeployed ipads and had to figure out how to reset them to factory default state. Only problem was the ipads passcodes had been set by the previous users as required by policy and I didn’t have the passcodes handy. No problems I fired up trusty google and figured I would be through it in a minute.

Unfortunately the instructions were not as easy to find as I had hoped and so I had to click through several of the sites and experiment a bit until I finally got it to work just right. Most of the methods led to me getting the error “iTunes could not connect to the iPad named x because it is locked with a passcode. You must enter your passcode on the iPad/iPhone before it can be used with iTunes

I would have just restored from a previous backup if I had used these ipads before but since I hadn’t I had to restore the device to factory default.

Here is how I reset the ipad to factory default without having the passcode:

  1. Connect the iPad to your USB cable but make sure itunes is closed on your pc (close it if it opens).
  2. Turn off the ipad device by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button until it goes off.
  3. Start itunes on your pc.
  4. Press & hold the home and power buttons together until you see the Apple symbol come up and continue holding the home button until you see “Connect to iTunes” on the ipad screen
  5. You will get to recovery mode and then you should restore the device to factory default using your pc via itunes. I restored them to factory default since I did not have a backup and this brought the ipads back to their original state, clearing the troublesome password in the process.

Definitely not rocket science but also not clear from a lot of the higher ranking sites based on the search term I used.

Is Jailbreaking your iphone or ipad bad for security?

Jailbreaking is the terminology used to describe the situation where the native protection of an iPhone or and iPad is defeated (hacked) to allow developers access to the file system’s root directory. These files would normally be hidden and not accessible but when a device is jailbroken developer’s are then able to modify them and create new offerings outside the control of the Apple store. Now that you know what jailbreaking is you may be asking yourself why would someone want to jailbreak their device and how is it done?

Why would someone want to jailbreak and iphone or ipad?

Jailbreaking is typically done by digital rebels who like to tinker with their devices and not be bounded by the laws imposed by others. People that believe devices should be open to exploration and that once they purchase it they are free to modify and improve. Many people jailbreak to utilize advanced short cut features, use apps only available on jailbroken devices, and open up their data options beyond the restricted carrier models that are available normally (also known as unlocking vs. jailbreaking).

How is jailbreaking done?

There are numerous free utilities available including Spirit and Absinthe that allow you to jailbreak your iphone, ipad, or other iOS based device. If you decide you should choose your utility wisely because picking the wrong one could lead to an inoperable device or security problems. I have chosen not to jailbreak my device but if I did jailbreak it I would make sure follow these jailbreaking risk mitigation steps.

Jailbreaking security risk mitigation steps

  1. Perform a full system backup prior to attempting the jailbreak
  2. Choose a jailbreaking utility that is validated as compliant with your version of iOS running on your ipad or iphone to minimize the likelihood of problems
  3. Choose a jailbreaking utility that is highly rated by other users with a large install base
  4. Choose a jailbreaking utility that has a track record for supporting new iOS levels and is covered by respected
  5. Skim the documentation of your jailbreaking utility to make sure you are changing any default passwords that are created as part of the process. Many of the utilities leave a default account that could be a future security or malware thorn in your side if you do not assign a unique password when prompted.

Why jailbreaking is not a good idea for enterprise use?
#1. Jailbreaking a device violates the Apple terms of service and likely violates your Apple care warranty. Many companies rely on Apple for hardware support so violating the terms of service puts this arrangement in jeopardy.

#2. Jailbreaking a device increases the risks of device instability since Apple does not validate the effectiveness of a jailbroken device. This is more theory vs. any working examples to highlight at the moment but it is very logical that increasing complexity can lead to increase problems.

#3. Jailbreaking a device increases the likelihood of iOS upgrade issues when new updates are rolled out. Apple iOS constantly changes so you have to ask yourself how much time you have to troubleshoot and deal with problems if the jailbroken device does not tolerate a routine iOS update.

#4. Jailbreaking an iPhone or iPad can increase the probability of data security issues since you are installing unreviewed software from vendors of unknown quality. In my opinion this is the biggest reason not to do this at the corporate level there is just too much downside risk that is hard to quantify.

#5. Jailbreaking a device has been known to increase battery consumption rates. Batteries drain quick enough and adding extra app or utility overhead only increases the drain.

