As someone who's been around the block a few times with mobile technology, I get a kick out of lengthy treatises on the practices one should follow to keep the information on your iPhone secure. They follow a commonsense pattern: Use a PIN, set the device to auto-lock after a minimal delay, set it to blank itself after a limited number of invalid unlock attempts, block access to the App Store, use Safari's security defaults, and use WPA2 security for Wi-Fi. This is helpful, but it isn't enough. Users of the iPhone, and mobile devices in general, deserve the big picture regarding the balance of security and convenience.
When you leave the store with your shiny new phone, you accept sole responsibility to protect your investment. It's not the manufacturer's or seller's job to keep your property safe. They've built in mechanisms that, if used as documented, will reasonably protect your phone and the information it contains. If the phone gets swiped, pillaged, or vandalized, it is either your fault or bad luck, and when bad luck plays a hand, it's likely that you contributed to the circumstances. Here are eight uncommon things you can do to steer the odds in your favor.
[ Follow these links for more on iPhone: "iPhone 3G enterprise scores are in," "Why iPhone won't yet rule the roost in the enterprise," "How to make the new iPhone work at work," and "Top 10 iPhone apps for the techie." ]
1. First and foremost, never, ever leave your iPhone unlocked. You've heard that, but you haven't heard how to make it painless: Practice. Whenever you'd ordinarily be bending paper clips or generally goofing off at work, sit in your chair and lock and unlock your phone over and over again until it's as natural as twiddling your thumbs. Practice with your nondominant hand. Practice with one hand concealing the other. Practice with your eyes closed. Practice with the display facing the floor. When entering your PIN becomes ingrained into muscle memory, you'll never be tempted to disable the lock to save time, and even sharp-eyed shoulder surfers can't watch you enter your PIN. As a bonus, you will never forget your PIN. Try it; it works.