How can a person secure their iPhone 5s with either a four-digit or more complex alpha-numeric passcode?
A new iPhone 5s or one updated to a new version of iOS 7 or higher asks users to make a Passcode to secure the phone. This four-digit code locks people out of the phone so the person can’t access private data. Everyone should create a passcode and we recommend using a complex alphanumeric passcode instead of a simple four-digit numeric passcode.
Those who failed to create a passcode on their phone can follow this guide to setting a Passcode on an iPhone 5s Lock Screen. Apple updated the operating system and the phone since we first posted a guide like this for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5, so we’re updating it for iOS 7 and higher. There are even instructions for iOS 7.1.
Setting a Passcode on the iPhone 5s
Start by opening the Settings app and look for Passcode Lock. For those on iOS 7.0.6 or older, look under General for Touch ID & Passcode. In the new iOS 7.1 Touch ID & Passcode shows up on the main Settings app screen instead of under General. Apple made it more prominent to promote security in the iOS 7.1 update.
Now tap on Touch ID & Passcode to open the settings. On iOS 7.1 swipe down to show the option to Turn Passcode On. The image above shows the screen in iOS 7.1. Below shows the screen in earlier versions of iOS 7. The screenshot below comes from an iPhone with Passcode turned on already.
Tap Turn Passcode On which then asks the user to enter a new simple four-digit numeric passcode (see image below).
For users who want a complex passcode, which we recommend, turn off the slider switch for Simple Passcode first and then tap Turn Passcode On and enter a longer passcode. Whether a user choose a simple or complex passcode, the person will need to enter it twice to confirm the passcode.
Using a Good Complex Passcode
The most secure passcode will include both numbers and letters, hence the term alpha-numeric. Include some capital letters and use eight or more. Keep it memorable by using a pronounceable nonsense word with letters that look like numbers. Substitute the numbers for the letters. See the examples below:
- Flibberqy - replace the L with a 1 and the e with a 3 = F1ibb3rqy
- Toobantic – replace the two Os with the number 0 and the letter i with 1 = T00bant1c
For quick entry consider using letters placed near one another on the iOS 7 keyboard. For example use the following since the letters sit close together: d3rtyguy. Remember to long press on the e to enter a 3.
iPhone 5s users can now train their fingerprint reader on the iPhone 5s home button to unlock the phone with a fingerprint instead of the passcode. Use our guide to training the Touch ID on iPhone 5s.
Some other settings to consider changing include the following from the ALLOW ACCESS WHEN LOCKED section:
- Siri – Turn this off to keep crooks from interacting with Siri without the passcode.
- Passbook – The same holds true for the iOS Passbook which can hold sensitive data.
- Reply with Message – Don’t let crooks reply to phone calls using a text message while the phone’s locked.