I have a friend that is going to borrow my iPad. While I had no problem with this individual testing the iPad, it was the first time that I had to consider the security issues of such a request.
Here were some of the issues that came to mind.
First, my iPad is never connected to my WiFi router in an unsecured manner. It it were, all data that would be sent from the iPad to the router would be able to be seen by anyone with a simple sniffer application. When I traveled on our last vacation I also used the WiTopia VPN, which created a secure link to the Internet. You can read more about VPN’s HERE. For more information, use the VPN Tag.
Second, the iPad is not currently set up to be shared. It is a one person device. It is not like a laptop, which can have a guest sign-on. Anyone using an iPad can look at anything the owner has stored on the device.
I have always kept my information safe from theft. I use a security code to secure my iPad. It is a familiar number to me, but not one that I would just give out. The security code protects my information from the loss or theft of my iPad. If anyone tries to use the iPad and enters an incorrect security code ten time then the device erases all data within the iPad.
To solve this problem of my security code, while it is on loan, I just turned off the security code feature.
Next, I keep lots of information within my iPad. The iPad is not a toy like I consider many of its rivals. It is more than a book reader, a game player or an email client, even though it is all of those things too.
My Calendar has every appointment I have scheduled since I bought the iPad. My Contacts contains a lot of information that I do not share. iPages (my Apple writing application) contains posts and things I am working on. How do I handle these items.
I must admit, it does take a little work, but features of the iPad and iCloud lessened the effort required.
To handle the problem of documents stored in the iPad for iPages, I just deleted the documents. They are backed up on my PC, so nothing lost.
To remove the data in Calendar and Contacts was easy. I merely had to remove the iCloud backup of information for both applications and at the same time I removed all data from the applications on the iPad. When the iPad is returned, I will just reactivate iCloud and all information will instantly repopulate to the appropriate application. The last thing I did was to remove all email accounts from the iPad.
The iPad can now be used by anyone without any of my private information being compromised. I have a hunch that a guest sign-on will be a feature someday.
This was a worthwhile exercise for me and maybe some of what I have written will cause others to consider securing their portable device. If you use a similar device, use a security code to allow access. If you connect to Wifi, consider using a VPN. If you have a home wireless router, enable security.