Thursday, May 17, 2012

iPad Essentials: Use a Passcode

For this post in my series on iPad essentials, I wanted to discuss the use of passcodes, which is important as a confidentiality measure. Many of us have our iPad set to unlock immediately when you perform the "slide to unlock":

As you might know, your iPad goes into this state when you push the "Lock" button at the top of the iPad, officially known as the Sleep/Wake Button:

Image from official iPad User Guide
The iPad also goes to sleep and is locked when you close a Smart Cover on it or a preset time has elapsed (to change that time setting, open Settings, select General, then Auto-Lock and select the time period of inactivity after which your iPad will go to sleep/lock).

There are several reasons why SLPs might want to be using a passcode instead of allowing anyone to unlock our iPads with a simple swipe.

1. Confidentiality/HIPAA- I don't want to get too much into this, because being in a public school, we aren't as well versed in HIPAA. I need to catch up. But part of my understanding of HIPAA is that it is  not based in technology but behavior. What procedures do you follow that protect patient/client information?  If you keep any client information e.g. reports, emails, full names, identifying info, or other data on your iPad, you should be using a Passcode Lock.  ESPECIALLY if you remove the device from your workspace. 'Nuff said. 

2. Kids- you probably occasionally leave your iPad in reach of kids.  Said kids then go immediately to the iPad, swipe to unlock and begin to explore/play, resulting in a transition issue that you have to deal with. Adding a Passcode Lock solves this problem. AWWW, you can't get in, kiddo.  Now let's work with my agenda. :-)

Here's how you set a Passcode Lock.

1. Open the Settings app, and select General
2. On this screen you will see Passcode Lock, and it will be set to On or Off. Tap that field to go to the Passcode Lock screen.

3. On this screen you have a choice of entering a "simple" passcode (4-digits) or a longer one such as an alphanumeric (letter and number) sequence.  Make sure you remember it, and it is probably a good idea to turn off the "Erase Data" setting, because that is totally scary.

Note: if you saw my previous post about projecting iPad to a group, it's important to know that Passcodes and locking in general play into this process.  If your iPad goes to sleep/is locked while connected to a projector, it sometimes will then not be "found" by the projector when you wake it up/unlock.  Best bet is to turn off your passcode lock and set Auto-Lock to Never when you are projecting to a group or giving a presentation. You can then easily return to your protected setting when you are done.

Happy Locking!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! I had never considered the iPad as a possible HIPAA violation! I'll definitely be locking my device from now on!