Apple and Windows Device Security Recommendations

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SummaryRecommendations for Apple and Windows devices at Riverdale
AuthorMaintained by Derek Smith
HelpGet help with this article
StatusUp-to-date for the 2023-2024 school year.

Apple Devices

General Resources

Apple has excellent documentation for their device line-up. If you are looking for general resources related to your device, we recommend you start here.

Best Practices

Back-up iOS or iPadOS Device

It is a good idea to back up, or sync, your iOS/iPadOS device to a macOS or Windows laptop or desktop computer or to iCloud. Both the iOS device and laptop or desktop can be supplied and/or managed by Riverdale.

To retain the integrity of your iOS applications, settings and personal data, it is essential to frequently backup, or sync, the device to your computer. Sync must either be done over the USB cable, or through Wi-Fi syncing to a single computer. You should choose to encrypt the backup file for your device as an additional security precaution. You will find the checkbox for this option on the Summary page for the device when it is connected. If you do not encrypt the iTunes backup, all saved passwords for email and other accounts cannot be restored.

Loss and Theft protection

To enable you to find a lost or stolen school-owned iPhone or iPad, you are required to enable the Find My iPhone (iPad) service using your iCloud account. When this service is enabled, you will be able to track your device, as well as remotely clear it of all data.

Full instructions on how to enable and utilize the Find My iPhone (iPad) service will be found at Apple Support - Find My iPhone, iPad, Mac and iWatch.

Passcode Security

The single-user design of iPads and iPhones enables the retention of passwords for Riverdale Google accounts, as well as any other logins to personal email, banking and ecommerce sites. Many mobile applications retain downloaded confidential data in readable format. Because of the mobile nature of these devices, the opportunity for theft or loss is greatly increased. As a result, deliberate or accidental access to confidential information, as well as outright malicious intent towards the safety of your data can occur. It behooves any mobile RCS user to protect access to important School services by using a more secure passcode.

Setting the Passcode

Please enable a more secure passcode than the default 4 digits. Common sense alone requires you to set a more stringent passcode if you use your iPad/iPhone to access Riverdale services.

Note: If you have been given an iPad/iPhone which is managed by Riverdale, there is a requirement restriction in place which forces you to use a more complex passcode. There is no way to bypass this requirement.

  • Make sure your iOS device has been upgraded to the latest iOS version through iTunes or via wireless updating (available in iOS version 6 or greater.)
  • From the Settings app, go to the General setting and choose Passcode or Touch ID/Face ID & Passcode (on a Touch ID/Face ID equipped device.)
  • Enter your simple, 4-digit passcode, if enabled.
    • If a Passcode has not been enabled, please enable it now by selecting the Turn Passcode On button.
  • Set the Require Passcode to 15 minutes or less.
  • Set Simple Passcode to OFF - this option may be disabled if Riverdale has placed a more complex passcode requirement.
    • This setting will then ask for you to enter a more complex password which can contain upper & lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. At the very least, create a passcode which follows the requirements for your Riverdale Domain password.
      • Using your Riverdale Domain password is not recommended for this passcode. See this page on Shoulder Surfing for more information on this recommendation.
  • Optionally, select the Erase Data setting to erase all data on the iOS device after 10 failed passcode attempts. If you use this setting, make sure to backup and sync your iOS device on a regular basis. After the Erase Data mechanism is invoked, the iOS device will be wiped clean and you will need to restore the settings & applications from your laptop/desktop or through iCloud.

Windows Devices

General Resources

We recommend running Windows 11, which is the latest operating system from Microsoft: Download Windows 11

Best Practices

Logging In

Windows Hello is a secure way to get instant access to your Windows 11 devices using a PIN, facial recognition, or fingerprint. You'll need to set up a PIN as part of setting up fingerprint or facial recognition sign-in, but you can also sign in with just your PIN. These options help make it easier and safer to sign into your PC because your PIN is only associated with one device. Information about: Windows Hello

Protect Your Data

Windows has a backup feature in the operating system, but we generally recommend storing your data on Riverdale's Google Drive. We back up your RCS GDrive for you!


The Windows operating system comes with Windows Defender. This is a functional and well regarded antivirus product, and it's free. On Riverdale managed laptops, we deploy Sophos antivirus, which is managed via Sophos Central.

Keep Your Device Up-to-Date

It's best practice to keep Windows up-to-date via Windows Update and to update drives from the manufacturer (Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc). Drivers from the manufacturer can be found on their respective Support page. They often provide a "device scanner" tool that takes inventory of your machine and only applies the updates/drivers that it's missing.