iOS: Understanding data protection

Learn how to enable and verify data protection.

Data protection is available for devices that offer hardware encryption, including iPhone 3GS and later, all iPad models, and iPod touch (3rd generation and later). Data protection enhances the built-in hardware encryption by protecting the hardware encryption keys with your passcode. This provides an additional layer of protection for your email messages attachments, and third-party applications.

Enable data protection by configuring a passcode for your device:

  1. Tap Settings > General > Passcode.
  2. Follow the prompts to create a passcode.
  3. After the passcode is set, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and verify that "Data protection is enabled" is visible.
    Data protection is enabled

Passcode tips

Use these passcode settings to maximize passcode security:

  • Set Require Passcode to Immediately.
  • Disable Simple Passcode to use longer, alphanumeric passcodes.
  • Enable Erase Data to automatically erase the device after ten failed passcode attempts.


Last Modified: Feb 11, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Feb 11, 2014
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what type of encrytion is on the iphone?
Every iOS device has a dedicated AES 256-bit crypto engine built in that is used to encrypt all data on the device at all times. In addition, the iOS Cryptographic Modules have been granted FIPS 140-2 compliance by the U.S. federal government on devices running iOS 6.
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