Set an Ultra-Strong iOS Password by Using Accent Characters

Jan 23, 2013 - 7 Comments

Super Strong iOS Passwords with Accent Characters

If you want maximum security with your iOS device, having a strong password is essential. Though you can extend password strength by using a phrase with mixed characters, another excellent option is to use special accent characters, making a password virtually impossible to guess. The idea is fairly straight forward: take a word, sequence, or phrase that you would normally use as the password, but then replace certain characters with accent letters or special characters. This will work the same on on any iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, and here’s what you’ll need to do.

Turn On Strong Password Support in iOS

We’ve discussed the strong passcodes feature before as a great way to secure iOS devices, and that’s where this tip begins. Here’s how to enable that if you haven’t done so yet:

  • Open Settings then tap “General” followed by “Passcode Lock”
  • Tap “Turn Passcode On” if you haven’t done so yet, then flip the “Simple Passcode” switch to OFF

For added security and easier testing, set ‘Require Password’ to “Immediately”, though that is optional.

Strong Passwords in iOS

Setting a Strong Password with Accent Characters

To type accent characters in iOS, you need to tap on a letter and hold for the accent menu to appear. An example of a password created this would would beFor example, a password like “tacobell” could be come “tãçōbęll”

  • Now enter a new password, and replace some characters with accented versions to make it more secure

Strong passcode with accent characters

Once this has been set, you can see how it works by locking the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. You will now have the standard keyboard available rather than the simple numeric keys. As usual, the accent characters are accessible by tapping on holding on the letters that support them.

Secure Password in iOS

Though no password is perfect, this really does create extremely strong passwords that are almost impossible to guess because just about nobody is going to think to use accent characters, and most people don’t know they’re accessible at the lock screen anyway.

Finally, don’t forget to set up Find My iPhone on the device as well, and consider further improving Find My iPhone by locking down location settings.

Heads up to @labnol for the great idea.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

7 Comments

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  1. Dom says:

    This is the most impossible way to remember the password for the thieves which means they’ll find it hard to see the fingertips of the user!

    Thanks for posting this suggestion.

  2. parakeet says:

    Smart idea, I like this one.

  3. Murgatroydal says:

    You are the first I’ve read to suggest this. Keen idea, indeed.

  4. yeahbut says:

    Wunderbar liebchen but how do you remember the umlauts etc – write ‘em on le papier ?

  5. wizla says:

    good idea but will take too long unlocking phone I prefer not to spend 5 mins typing a word lol

  6. Peter says:

    Instead of adding an accented character, just add two regular characters. That’s both safer and much faster to type.

  7. Rhys says:

    Ridiculous.

    Password cracking all revolves around reducing the time it takes in order to crack a password. The more character spaces that your password takes up then the harder it will be for anyone to either GUESS or CRACK your password.

    What you’ve suggested is essentially having a password with a character space of 26 (alphabetical) + 7 (accent). That’s only a character space of 33…

    Not only is this small it also confuses the person creating the password using characters that are not familiar to them. The whole basis of creating a strong password is that it is at least 8-10 characters long, doesn’t relate to the person and is easy to remember.

    How about people add a punctuation character to their password (adding another 9 character spaces) or a single number (adding another 9 character spaces).

    Heck, making a strong password does not need to be so involved, just make sure you have a uppercase, lowercase, a number and a punctuation character.

    e.g. Tpi8cl!b <- Easy to remember phrase "This password is 8 characters long! beware"

    Not hard, people are just lazy.

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