Better passcodes for your iPhone and iPad

How many digits or characters do you have in your iPhone passcode? If you’re like most people, the answer is four. (You are using the lock/pass code feature, aren’t you?) A four-digit passcode gives you 10,000 possible combinations. Not bad, but it could be better. Especially since the coating on the iPhone’s screen shows fingerprints, and someone trying to get in might be able to see which four of the ten digits you use in your passcode.

Apple has a way to let you use a more complex passcode, but it involves the QWERTY keyboard and can become a pain to type in. Thanks to Steven G. Sommer, we now know a way to set up a longer numeric passcode on the iPhone (and iPad). His post boasts the screen shots, but here’s the quick version:

Go into your Settings, scroll down to Passcode Lock, and enter your four-digit passcode. Turn “Simple Passcode” off and enter your old passcode. When it asks you for your new passcode, just use all numbers (as in “12345”—but if you use that one I will personally hunt you down and force you to watch Spaceballs until your eyes bleed.) You can type in as many numbers as you want. The iOS is smart enough to recognize that if your longer passcode is all numbers, it offers you the familiar numeric keypad to use when unlocking your device.

Voilá—a more secure passcode for your iPhone or iPad, and one that’s not a pain to type in on the QWERTY keyboard.

Hat tip to fellow lawyer Katie Floyd for posting about this solution.

(N.B.: It’s been quite a while since I posted anything here. This blog hasn’t been abandoned, but I have been spending time working on a new, somewhat related blog, Indiana Internet Law. It’s a blog about issues that regularly show up online: defamation, copyright infringement, etc. I hope you’ll check it out.)

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