We’re all being cautioned, warned, encouraged — pick the verb you like — to make sure we’ve got stronger passwords.  If we weren’t convinced before, the rash of high-profile individual (i.e., Mat Honan) and corporate breaches (e.g., LinkedIn) should make us really heed this advice.

Now I’ve learned about an easy way to get an even stronger iPhone password.    If you already know about this, that’s terrific.  If not, here’s where I found an excellent article with screen shots that clearly lays out the steps.  It’s an article by Yukiminus and it’s found at http://www.apple-user.net (iPhone Setting: Set iPhone passcode in letters).

As you probably know, the iPhone password default is for a 4 figure password.  That’s the option that initially comes up.  But it’s really easy to change your setting so that you can customize your password to one that’s longer than just 4 figures and can include letters and figures.

I followed the steps Yukiminus outlined and it was fast and simple.  Here’s a quick summary of what you’ll do:

  1. Go to the Settings icon
  2. Go to the General setting
  3. Hit Passcodes Lock at the top of the screen and turn it off
  4. Turn Simple Passcode from on to off
  5. When you do that then hit “Change passcode”
  6. Once you do that, then a keyboard appears that allows you to enter a new passcode of as many letters and figures (e.g., numbers) and symbols (e.g., underscore) that you’d like.

Do think about changing your iPhone password to a stronger one.  I hope your iPhone is never lost or stolen.  But if that happens, a stronger password can help protect the information on it (the phone will lock after 10 attempts to enter a non-matching passcode).