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ABA TECHSHOW

Optimize iOS for the Enterprise

By Ivan Hemmans, ABA TECHSHOW Board 2016

Imagine a spectrum with security on one end and convenience on the other. An iPhone — or iPad — would sit on the convenience edge of such a spectrum, without question. Out of the box, the device walks its new user through a fairly simple setup process that promotes establishing an iCloud account and setting an “unlock” code. Neither the code nor iCloud account are required, but following the path of least resistance leads most people to a pretty good place. Lawyers who handle confidential or privileged information and use an iPhone or iPad as a routine part of their practices will want to make a few setting changes to optimize iOS and ensure that it safeguards their valuable data. 

Establish a Complex Device Passcode

A device passcode prevents unauthorized people from gaining access to data stored on an iPhone or iPad. As mentioned earlier, iOS doesn’t require establishing one during device setup, but chances you already have. A complex code, one that contains both letters and numbers, is much harder to guess than a simple numeric one.To set a device passcode, touch Settings > Touch ID & Passcode or Settings > Passcode. In older versions of iOS, the passcode setting is available under Settings > General.For devices without Touch ID or Touch ID devices where fingerprints haven’t been stored, it is possible to “Require Passcode” after a short idle-time delay. By default, passcodes are required immediately. Introducing a short delay can make using a passcode less of a hassle.

Disable Siri on the Lock Screen

Siri is a powerful digital assistant that has access to any contacts, calendar appointments, text messages, and email syncing to an iPhone or iPad. By default, Siri is available on the lock screen, which means that anyone can ask basic questions and access limited information without needing to know an unlock code. Here are a few questions Siri will answer on a locked device:

  • Where do I live?
  • Who is my spouse?
  • What’s my home address?
  • Reply to my text message
  • Where is my next appointment?
  • What’s on my calendar for tomorrow?
  • Who is [insert name of client here]?
  • Which of my contacts work at Sony?

To disable Siri on the lock screen, touch Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Siri or Settings > Passcode > Siri. In older versions of iOS, the passcode setting is available under Settings > General.Similarly, lawyers may choose to disable Today view, Notifications, and Reply with Message on the lock screen.

Disable Text Message Previews on the Lock Screen

By default, the Messages app shows the full text of any text messages or iMessages on the lock screen. Lawyers may, depending on the sensitivity of the matters on which they work, choose to customize notifications for the Messages appOn the Home screen, touch Settings > Notifications > Messages > Show Previews. With “Show Previews” disabled next message notifications will still appear on the lock screen, but in lieu of the full message text, each notification will simply read “Text Message”. One must unlock the device to read any messages.

But Wait, There’s More

These are but a few of the settings available for customizing an iPhone and iPad. For example, you could spend a few moments ensuring that the default mail, calendar, contacts, notes, and reminders accounts are set the way you want. Or, you could spend time arranging apps into folders on screens according to the kinds of apps you keep or kind of work you do. There are many virtual knobs and levers available to tweak in an effort to make your i-device sing. With the settings mentioned above, your iPhone or iPad can slide closer to the security end of the spectrum.


This article is but a taste of what awaits you at the ABA TECHSHOW 2016, March 16-19 at the Hilton Chicago. As a member of Minnesota State Bar Association, we want you to know that you can get a discount on the ABA TECHSHOW 2016. This discount only applies to registrants that qualify for the Standard registration. You can register online and include this unique discount code: EP1601 to receive a discount. 

Reprinted with Permission. 2015© by the American Bar Association.  All rights reserved.  This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.