iOS 9 security update means more passcode unlocks

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There has to be a safer solution.
It's not just in your head.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you’ve found yourself entering your passcode more frequently since you updated to iOS 9 — even though you have Touch ID enabled — it’s thanks to Apple’s latest security measures.

In an update to its Security Guide, published this month, the company confirms that iOS 9 will make you enter your passcode if you haven’t used your iPhone or iPad in at least eight hours.

World’s longest iPhone passcode video goes viral

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Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac
This user takes iPhone security to the next level.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

There’s being careful about iPhone security and then there’s…. this.

Over the weekend, Japanese Twitter user yossy1999116 posted a video clip shot on the subway, showing a user with an historically long and complex passcode unlocking their iPhone. If you’ve ever wanted an advert for how Touch ID can improve your life, this is almost certainly it.

Draw a picture for your passcode with this jailbreak tweak

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Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 7.48.28 AM

You unlock your iPhone by either having it read your fingerprint or typing in a simple passcode. On Android, you unlock your device by drawing a pattern between a grid of dots.

But imagine being able to unlock your iPhone with art. Imagine painting a smiley face, or scrawling your signature, or heck, drawing a pornographic picture on your iPhone display and having it magically spring to life.

That’s just what a new jailbreak tweak lets you do.

Make A More Secure Passcode On Your iPhone or iPad [iOS Tips]

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Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac
photo - Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

Sure, a simple passcode with four numbers will keep most casual folks out of your iPhone, but if you want it to be really secure, you should think about using an alphanumeric password, like you would on a website or your Mac.

The idea here is simple, the more characters you have (and the less obvious your password is), the better your security. Balancing a large enough number of characters with ease of recall can still be tricky, but I’d bet you’ve got it fairly worked out on the websites you visit — why not use that same acumen on your iOS devices?

Here’s how to turn off the simple passcode in iOS, and set up a more secure one.

Keep Other People From Using Siri In Your iPhone’s Lock Screen [iOS Tips]

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SiriOffLockScreen

Did you know you could use Siri, Apple’s personal voice assistant, without unlocking your iPhone? Well, you can. Hold the Home button for the few seconds it takes for Siri’s purple microphone icon to show up, and you can ask it to do anything you like, like making a phone call, composing a Tweet, or sending an iMessage. This is a great feature for the person who owns the iPhone, but what about someone who finds your iPhone, or that one friend who can’t keep from messing with your stuff?

Luckily, you can turn this “feature” off, thereby preventing this from happening. Here’s how.

Disable iPad Picture Frame Mode For Better Photo Security [iOS Tips]

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Passcode Slideshow Options

Reader James G writes,

I use the iPad’s locking feature requiring a 4-digit pin. The problem I was worried about is that the default setting has a button allowing you to see photos without knowing the 4-digit pin.

With the dozens of login names & passwords I’m required to remember, I often take a screenshot whenever I’ve created a new login or changed my password. So some of my “photos” are part of what I want to protect. Until recently I hadn’t realized that by default the pin didn’t block looking at the pictures.

I had looked and not found a way to turn that off, but after writing to you discovered there is a way to do it.

So, as James found out, there is, in fact, a way to keep your photos private when using the passcode security on an iPad, but you have to disable the default slideshow option first.

Keep Apps From Being Installed Or Deleted On Your iPhone or iPad [iOS Tips]

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How much money do I owe iTunes? Who bought Pretty Pet Palace 3?!
How much money do I owe iTunes? Who bought Pretty Pet Palace 3?!

This one’s for the ladies parents out there. You know how you hand your iPhone off to your kid when you’re all waiting for the doctor? Or slide your iPad to the backseat for those long drives to Aunt Josephina’s house? If your kid is App Store savvy – and what kid isn’t, these days – they can rack up quite a bill installing apps that look cute to them but cost you real money. They can even wreak havoc with the simple tap-hold-wiggle dance, deleting your precious apps from your iOS device faster than you can say, “Do I need to turn this car around right now?!”

Luckily, there’s a simple, built-in way to prevent this from happening. Here’s what to do.