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Top Ten Tips for Protecting Your iPad

The Apple iPad is a light mobile device that has the potential to change the way individuals produce and consume information. However, improper physical handling and incorrect configuration of an iPad could expose UNL, client, and personal information to unauthorized individuals. Thus it is prudent for iPad users to physically protect and properly configure the iPad. The following are guidelines you should follow to protect an iPad iOS 4 and the information on it:




Tip 1:

Read UNL’s recommended security practices

at http://security.unl.edu/ for guidance on practicing safe computing.  This site contains links to UNL’s computer use policies; guidelines for safe computing; summaries of the latest security risks; and security points of contact.


Tip 2:

Protect your iPad from physical theft.
  • Always watch your iPad. Do not leave your iPad unattended.
  • Record the iPad model and serial number and retain them in a place you can access. You may need this information if the iPad is stolen. This information can be found at Settings --> About.
  • When traveling on a plane: do not pack your iPad in your luggage; store the iPad in your carry-on, keeping it in your possession.

Tip 3:

Protect access to the iPad by using a passcode and Auto-Lock.
  • Using a passcode (i.e., password) will prevent unauthorized individuals from using your iPad and viewing your information.
    • To configure the passcode, go to Settings --> General --> Passcode Lock.
  • If you use a University-owned iPad or are using your personally-owned iPad to access University information systems, you must comply with University of Nebraska password policy, located at https://csn.nebraska.edu/images/docs/security/awareness/password_policy.pdf and UNL Group Policy standards, which follows this policy. This policy necessitates a complex password of at least eight characters. To meet these requirements:
    • Click Turn Passcode On
    • Set Simple Passcode to OFF. You will see the iPad keyboard and data entry field. Enter a password that contains at least eight, complex characters.
    • Remember your password, since you will need to type it whenever you turn on the iPad or change its settings.
  • You should still secure your personally-owned iPad even if you will not use it to access University information. The following are instructions for setting a simple passcode (i.e., four-digit passcode) on your personally-owned iPad:
    • Set Simple Passcode to ON
    • Click Turn Passcode On. You will see a four-digit keypad. Type the four digits you wish to use.
    • Remember your passcode, since you will need to type it whenever you turn on the iPad or change its settings.
  • Using Auto-Lock will prevent unauthorized users from accessing your iPad if it is left unattended after a specific time period.
    • To configure Auto-Lock, go to:Settings --> General --> Auto-Lock.
    • Select a setting based on the risk of your operating environment. The greater the risk of unauthorized access, the lower the time you should set Auto-Lock to activate.

Tip 4:

Protect your iPad operating system software and apps.

To protect your iPad and information, you should have the latest version of operating system and apps. In addition, to minimize vulnerabilities, you should only install apps you need and disable any services that are not needed.

  • To identify the operating system version, go to:
    • Settings --> General --> About. You will see the operating system version to the right of Version.
  • To update the iPad operating system software:
    • Connect iPad to computer with iTunes. To complete connection, you will need to enter your iPad passcode or password.
    • Once iTunes places the iPad icon on the left pane, click Check for Update in the main pane or top menu bar, to obtain the latest software version from Apple.
  • To update apps you downloaded:
    • Go to iPad App Store --> Updates (on bottom of screen). iPad will show apps which need to be updated.
    • To obtain updates for all your apps, click Update All on top of screen. You will have to enter your Apple ID and password to update.
  • To delete apps from the iPad:
    • Press and hold the apps icon until all the icons start to wiggle.
    • Tap the X in the upper-left corner of the app you want to delete.
    • You will see a box that states deleting this app will also delete the data. Tap the Delete button.
    • To stop the other icons from wiggling, press the Home button.
  • To permanently delete apps from the iPad and iTunes:
    • Connect the iPad to the computer with iTunes.
    • Click the Apps icon in the Library section of the left pane. In the main pane, you will see the apps you installed on the iPad.
    • Click the app you wish to delete. Right click the app and select Delete. You can also select Edit --> Delete on the top menu.
    • You will see a dialog box that asks if you wish to remove the app from the iTunes library. Click Remove and then click Move to Recycle Bin. The app will be removed the next time you sync iTunes with the iPad.
  • Disable Bluetooth if you do not intend to use it. To disable, go to Settings --> General --> Bluetooth. Select OFF.


Tip 5:

Backup iPad settings, app application data, Notes, and contacts.
  • A backup is essential if the iPad is lost, stolen or damaged. You can also encrypt the backup to ensure confidentiality of the backup information. To backup the information do the following:
    • Connect and sync the iPad with iTunes.
    • ITunes will create a backup when you sync the iPad with iTunes.
  • You can also backup the iPad by:
    • Selecting the device in the left pane of iTunes
    • Right-click the iPad icon and select Back Up.
  • To make an encrypted copy of the backup:
    • Connect the iPad to iTunes.
    • In the Summary tab in the main pane, check Encrypt iPad backup. You will be asked to enter a password to protect the iPad backup file.
    • Click Sync.

