Friend of mine, a smart journalist, had his iPad stolen. He couldn’t help that — the thief broke into his house. But his private, personal data wasn’t stolen, exactly. Donated, more like. He had no passcode set on the iPad. All his email, calendar, address book, and work documents were free for the taking. Oh, yeah. He had the iPad browser set to save all his web passwords, including the ones for Amazon and his bank.
You’re smarter than that, right? You set a passcode. (Settings…General…Passcode Lock.) You even tapped on the setting to erase your iPad after 10 wrong attempts.
But it probably won’t take ten tries to guess your password. Once again, a large sample of real-world data reveals that we leave ourselves wide open to casual snooping. The top 10 iPad passcodes — which accounted for 15% of the whole sample — were: 1234, 0000, 2580, 1111, 5555, 5683, 0852, 2222, 1212, and 1998. Most were simple patterns on the keypad. 5683 spells ‘L-O-V-E,’ as in love thy burglar. People seem to be using their birth years and graduation years as well: every number from 1990 to 2000 makes the top 50, and every one from 1980 to 1989 the top 100.
Folks: there are 10,000 possibilities on that keypad. Try something a little more creative. If you’re on an Android tablet, use the option to choose a more complex password on the full keyboard.
By the way, the guy who published this data obtained it with an app that tricked people into transmitting it to him. Clue! It was called “Big Brother.” Apple, belatedly, has banned the app.
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