How to set a strong passcode on Apple Watch

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Keep your Apple Watch safe with a proper, long, strong passcode.
Keep your Apple Watch safe with a proper, long, strong passcode.
Photo: Chuttersnap/Unsplash

The default passcode length on the Apple Watch is just four digits. And while it’s true that you don’t keep as much sensitive data on the smartwatch as you do on an iPhone, and that your Apple Watch is arguably safer from bad actors because it is always strapped to your wrist, it’s still worth making this passcode more secure. After all, it’s not like you have to enter your strong passcode very often, right?

Today we’ll see how to change your Apple Watch passcode to a longer one. And we’ll also check out a neat feature that lets you skip entering the passcode altogether.

Is your iPhone passcode on this list of pathetic PINs?

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GrayKey can bypass iPhone security
Don’t use generic passcodes.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Over 25% of phones can be cracked just by using one of the top 20 most used four digit PINs.

Cyber security expert Tarah Wheeler shared a list of the most popular PINs based on the findings of the folks at the SANS Institute, which is one of the largest cyber security organizations in the world. Some of the passcodes on the list aren’t surprising but there are a couple combinations that we didn’t expect to see.

Make sure your PIN didn’t make the list:

iOS 11 has another feature to stave off snooping cops

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iOS passcode

Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has made a couple of changes in iOS 11 that make it more difficult for cops to get into your iPhone. We discovered one of those last month, and now another has been uncovered by security software developer ElcomSoft.

It makes it even more difficult for law enforcement to obtain the data on your iPhone, even if they have your fingerprint.

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.