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How-To: Improve iPhone lock screen security with an alphanumeric password

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1234. 1111. 0000. When it comes to 4-digit unlock codes, most people fall back on the same patterns/ideas that everyone else uses. “Boy! I sure hope the big bad hacker folks don’t think to punch in my Birthday!”

Alpha-numeric passwords (that is, passwords with both letters and numbers) are inherently more secure. More possibilities means more security, right? Alas, the iPhone only supports 4-digit codes — out of the box, at least. A few clever gents have figured out an incredibly simple modification that gives you access to the full keyboard for your lockdown duties, no jailbreak required.

Full credit for the discovery of this modification goes to the dudes at 9to5mac

How to do it:

  1. Open Safari on your iPhone
  2. Either come to this page and click this link (on your iPhone/iTouch), or manually type in: http://9to5mac.com/9to5mac.mobileconfig
  3. Install the profile.
  4. If you’ve got a 4-digit code in place, it will ask you to type it in before you enter the new password
  5. Type the new password. Type again to confirm.
  6. You’re done!

Doesn’t get much easier than that, right? To uninstall the modification and go back to the standard, 4-digit system, just head to Settings > General > Profiles and uninstall the “9to5mac” profile.

Warning: Alphanumeric passwords are more secure, but they can also be harder to remember. Don’t forget your password – if you do, you’re going to have to dump everything off your iPhone before you can get back in. Don’t blame us for your bad memory, you hear?

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