Although Apple has numerous protections in place to keep 6-digit — and even old-style 4-digit — passcodes safe, including time delays and optional erasure, typing in a short series of numbers remains more about convenience than it does security. While not easy, the ability to shoulder surf or brute-force — watch while you're typing or find a way to try every alternative — passcodes remains easier than long, strong, passwords. So, if absolute security is what you're after, this is what you'll want to switch to.

How to protect your iPhone with a long, strong alphanumeric password

Before you begin, figure out the long, strong alphanumeric password you want to use. If you need help choosing one, check out this article from AgileBits and Steve Gibson's page on password haystacks:

The password should be long enough that it's extremely difficult to crack with current technology, but not so long that you can't remember it or enter it accurately when you need to.

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Tap Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode).
  3. Enter your existing 4-digit or 6-digit passcode, if you have one.
  4. Tap Change Passcode
  5. Re-enter your existing passcode if you have one.
  6. Tap Passcode Options.
  7. Tap Custom Alphanumeric Code.

  8. Enter your new long, strong alphanumeric password.
  9. Re-enter your new long, strong alphanumeric password.

I've used as short as eight characters (letters, numbers, and symbols mixed), as many as twenty, but often somewhere in between.

If you're going anywhere you suspect might be risky, you can also temporarily deactivate Touch ID for unlock, which will force password entry to access your iPhone or iPad. That way no one can try to touch your finger to the Home button either while you're sleeping or otherwise immobilized.

Again, less convenient but more secure. Most people will, hopefully, won't have cause to worry about all these options but everyone should take comfort in them being there.

Five additional ways to increase your iPhone and iPad security!

Questions?

What are you using to secure your iPhone or iPad? Touch ID? Passcode? Password? Nothing at all? Let us know what you've chosen and why!

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Latest And Best Prime Day Deals

The Ring Alarm security system is reaching new low prices for Prime Day
Ring Alarm home security systems

Various configurations of the Ring Alarm are discounted to their best prices yet exclusively for Prime members at Amazon through Tuesday night to help keep your home secure.

The Sonos Beam Prime Day deal includes a $40 discount and 2 $50 Amazon gift cards
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That's just so much savings in one deal. You'll have to wait for the physical gift cards, but that's basically $100 to spend however you want.

Prime Day dropped this PlayStation 4 console bundle to just $250
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This deal on the PlayStation 4 Slim console saves you $50 off its regular price while also including Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition for free. You'll just need an Amazon Prime membership to snag it.

The newest device in the Echo family, the Show 5, is now down to just $50
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It's only been on the market since May, but it hasn't escaped the Prime Day price cuts.

Amp up your home security with these huge Prime Day discount on nearly all Ring products
Save on Ring products today only

Whether you need a video doorbell, whole home alarm system, or some lights to brighten a dark area, Amazon has it all marked down today!

These huge price drops on the entire Galaxy S10 lineup might be one of the best Prime Day phone deals we'll see
Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB unlocked Prism Black Android smartphone
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We love the Galaxy S10, and we love deals. This combines two of our true loves in one!

Scour Amazon Warehouse's deals to save an extra 20% on tech and more through Prime Day
Extra 20% off Amazon Warehouse

Amazon Warehouse sells a myriad of items in varying conditions, from refurbished to open-box, used, warehouse-damaged, and more. It's a great place to snag a deal, and now Prime members can save an extra 20% off select items at checkout.

There's never been a better deal on the Ring Video Doorbell 2 than this pre-Prime Day offer
Ring Video Doorbell 2 (Certified Refurbished)
$89.99 $169.99 Save $80

Amazon is taking $80 off the certified refurbished Ring Video Doorbell 2, which lets you see and speak with visitors at your front door no matter where you are in the world.

More Prime Day Deals