The Apple iPad is a small, shiny, highly portable and extremely valuable thing to carry around with you. It’s also highly theft-prone, so much so that the last year the mayor of New York blamed the Apple devices for a rise in crime in the city.
Keeping your iPad safe should be something all tablet owners think about. Fortunately there are a lot of things you can do to secure your iPad.
Here are our top tips for preventing a thief from taking your tablet.
Tip 1: Keep it close
Common sense goes a long way towards securing an Apple iPad. When you first get it you’ll treat the iPad like a precious jewel, but over time you’ll get used to having it around. Always remember that it is very attractive to thieves so keep it close to your person in a bag with a zip and don’t get it out in an area you’re not sure about.
Tip 2: Keep it locked away
If you’re taking an iPad on holiday think about getting a lockable bag. These have cables and locks which stop pickpockets from getting into the bag, and you can also fasten the bag to tables rather than putting it on the floor.
Pacsafe makes range of secure iPad briefcases and bags that are perfect for frequent travellers.
Remember that the iPad will often fit in a hotel safe too, so keep it locked away rather than leaving it in the hotel room.
Tip 3: Turn on Find My iPad
Apple has service called Find My iPad that can help you locate a missing iPad. Click on the Settings icon on the home screen, and tap iCloud then scroll down to Find My iPad. Tap it and on the next screen flick the switch next to Find My iPad green.
Your iPad will now use its GPS and wi-fi keep track of where it is. If you lose the iPad you can find it on a map by visiting Apple's iCloud.com website and entering your details.
A thief cannot turn this service off without knowing your password so it’s a handy tool.
You need iCloud set-up for this to work – see Step 8 below.
Tip 4: Enter a passcode
One of the worst things that can happen if somebody takes your iPad is if they use it to access your personal information. It’s bad enough losing an expensive gadget, but having somebody rifle through your personal details, documents and images is horrible.
Click on Settings – Passcode - Turn Passcode On and enter a four digit number (don’t use ‘1234’ or ‘0000’ or anything else easy to guess). You’ll need to enter this number when you unlock your iPad.
Flick Require Passcode to Immediately to help protect your content. This means every time you put the iPad down and reopen you’ll need to enter a passcode.
Tip 5: Turn off Simple Passcode
If you have really important information on the iPad that you are worried about a thief getting, then you should turn off Simple Passcode, which is turned on by default, allowing a numeric password of four digits.
Tap on Settings - Passcode Lock and turn Simple Passcode to Off (so the button next to it is no longer green). You’ll now be asked to enter a password containing both numbers and letters. This is far harder for a thief to crack.
Tip 6: Set Erase Data to 'On'
If you don’t want to risk personal or work data on a stolen iPad getting into the wrong hands, you can set the system to erase all your data if the thief repeatedly fails to enter the correct passcode.
If so you can turn on Erase Data. Tap Settings – Passcode and flick the switch next to Erase Data On
A thief gets only get 10 attempts to guess your passcode before the iPad is wiped of all its data. Make sure you remember the passcode yourself though.
Tip 7: Engrave your name and phone number
Apple offers a free engraving service when you buy a new iPad. Consider engraving your name and company telephone number or email address on the back of it.
If you lose the iPad it may be returned, and if nothing else it’ll make it harder for a thief to sell on your iPad. If the police recover the iPad they will know who it belongs to.
For safety reasons we suggest using a company address and telephone number rather than your home number.
Tip 8: Set Up iCloud backup
You should use iCloud to back up your iPad. In the event you lose your iPad then at least you’ll be able to get a new one with all your old settings on.
Tap Settings - iCloud and scroll down to Backup. Tap it then back sure iCloud Backup is On. It will automatically back up your device every time is plugged in with enough power and connected to wi-fi.
Tip 9: Consider buying a Smart Key
There is a new type of gadget on the market called the Elgato Smart Key, which costs around £32 from Amazon. This Bluetooth dongle pairs wirelessly with your iPhone. Attached it to your iPad’s bag and if the bag and the phone get separated you’ll get an alert on your mobile phone.