iPad security – not as strong as you might think

I was going to start this post off praising Microsoft’s security, but I’ll need to leave that for another time. First I must first complain about Windows. This morning, as I do almost every morning, I took my laptop from where I had left it and docked it. You see, my setup is such that I’ve got a keyboard, mouse, monitor and webcam hooked up to the docking port for my aging Lenovo T400.

I pressed down hard to dock it because sometimes not all devices get correctly hooked up to the docking port. I have no idea why, I imagine there are shorter pins that aren’t quite able to reach the laptop while their taller brethren saunter over with ease. Instead of the familiar three beeps, I heard just two. We could pause for a moment and think about how awful an experience it is to dock and be greeted with a serious of beeps, but that would be a digression from my digression. My keyboard and mouse worked fine, but the monitor couldn’t see Windows.

Swearing gently under my breath I undock, clear the warning about my webcam not undocking correctly, and try again. And again. And again. Eventually I give up and just reboot the machine. June 11th can’t come soon enough.

My iPad security fail

This weekend I finally convinced myself that I needed to order the iPad formerly known as 3. In truth, my iPad 2 was quite capable of doing everything I needed, but happily my friend’s desire to purchase my lovingly cared for iPad 2 coincided nicely with my weakness for new technology. With my new iPad on it’s way, I set my sites on preparing my old iPad for conveyance to my friend.

My intent was to give him a clean, reformatted iPad. Devoid of all the music, videos, apps and various other cruft I had accumulated over the year. Being security conscious, I diligently set out to find a secure way to reformat my iPad. It seemed simple enough, go to iTunes, reformat and you’re done.

I started the process, and about 30 minutes later I had a shiny, clean iPad ready for a new home. Or so I thought. My paranoia kicked in, so I restarted my iPad just to confirm that it had been appropriately formatted. Everything looked good, I got the iPad welcome screen that would walk me through setting up my iPad.

I think at this point any reasonable human being would assume that the iPad was properly formatted. Any reasonable human being would be wrong. A few hours after I gave it to my friend he asked me, “Did you mean to leave you Apple credentials on your iPad?”. In a little bit of shock I stuttered, “No”, as my mind quickly raced to everything my Apple credentials could unlock, it’s linked to my credit card, you can view personal details about me – yikes!

Thankfully I had given it to a friend who deleted my credentials even before he told me of my security faux pas. Things could’ve been worse had I sold it on Craig’s list.

I’ll close with some advice I wish I had been given:

When you reformat your iPad, confirm that your Apple credentials are removed!