Jailbreaking a personal iphone or ipad is a personal decision with limited risk but the same action is a drastically different equation in a corporate setting.

iOS 6 fallrelease will be first big test to enterprise iPad tablet life cycle management

iOS 6 is coming in the Fall and the release will be the first big test to enterprise iPad tablet life cycle management processes. Until now all versions of the iPad have been compatible with new iOS releases so there has never been a security or compatibility required reason to upgrade to the latest and greatest iPad. Upgrades were based solely on the desire to have the latest and greatest gadget or due primarily to new device acquisition timing.

The announcement that iOS 6 will not be compatible with the first iPad is a game changer for enterprises that haven’t thought out their renewal strategy yet. This announcement is sure to have a drastic effect on reducing the number of first generation iPad devices inside security conscious businesses. This is really no different than when Microsoft sunsets a legacy version of Windows and announces that security and service pack upgrades will no longer be available after a certain date.

What new risks will user’s of legacy iPad devices face once iOS 6 is released?

  • Increased risk of application instability as app vendors phase out support and testing for first generation iPad devices
  • Application incompatibility for apps focusing on taking advantage of retina screen and other enhancements targeting iOS 6 capable devices
  • Increased risk of security vulnerability problems if first generation devices are not updated for important security bugs found in iOS 6.0 upgrades. I have not seen definitive word from Apple that important updates to legacy iOS will not be provided but the writing is on the wall.

It has been a good run first generation iPad but expect many of you will no longer have a place in the enterprise once iOS 6 is a reality. Corporate user’s with a first generation iPad who couldn’t justify an upgrade rejoice, you soon will have one courtesy of iOS 6.

How long until Apple iOS needs its own patch Super Tuesday?

Are you Apple fans ready for some digital heresy? Apple iOS is as vulnerable to security problems as any other software, even as vulnerable as gasp Microsoft. We have witnessed this evolve from occasional updates to regular iOS updates and news of active attacks in the wild. If there was any doubt it is official Apple devices need the same security measures as any other device.

None of this should come as surprise to anyone. One of the unpleasant realities of being the big dog in town is that you become an attractive target to hackers. Apple devices started as a consumer hit but that success has led to a clamor for equivalent devices in the enterprise. Top level executives love these devices and have adopted them in masses along with the regular rank in file company employee. Would be attackers now realize that Apple devices are the future and compromising them can lead to a treasure trove of corporate intellectual property.

So will Apple adopt the equivalent of a regular monthly patching window the equivalent of Microsoft’s infamous “Super Tuesday” patch window? I would bet big money on it and the reason is enterprise adoption. Most enterprise IT departments have not been on the forefront of bringing Apple mobile devices into the fold and are now quickly playing catch up.

Playing security catchup for them with Apple devices means:

  • Refining policies to enable Apple mobility devices
  • Educating users on security requirements on Apple devices such as patching and safe device usage tips
  • Reminding users that physical security and safe browsing security measures apply on mobile devices
  • Evaluating and implementing iOS enterprise security tools to help control devices that contain sensitive corporate information

Enterprise IT will also pressure Apple to release iOS updates at a consistent time of the month because it helps with planning and user education. It is a lot easier to schedule, implement and communicate security updates when a fixed release date is established and can be planned around. Then again Apple has never had a reputation of pandering to corporate IT departments so the call for consistent patch release dates may go unanswered.

Bold and not so bold predictions:

Within next 6 months a major security incident will involve the iOS and be responsible for a big intellectual property loss.

Within one year Apple will establish a fixed monthly patch window date

Best ipad 2 leather cases

The classic look of leather is a great way to protect your ipad 2 with style. iPad 2 cases are a great way to minimize the chances of your ipad cracking if it suffers an unexpected drop. A case can also offer stability and visibility improvements (if you choose to use the various stand options that many cases have) There are a lot of cool case options for the ipad 2 from metallic looking enclosures that fit with the Apple mystique but if this is not your style choosing leather is a great alternative. An important factor to note is that any case is going to add bulk to your ipad 2 so there is a bit of a trade-off between bulk vs. physical security.