Tip 6:

Protect information on the iPad.
  • The iPad has a feature that lets you view your pictures, even if the iPad is locked, by clicking the flower pot. To prevent someone from viewing your pictures when the iPad is locked, turn off Picture Frame.
    • Go to Settings --> General --> Passcode Lock. Set Picture Frame to OFF.
    • The flower pot icon will no longer be visible when you turn the iPad on.
  • If your iPad is stolen, you can configure it to erase all information on the device.
    • Go to Settings --> General --> Passcode Lock. Set Erase Data to ON.
    • You will then see a window that states "All data on this iPad will be erased after 10 failed passcode attempts." Click Enable.
  • Note: The iPad provides 256-bit hardware encryption for data stored on the device. That is preferable!

Tip 7:

Protect your privacy on the iPad.

If you share the iPad with others and you do not want them to access your information or view what you have been viewing, do the following:

  • To protect your browsing patterns and history, go to Settings --> Safari.
    • To clear your browsing history, click Clear History.
    • To clear existing cookies in the iPad, click Clear Cookies.
    • To clear your Internet cache, click Clear Cache.
  • To ensure individuals do not view the last Internet pages you viewed:
    • Go to Safari --> New Page icon on the top Safari navigation bar. You will then see the last pages you viewed. To delete them, click the X in the upper left corner of the Web pages.
    • You can also delete your Web browsing history by going to Safari --> Bookmarks --> History icon. Click Clear History.
  • To ensure individuals do not see YouTube videos you watched, go to YouTube --> History icon on the bottom navigation bar. Click Clear on the top navigation bar.
  • To guard against Safari filling Web pages with your user ID and password and contact information:
    • Go to Settings --> Safari --> AutoFill. Select OFF for Names and Passwords and Use Contact Info.
    • In addition, always log out of Webmail sites when you are done viewing them.
  • Since the Mail app retains your email password, anyone who accesses the iPad can read your email. To keep individuals from reading your email, use Web-based email interface. Be sure to log out of the account after you are done accessing your email account.

Tip 8:

Protect yourself and the iPad from Internet threats.
  • To enable fraud warnings, go to Settings --> Safari --> Security --> Fraud Warning. Click ON. When turned on, the iPad will display an alert if a site you are visiting could steal your account information.
  • To block pop-ups, go to Settings --> Safari --> Block Pop-ups. Click ON.

Tip 9:

Be aware of the people around you.

Since you may not want the people next to you to view your information, be careful when typing your iPad passcode/password, email user IDs and passwords, or when viewing UNL and third party information. You do not want anyone to steal your accesses or information.

Tip 10:

Know to whom and how to report a lost or stolen iPad.

If your University-owned iPad is lost or stolen, report it immediately to your supervisor and UNL Campus Police. In addition, inform them if the lost or stolen machine--whether University-owned or personally-owned --contains, or is configured to access, sensitive information.

Service & apps for protecting your Apple iPad
You can increase the security of your iPad and the information on it by using some services and iPad apps.  You will have to pay for the one service we have summarized -- Find My iPad.  However, the Apple Apps Store has an ever growing number of free and low cost apps you can install.  The following summarizes the Find My iPad service and recommended security apps.  If you can recommend any other security apps, please inform UNL  IS Security at security@unl.edu.

Find My iPad  (Cost = Free) 

  • This Apple service lets you:
    • Find your missing iPad, via GPS, by displaying the iPad location on a Web-based map.
    • Display a message on the iPad screen that asks the finder to return the iPad.
    • Remotely lock the iPad in the unlikely event you did not set a passcode.
    • Remotely wipe the iPad contents and resetting it to its original factory settings.
    • This service requires you to activate the device on iCloud.  http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/find-my-ipad.html


App 1:
Find My iPhone  (Cost = Free)

  • This app helps you locate your registered iPad on a computer-displayed map by accessing www.me.com via your MobileMe or Apple ID.
  • It also enables you to send a message that will be displayed on the iPad screen; lock the device; and erase all content on the iPad.


App 2:
Cisco AnyConnect  (Cost = Free)

  • If you need to access your UNL email or University assets, you should access the information via a secure network connection, or virtual private network (VPN).  This app facilitates VPN connectivity.  
  • To configure this app, do the following:
    • Open app after installing it.
    • Click Add VPN Connection.
    • Type a general description (e.g., NU VPN) into Description.
    • Type vpn.nebraska.edu in Server Address. 
    • Select ON for Network Roaming.  Click Save.
    • Select ON for AnyConnect VPN.  You will then see the Authentication window.
    • For Group, select UNL-My.UNL.
    • Type your UNL LDAP Username and Password.  Click Connect.
    • If you see a Banner indicating you have access to UWide resources but no access to department-wide resources, click Accept.  You may also contact the listed unl.edu account to set up a department group.
    • You now have established a VPN connection to UNL.  You can tell if you are using a VPN tunnel if you see VPN on the top of the iPad.


App 3:
McAfee Global Threat Intelligence Mobile  (Cost = Free)

  • This app provides summary information on computer vulnerabilities and recommended protection.  It also provides security podcasts and blogs.
  • IT professionals with security administration responsibilities will find this information useful.


App 4:
Sophos Security Threat Monitor (Cost = Free)

  • This app provides summary information on latest malware threats.  It also provides a link to the Website of UNL’s primary antivirus vendor, Sophos.


As of January 6, 2011
Tips for Protecting Your Apple iPad