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Smartphones & gadgets

Trick to passcode-protect apps you don’t want others spying on

Apple offers a number of ways for you to lock your iPhone and iPad from strangers and nosy loved ones. You can set a passcode, use Touch ID to unlock things with your fingerprint and on later phone models, you can use Face ID, too.

But did you know you can also put passcodes on individual apps? Just make sure you’re using a good one. Tap or click here to see the worst passwords of 2019.

Protecting everything might sound like you’re being a little paranoid, but the bottom line is it’s the best way to ensure your information doesn’t wind up in the wrong hands. Here are a few other reasons why you should take the time to set up these passcodes.

Why passcode-protect individual apps?

You may believe a passcode for your iPhone is enough protection, but what if someone gets ahold of the number? People who know you well may be able to guess it, which means they now have access to all of those private photos, your banking apps and more.

Adding extra security measures can protect all of your data should a thief or nosy friend or family member get ahold of your phone. Sometimes it’s just a friend trying to pull a prank, but you still want to keep your personal information secure.

The first step to is to have a passcode on your iPhone, and the next is to lock down everything containing sensitive data.

Another reason to passcode protect apps is to help keep you productive. If you have to input a password to access an app you always end up scrolling through for hours, you might decide not to open it and stay productive instead.

Apple also lets you lock games and social media apps for customizable amounts of time to help keep you from checking all those social media accounts when you should be working or spending time with loved ones. Here’s how to set it up.

How to add passcodes to apps

You can add passcodes to your apps directly through your Settings on your iPhone or iPad by doing the following:

  1. Open Settings, and go to “Accessibility.”
  2. Scroll down to “Guided Access” under the “General” heading, and tap on that. Set the switch for it to “on.”
  3. Tap on “Passcode Settings,” then tap the “Set Guided Access Passcode” link at the top of the window.
  4. Create a new passcode, one that is not the same as the one that unlocks your phone. On this page you can also set Touch ID or Face ID to “on” to use it as a means of locking apps as well.
  5. With the Guided Access passcode created, go to an app you want locked. Once in the app, on any iPhone before the iPhone X, click the Home button 3 times. On the iPhone X or later, hit the side button 3 times.
  6. The Guided Access start screen will come up, allowing you to disable/lock particular parts of the screen or the entire screen. Locking the entire screen will be the simplest way to lock the app.
  7. The next time you try to access the app, you’ll have to input the Guided Access passcode in order to enable the screen on the app.

As we mentioned above, you can also lock an app for a particular period of time. This is especially good for times you need to focus on things outside your device. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Settings, then “Screen Time.”
  2. Tap “App Limits,” then the “Add Limit” link on that window.
  3. You’ll be given a list of your apps by category; you can lock all Games, or all Social Networking apps. Select the ones you want to set a time limit on. then click “Next” in the upper-right corner.
  4. Using the dials, select the amount of time you want the app locked for. Tap “Add” on the upper-right.
  5. The app category (or categories) will now be locked until the time limit runs out on your phone.

You can also use third-party apps to set passwords. For iOS devices, we like Secret Folder App Lock and Locker. Download either to set passwords on your most sensitive apps, and keep them safe from prying eyes.

Other ways to protect your iPhone

Using individual passcodes will keep your phone and tablet safer, particularly when paired with passcodes locking your home screens. But there are other security features on the iPhone and iPad we’d encourage you to use to keep your data as safe as possible.

Keep your contacts private, and keep Safari from tracking you with new features on iOS 13. Upgrade your iPhone to get access to these features. Tap or click here to learn how to use them, plus several other security abilities.

 To keep your iPad safer, make sure you’re updating that OS too. Tap here to learn why upgrading your OS on your Apple devices is necessary.

Adding passcodes to individual apps can help keep your phone safe, and help you be more productive. Stay safe from hackers, thieves and nosy people by adding this simple extra layer of protection.

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