Factors when considering a case for your iPad 2

  • How much bulk does the case add to your ipad?
  • How snug does the case fit to protect all four corners?
  • Quality of the leather the case is made of
  • Personal choice as to attractiveness of design/style
  • Cost

Here is a rundown of the highest rated ipad 2 leather cases that are well reviewed and loved by those that have made the investment to protect their device.

Bear Motion Leather Case with 3-in-1 built in stand – Elegant and conservative this highly rated leather case/stand is noted for its high quality leather and high quality snap magnets. This case is also noted for its high quality stand that greatly helps with reading on the ipad.

Yoobao 3-in-1 Leather case with built in stand – The general consensus is this is an attractive 5 star case that is a top option if you want a leather case. Yoobao is a well respected brand in the ipad case market and their raving fans demonstrate that there is a lot to like about this case.

Toblino 2 Leather Case – Famous for high quality leather and perfect fit around all four corners this ipad 2 case is a high end option for extra protection.

Targus VuScape Cover/Stand – Targus is sort of the workman horse brand of protective cases so their alternatives can always be considered. Others listed above are more attractive but these are functional and get the job done.

Snugg ipad 2 Leather Case with flip stand – Leather has a traditional worn in look to it and the general opinion from the reviews is that it works as advertised at a nice price. Not my top pick but included for the value conscience consumer seeking an affordable case.

For those of you looking for colored leather ipad 2 cases here are some options:

rooCase Premium Leather (red)

Bear Motion Case (brown)

Targus (blue/black)

If you decide to purchase a protective case I think you are making a wise decision. Your chance of having your ipad 2 suffer accidental damage like a screen crack can be significantly reduced by choosing the right case.

 

iPad, iPad 2 and iphone screen privacy – Options to protect your screen and keep busy bodies at bay

photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adamjackson/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you tired of trying constantly repositioning the angle of your ipad, ipad 2 or iphone to prevent busy bodies from seeing what you are doing? Traveling in tight quarters like a car or airplane and don’t want casual snoops eying your activities? If you answered yes to either of these questions you are in the market for screen privacy protection options.

Factors to consider when purchasing screen privacy protection

  • Privacy films help reduce unwanted glare on your device
  • Privacy films/screens will make your screen appear darker. If you prefer a very bright screen your options are more limited and you will have to sacrifice some of the privacy benefits as a result
  • If you read a lot of books you may need to turn your device brightness levels up to compensate for using the privacy screen
  • The thickness and quality of the film used in the product will be a major factor in how private your device will be to those around you.
  • 4way protection is preferred over 2way protection to provide protection at the various possible angles. 4way protection will typically be more expensive to reflect this additional privacy protection.

Note for all the products listed below, I have read through various product reviews and only included products that were noted to be of high quality and free from excessive negative reviews.

Screen privacy options for the iPad 2

GumDrop Drop Series CasesThese top rated cases are well loved and well rated by a large number of consumers. Provides protection against breakage and screen protection so is a nice all in one solution and the top choice to stylishly protect your device. Available in a lot of cool styles including:

KHOMO Privacy 4 Way Screen Protector – Purchaser’s of this protective film noted the ease of installation and the thickness of the film as overall benefits to the product.

3M Privacy Screen Protector for iPad 2 – This device is new so it does not yet have any reviews by 3M is a trusted brand known for making high quality products which makes this a top option.

Privacy Screen Cover for iPad 2 (Brookstone) – Is new so does not yet have reviews but I have always been happy with any Brookstone purchases so have no remorse in including this option on the list.

Screen privacy options for the iPad

3M Privacy Screen Protector – This device is new so it does not yet have any reviews by 3M is a trusted brand known for making high quality products which makes this a top option.

Splash 3 pack screen protector films – This 3 pack is at the very low end of the price spectrum but is well rated and is designed to be a more replaceable version of screen protection.

Screen privacy options for the iPhone

GumDrop Drop Series CasesThese top rated cases are available for the iPhone as well and come in a variety of cool styles.

Phone Devil Screen Protector -Nice well rated option that I believe is a small cut below the GumDrop line.

I will continue to keep this list up to date to reflect user experience on the newer products. I am especially eager to see how the 3M products are received since they are quite new and a leading authority in the space.

