Locking your phone is critical. Not only does this keep your information private, locking your phone also minimizes the chance of "pocket dialing" - where you call someone from your purse, pants or jacket.

Some people use the year of their birth, a spouse or child's birthday (MM/DD) or the last four digits of their telephone or social security number. Pick something that will come to your mind right away because you'll be tapping it in a lot.

Now you're on your home screen - welcome to it. Find the "Settings" button, and give it a tap.

Next, scroll down until you find "General". Tap to see the "General Settings" options.

You'll need to scroll down until you see "Auto-Lock", "Passcode Lock" and "Restrictions".

Start with a simple tap on "Auto-Lock". Here you can choose what I like to call "idle time" - how long the phone stays unlocked and active without using it. I like maximum idle time on my phone so I've selected 5 minutes, but it's all a matter of personal preference. You can change this at any time, so perhaps start with a short amount of "idle time" - 1 or 2 minutes - and see how you like it.

Once you've made your selection, tap on "General" in the upper left-hand corner to return to the previous page. From here, tap "Passcode Lock" - you'll need to tap in your passcode in order to get to the next screen.

This is where you can change your passcode, decide how frequently you need to tap in your passcode and determine how many digits you want your passcode to be. Once complete, you can rest easy knowing that your iPhone and information are very secure. Tap on "General" to return to the previous page and we'll finish up your security settings.


The final step is to set up your "Restrictions". You might have noticed in the screenshot above that I have mine turned off - this is a strictly personal choice. My iPhone is my own and always in my possession; I don't share it with a partner or coworker and kids never play with it. Simply tap on "Restrictions" to see your options, again you'll need to tap in your passcode to get to the next page.

This is a good time to really consider your lifestyle and who will be using and interacting with your phone. It's personal and it's important, so take the time to look at your options and choose what's best for you. For example, if you plan to let a child in your life play with your phone, it's a good idea to scroll down to "Allowed Content" and decide what you want to be available to a younger user.

With your security decisions made, you and your iPhone are ready to get to work and have some fun! There are so many great things you can do - so many tools and features right in the palm of your hand. Return to the homepage by hitting the home button and start discovering this new world at your fingertips.

Images courtesy of Kate Holt.