Securing Your iOS Device

This page represents Step One (of three)
from Mobile Security for iOS Devices.




Secure your iOS device by performing all of the following procedures:

NOTE:  Only the first few sections include screenshots, which may not match your iOS screen. Because procedures and screens vary depending on the iOS version and system updates, see your iOS device manufacturer’s instructions as needed


Secure Your Device Physically

To help prevent loss and theft:

  1. Engrave your name and email on the device.  See the WOLF GUARD ID PROGRAM for free engraving services from campus police.
  2. Insert a business card or any form of contact information into the phone’s case.
  3. Keep devices hidden in motor vehicles.
  4. Never leave your device unattended in a non-secure location.

Document the Serial Number

Find the serial number of your device and document it in a safe and secure place.

NOTE: The IMEI (aka, International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is a unique set of 15 digits serving as each mobile device’s serial number.

Tip — If your iOS device has a settings-search capability or Help (?), search for the most unique and relevant keywords as a shortcut for each procedure.

To find the serial number of your device

Choose one or more of the following ways to perform this procedure:

See the video.

Search the Settings:  IMEI, Serial Number

See the following procedure to proceed from Settings through the final screen.

Settings > General > About > IMEI

  1. Find the Settings icon and tap it.
  2. General > About
  3. IMEI information
  4. Document the Serial Number and the IMEI number in a safe and secure place.

Lock Your Screen

If you leave your device unattended, anyone can access your data unless you lock it.

To lock your screen

Choose one or more of the following ways to perform this procedure:

See the video.

Search the Settings: Passcode, Face ID, Touch ID

Navigate: See the following procedure to proceed from Settings through the final screen. 

iPhone X and later: Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Turn Passcode On

  1. Find the Settings icon and tap it.
  2. Settings > Face ID & Passcode
  3. Turn Passcode On

 

Other models: Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Turn Passcode On

  1. Find the Settings icon and tap it.
  2. Settings > Touch ID & Passcode
  3. Turn Passcode On

Recommendations for Passcode

  • Change this PIN at least once a year. 
  • Never enable Visible Passwords.
  • Do not use Face ID or Touch ID  as your only means of security.
  • For minimum security, a 6-digit PIN is required by default. Instead, use a longer PIN or an alphanumeric passcode.


Failed Passcode Protection

Now that your phone is locked with a secure passcode known only to you, enable failed passcode protection. This will protect your iOS device if someone attempts to unlock your phone.

CAUTION:  If anyone enters your passcode incorrectly ten consecutive times while this option is enabled, all of the data on your iOS device will be erased immediately. This protects your private information and means you will want to back up your data frequently — possibly as often as every day.

To enable Failed Passcode Protection

Choose one or more of the following ways to perform this procedure:

See the video.

Search the Settings:  Passcode, Face ID, Touch ID

Navigate:  Settings > Face ID (Touch ID) & Passcode > Erase Data 


Set the Screen Lock Timeout

To set timeout periods

  • Set how long it takes for your screen to turn off and lock:

See the video.

Search the Settings:  Display, Auto-Lock

Navigate:  Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-Lock 

 

  • Set how long it takes for the lockscreen to engage after powering off the device: 

See the video.

Search the Settings:  Require Passcode, Face ID, Touch ID

Navigate:  Settings > Face ID (Touch ID) & Passcode > Require Passcode

NOTE:  With Face ID or Touch ID enabled, this setting is set to immediately, and is not customizable. 


Update Apps Automatically

Choose one or more of the following ways to perform this procedure: 

See the video.

Search the Settings: App Store, iTunes

Navigate:  Settings > iTunes & App Store > Automatic Updates > Toggle on Automatic Updates  


Install System Updates

Choose one or more of the following ways to perform this procedure: 

See the video.

Search the Settings: App Store, iTunes

Navigate:  Settings > General > Software Update > Toggle on Software Updates


Find My iPhone/iPad

Find My iPhone / Find My iPad will locate, ring, and remotely erase your device as long as it has data connectivity.

To turn on Find My iPhone / Find My iPad

Choose one or more of the following ways to perform this procedure:

See the video.

Search the Settings:  Find My iPhone, Find My iPad, iCloud

Navigate:  Settings > (Your Name) > iCloud > Find My iPhone

 

NOTE:  If you have any questions or concerns about this procedure, ask your IT group for assistance.


Lost or Stolen

If you’re unable to find your device and you are concerned your phone might not be recoverable: 
NCSU police badge icon

  1. Report loss or theft of your mobile device (regardless of ownership) to your department and wireless carrier (if applicable).
  2. Report lost or theft of NC State property immediately to Campus Police and complete/submit the State Property Incident Report.
  3. Immediately change any passwords saved on the device unless they are secured in a password manager.

Next Step

After completing all procedures from this page, continue with Securing Your iOS Data or return to Mobile Security for iOS Devices.