How to secure your iPad/iPad 2 at a conference or trade show

ipad security for trade shows and conferences

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schargis/

Are you responsible for delivering an important conference or trade show for your company? If so, I know you have a thousand things going through your mind to prepare for the big event but please remember to make information security part of the plan. Failing to account for security could be the difference between a successful event and a disaster. Remember to physically secure your ipads, portable electronic devices, and tv/display units because some attendees think more then the pens and stress reducing squeezy balls are fair game as giveaways.

General Information Security tips for trade shows and conferences

  • Mount/lock all electronic assets down to prevent loss or theft. Choosing one of the attractive options below will allow you to have security and an attractive setup
  • Be careful with the equipment while it is transit in your car or van. If you stop to eat or rest make sure someone has their eyes on the equipment at all times. If you are stopping for the night I advise unloading it into your hotel room.
  • Have a trusted person watch your electronic equipment while it is being moved from your car to the trade show (and vice versa). The equipment is most exposed while in transit
  • If you are capturing attendee’s contact information make sure you are treating the collected information as confidential and ensure the appropriate controls are in place. If you are capturing leads with electronic methods physical security controls recommended below should be used. If you are using business cards or other ways to capture leads also secure the box or container that you are using to collect the information.
  • Inquire with the organizers of the event about the security of the location to help ensure the equipment will be secure when you can not have your eyes on it. (likely thieves would target those without the security controls mentioned below so you will be a less attractive target overall)
  • Do not use USB/storage devices of unknown origin on your electronic devices you bring with you. This is a common way an attacker may seek to infect your systems.

iPad Physical Security Options for Trade Shows/Industrial Users

iPads are beautiful devices to show off your products and company’s electronic presence at a conference or trade show. Prospective customers love the latest technology and gravitate to displays that feature high tech displays. iPads and other portable devices should be attractively mounted as part of your display to prevent theft while at the same time retaining the beauty and usefulness of your showcase.

RAM Mounting System for iPad/iPad2 -Mounting device looks a lot like your typical tv bracket and is a top choice for securing an iPad/iPad2 in a semi-permanent  fashion when the device needs to be featured securely in your display. This high security mount/lock will give you the confidence that your device will not be lost or stolen during your next trade show or conference.

 

Arktis iPad Security Mount Lock. Another option for you to securely feature your ipad or iPad2 device for signature events. The Artkis is a bit more minimalistic then the RAM system listed above but another good option for security on the go.

General Laptop/Desktop Cable locks

Kensington is the most trusted name around for laptop/notebook/desktop cables so I recommend sticking with one of their basic offerings. Two options are either the combination or key lock depending on your preference.

Kensington Key Lock

Kensington Key Lock

 

 

 

 

 

Kensington Notebook Combination Lock

 

 

 

 

 

Other Trade Show/Conference Security Items

Mobile security mount for TVs/Displays – Top rated mobile security cart should be assembled prior to attending the trade show or conference. You can then roll it in easily and mount your tv unit once you arrive simplifying the process. This mount works for tvs/displays between 32-60 inches.

Rolling Trade show tv security mount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Security mount for TVs/Displays – If you are looking for a way to secure your tv screens/monitors for your exhibits this stand is a good choice for models between 23-42 inches.

 


 

 

 

 

 

Follow these tips to ensure your next conference or trade show is pulled off without an information security hitch.

Be sure to check out our recommended iPad and iPad 2 screen privacy recommendations


 

 

 

Physical Security Options for iPad, iPad2, and other tablets

Physical security for the iPad and iPad 2 is just as important as any technical security configurations that you have implemented for your device. Physical security for the ipad2/ipad comes in a couple flavors as described below.

Physical Security devices for iPad2/iPad

  • Bags and cases that help protect your device from damage (breaks/cracks) if dropped
  • Protective cases to help with minimal water exposure (but not full submersion)
  • Security locks that prevent your device from theft
  • Security mounts that are more permanent and used to secure your device to a fixed location for a period of time.

Home/Office Users – Protective Cases

There are a lot of different options to protect your iPad/iPad2 devices while traveling. These devices are padded to help cushion against a fall but depending how rough you are with it they may not totally protect you. Find the right case for you depending on how prone to the drops you are and your style preferences.

Boxwave Hardshell iPad/iPad2 Briefcase (Black) – Solid traditional case has positive reviews and is a low cost way to get minimize the risk of problems should you drop it on the go.

