I haven’t addressed this since 2010 so it is worth repeating again. The iPad is one of the safest computing devices you can use, probably more secure than your PC, but you have to set it up properly.
First, the biggest security risk probably is physically losing the device. iPads are a great size and easy to carry everywhere, which also makes them easy to leave behind or forget. Luckily for us Apple gave us “Find My iPad.” Under Settings-> iCloud->turn on Find My iPad. You also have to have location services turned on, so go to Settings->Privacy-> then turn on Find My iPad (while you are there check to see what other apps are using location services). And of course you have to have an iCloud account. You should also enable Remote Wiping, which allows you to delete the data on a lost iPad (as long as it can connect to the Internet). But again to do this you will need an iCloud account which is configured in Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> iCloud. This service also allows you to remotely send a signal to the device to play a sound and/or to display your phone number and a message that the device is lost and ask the person that finds it to call you. And if all that fails, to wipe the device. It’s a great service! Find my iPad is actually misnamed, because the same service works on iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, iMacs, basically all your Apple devices.
Also, all iPads ship with hardware encryption built-in, but you need to enable it. The simplest way to do that is to set a passcode on your iPad. As soon as you do, your data will be automatically encrypted. To enable a passcode, go to Settings -> General -> Passcode Lock and then enter a four-digit code twice. If you’d like to be extra-safe, on that same page, you can turn the Simple Passcode option to off then you can then use longer codes. You should also set Require Passcode for no more than 5 minutes and turn Erase Data on. And please turn on Auto-Lock!
Note: if you have small kids that play with your iPad, you may not want to turn on Erase Data. Erase Data will erase all the data on your iPad if the wrong passcode is entered 10 times. Something a little one just might do.
You can find more information at:
And if you use wifi hotspots like those you find at Starbucks, McDonald’s, or at hotels / airports please use a personal VPN!
I personally like https://www.witopia.net and the price point is good. But you can find other options at: http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/readerpicks/tp/The-Best-VPN-Service-Providers.htm
On my iPhone I have done all the above (again, please at least turn on a passcode and auto-lock) plus I have also turned OFF “Siri” and “Reply with Message” under “Allow Access When Locked” on my iPhone.