 

 

 

 

Protective Zeroshock III Case for iPad 1/2 -Sleek protective case is designed for safety of the device itself so do not expect room to store much else. For the minimalist that is looking to secure their device while it is not in use.

 

 

 

 

Hard Candy iPad/iPad2 Case -Stylish case with grooves is both highly rated and attractive to carry your iPad/iPad 2 on the go. Available in many different colors so one of the few options that lets you get away from traditional black.

 

 

 

 

Targus EcoSmart Mini Messenger Case for ipad/ipad2 – Targus is a trusted name in the travel bag industry and this model gives ample extra storage room vs. some of the other options.

 

 

 

 

Toblino 2 Premium Leather iPad 2 Case -Highest rated leather case for the ipad/ipad2 and it would be my choice to protect my device while in use. Provides snug protection for all four corners to help minimize your risk of significant damage if it drops.

 

 

 

 

Bear Motion Protective Leather Case for iPad/iPad2 -Leather case is attractive and highly rated by those who have purchased it.

 

 

 

 

BoxWave iPad2 Armor Case – This is one cool looking case so had to include it from a variety stand point. This one is going to be a hit with iPad/iPad2 device owners.

 

 

 

 

Case Logic Water Resistant iPad2/iPad Case -Protective case is highly rated to help provide some protection for user around water. Care should still be taken because submerging in water is still not advised.

 

 

 

 

Home/Small Office Users – Security Locks

iPad Lock & Security Case BundleProvides basic cable lock/case functionality to prevent your device from being easily stolen. Very similar to cable locks available for laptop pcs and used the same way.

 

 

 

 

On the Road Security for iPad/iPad2

RAM Suction Cup Twist Lock Mount for iPad/iPad2/other Tablets – This device is a convenient way to mount your device on the go for long trips to prevent it from becoming a dangerous projectile if you get into an accident and to prevent theft while you are away.


 

 

 

Options for Trade Shows/Industrial Users

For anyone that uses an iPad device at trade shows or other high traffic events that require many hands touching the device you might want to consider more sturdy mounting brackets. These devices are not practical for casual users unless mobility is not desired, but they are ideal for individuals needing additional security while showcasing their iPad/iPad2s for big events.

RAM Mounting System for iPad/iPad2 -Mounting device looks a lot like a tv bracket and is a top choice for securing an iPad/iPad2 in a semi-permanent  fashion when the device needs to remain in a fixed location.

 

 

 

 

Arktis iPad Security Mount Lock. This device would not be practical for casual users but is ideal for individuals needing additional security while showcasing their iPad/iPad2s for big events.

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out our recommended iPad and iPad 2 screen privacy recommendations

iTunes Security Applications – What’s available for the iPad2, iPad, and iPhone

Apple devices such as the iPad 2, original iPad, or iPhone are not vulnerable to traditional information security threats such as viruses and other web based malware. This statement is untrue wishful thinking and is a dangerous message that is being communicated by many forum “experts” who think just because it is not happening now it will not in the very near future.

Apple products are at the top end of the usability scale but are vulnerable to the same information security threats as any other devices. In the past Apple devices were not often targeted because the user footprint was small and not the high value targets that hackers seek. The times have changed and now Apple has the highest market cap of all technology stocks and everyone from CEOs to soccer moms are seen sporting iPads and iPhones. Apple devices are now among the hottest targets for hackers and financial criminals who seek to compromise your information and cause other all other sorts of information headaches. Click here if you are here to learn about physical security products for your iPad/iPad 2 (cases/locks/mounts/etc) to prevent theft otherwise read on for our top itunes security application recommendations.

Do you need more security protection for your iPad(1/2) or iPhone?

  • Are you a business user? – These devices could end up being a pathway into the corporate network and require the same type of endpoint protection as any other device
  • Do you perform online banking or manage other sensitive financial accounts with an apple device? Online banking increases your potential for financial loss if your credentials are compromised so additional controls are recommended.
  • Do you frequently web surf to many sites of unknown quality?
  • Do you have kids and desire advanced security or child protection features?
  • Have you opened up your device otherwise known as  “jailbreaking”?

Here is a rundown of the top security applications/utilities available in the iTunes store to protect you iPad2, iPad, or iPhone.

Mobility Management/Device Locators – Tools that help identify a lost device or simplify the management/cleanup process to minimize the risk when a device is lost or stolen.

Find My iPhone – Apple’s free app is a must use security device to help locate or remotely wipe your device should it become lost or stolen.  iOS 4.2 is required to take advantage of this functionality.

McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management (MEMM) – Tool to allow company’s to administer iPhones and iPads in an efficient and more secure manner. This is done through registering of devices and allowing rapid configuration to an allowed email/VPN system. Features Active Directory compatibility for enterprises that use that functionality. MEMM is listed as a free app in the iTunes store. Compatible with: iPhone 4, iPad, iPad2, 4th generation iPod touch

Anti Virus & Web Surfing Security Apps – Tools that provide additional security from viruses and other web based malware.

McAfee Family Protection – Designed for parents to allow their children to safely browse the Internet and avoid inappropriate content. Allows reporting of blocked URLs and easy modifications to the inappropriate content list. It works by providings a browsing sandbox that takes the place of the native Safari browser. Cost is $19.99 and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad(1/2). Requires iOS 3.0 or later

Virus Scan of Suspicious Website – Free app queries existing database archives that have labeled a site as clean or infected. This would be used prior to visiting a site but should only be considered a small mitigating control as these data sources could be quickly out of date. Otherwise an ok tool to view known problem sites before visiting them. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later

Intego’s VirusBarrier X6 – Software is installed on a Mac computer not an iPad or iPhone itself. Software scans an iPad or iPhone when it is connected to the machine with this installs and helps to validate it is free from malware. This should not be considered real time protection but is an option if a device does become infected and needs to be cleansed.

Symantec VeriSign Identity Protection – Coming Soon (recently announced but not yet available in iTunes store)

Password Managers – Tools that help securely manage passwords for the Apple device itself and more important the assortment of websites you visit.

Roboform – Award winning password manager for other platforms has an offering that is available for free download in the iTunes store. It appears it is not entirely a free app as it requires an annual fee. One other item to note is there is more negative feedback on the iTunes comments vs. what I would expect from what is a normally high quality name brand tool. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later

Splash ID Password Manager – Top rated software costs $9.99 and is my top choice of programs available to securely create lock and store sensitive information. Had the most positive reviews of any security software in the store and also offers password generation and anti-phishing url awareness options. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later

1Password Pro – Password management tool to auto fill password to all the web sites you visit in a secure manner. This type of tool is essential to avoid reusing passwords which puts all of your accounts at risk if any one of the sites you frequent is compromised. If you decide to use this tool remember to back up the data to your iTunes account if you this is your sole method of keeping track of your passwords.The Pro version costs $14.99 and is compatible with: iPhone, iPad, iPad2, iPod touch  iOS 3.1.3 or newer

SyCrypt Safe – Provides additional security around passwords/PINs and contacts using a 256 bit key based on the TwoFish algorithm. Costs $1.99 and is compatible with: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.

mPassword – Maintains passwords to provide additional security over the standard device passcode locks available in most apple devices. App cost $.99 and appears to have a relatively small user install base. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.

Mnemosyne Password Manager $.99 download that does password management based on a secret pass phrase/username.

Keeper Password & Data Vault – All user feedback suggest the free version with ads is sufficiently bothersome to avoid this application. Compatible with: iPhone and iPad iOS 3.0 or newer

This is just a sample of the security solutions available via iTunes app store and many more are on the way.

For most users I recommend the following setup:

  1. Use Splash ID Password Manager
  2. Use Find My iPhone
  3. McAfee Family Protection (optional if you desire these features)

Other useful resources:

iPad and iPad 2 screen privacy recommendations

iPad2/iPad physical security products (cases/locks/mounts/etc)

iPad2 Security Tips

iPad Security Recommendations

iPhone Security Tips



 

iPad 2 Security – Tips to keep your device secure

Learn how to secure your iPad 2Configuring security for your iPad 2 is often an afterthought since Apple products are incorrectly considered by many to be secure forever out of the box. iPads are no different than any other device from a security perspective, they require you to take some action to keep them secure. Here are my recommendations for how to secure your iPad 2 to keep it operating at an optimum level.

What security settings have changed from iPad to the iPad 2?

1. Ability to configure a more secure passcode

The previous iPad only allowed a four digit passcode and the iPad2 comes with that same setup by default. It is possible to increase your password complexity by disabling the simple passcode. To do that Go to Settings >  General > Passcode Lock> Simple Passcode and disable it. Now you can use any desired keyboard password to secure the iPad. The password also helps to encrypt your mail and attachments on the iPad, so you increasing password strength is a smart move.

2. Mobileme is now free vs. when the original iPad first came out. This makes it a must use security feature and details on how to use it can be found below.

3. Implement Safari browser security depending on your needs.

Some of these features existed in the original iPad but there have been a few tweaks for the iPad 2.

Safari > Autofill – Remove all autofill to not store any names and passwords. This may be overkill for some users but if you share your iPad 2 with many different people it is a good idea.

Safari > Fraud Warning On – enables alerting for potentially fraudulent sites (false alarms are quite common)

Safari > Turn Java Script off – Not recommended as it breaks a lot of web functionality

Safari > Block Pop Ups – You could experiment with this setting to see how disruptive it is but generally I’d only recommend doing this in the highest security setup where browsing is not a big requirement.

As with many other devices web surfing and email attachments pose the greatest threats to the continued security of your device so exercise good judgement when visiting sites or opening attachments. To check the actual destination of a link examine it by prior to clicking through.

What security settings remain the same from previous iPad security recommendations?

A majority of the security settings from the original iPad still are recommended for the iPad 2.

1. Install all iPad and installed application updates promptly when new updates are available.

When hardware or software is updated by a vendor it is often is due to security vulnerabilities so it is best to stay current with these important updates

  • Within App Store check to see if an update is available. App Store icon will show you the number of total updates available.
  • To apply all available updates at the bottom of the screen Tap updates then tap update all

2. Backup your important data and and encrypt it within iTunes. You will be glad you have a backup if your device is lost, stolen, or has a significant hardware issue. Backing up data is one of the general information security mitigation strategies to enable a less painful recovery should the need arise. To encrypt: open the iPad in iTunes, click the Summary tab, and check Encrypt iPad backup under the Options heading.

3. Choose your applications carefully – Make sure you choose applications wisely as 3rd party applications are not extensively validated by Apple and they can introduce new sources of vulnerabilities to your iPad 2 (and additional required patches that need to be installed). This is especially important if you will be using your iPad 2 to perform high risk actions such as online banking.

4. Utilize the free Mobileme account functionality.

This functionality was previously a fee based option when the original iPad was released but became a free upgrade with an Apple iOS update. Mobileme has some useful security features that could help minimize security implications if your device is lost or stolen. These features include:

  • Find my iPad which displays a message on your iPad if it is lost with hopes that a good samaritan will return it to you. Perhaps some type of reward would also be useful in this circumstance.
  • Remote Passcode lock– Allows you to remotely lock your iPad should the need arise.
  • Remote Wipe option – In the event that the worst case scenario occurs and your device is stolen you can minimize the damage by remotely wiping the data from the device that was formerly known as your iPad.

5. Set the Auto-Lock feature to automatically lock your iPad 2 after a designated amount of inactivity. You should choose your auto lock time setting based on your normal usage but 30 minutes should work fine for most people.

Go to General > Auto lock choose amount of time (I recommend 30-60 min)

6. Disable Bluetooth if you are not going to use it. If Bluetooth is active it is another potential vulnerability source so if you are not using it shut it off. This is a minor security point but always a good practice to disable unneeded services.

Go to General > Bluetooth, turn bluetooth off

7. Erase all content and settings prior to disposing of your iPad 2 – This setting may feel a long way off since you just got the device but it is important to take some basic steps to protect your data prior to disposal. I have not yet seen how effective this is considered to prevent data recovery but some protection will protect a casual snooper from recovering your data.

To erase all content settings – General > Reset > Erase all content and settings.

Be sure to follow these security tips to help keep your iPad 2 operating at the optimal level. If you enjoyed this article click here to learn about other security applications available in the iTunes store 

Click here if you would like to learn about physical security products for your iPad/iPad 2 (cases/locks/mounts/etc) to prevent theft