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This Instructable was born of a student's panic when he lost his iPod Touch full of personal data, and was afraid he'd never get it back.

The Instructable is quick and easy to do, requires no extra apps, and could save you a lot of money and heartache.

Step 1: A Quick Note

There are two steps to this instructable - displaying a contact method on your iPod's screen, and stopping anybody from going beyond that point.

First, use your iPod's Notes function to type in your contact details.

It is not a good idea to use your real name and address, so instead use a simple email address or a phone number you don't mind being shared amongst strangers.  Type it a few lines down the screen, so that it ends up clearly visible on the "Lock" screen.

If my sons take their iPods on school trips, they use the school's contact details.

Take a screen-shot of the note by holding in the power button and pressing the home button.

Step 2: Use the Photo

Close your Notes function, and open the Photos function.

Find the screenshot of your note in the "camera roll", and bring it to full-screen.

Tap the screen to bring up the menu options, then hit the "share" button (bottom left).  From that menu, select "use as wallpaper", and then select the "Lock Screen" option.

Your note will now appear on your iPod's screen when it is switched on.

Step 3: Setting the Lock

Now you have your contact details appearing on the iPod's screen, you now need to prevent casual attempts at opening your files.

From your home screen, select Settings, General, Passcode Lock, and then Turn Passcode On.

You will then need to type in a four-digit code.  Like any secure "PIN" system, you need to make the number reasonably memorable, but not insanely obvious.  Do not use "1234", "9999", "0000", "1098" etc.  Instead, maybe use the last four digits of your mobile number, the day and month of a birthday, the year you got married etc.

Confirm the code, make sure it is set to be required "immediately", and you are sorted.

Step 4: Well, Obviously...

If you have reached this point and are thinking that you have wasted a slice of your life on something that was blindingly obvious, please remember that there are many people less sensible than you, who leave their iPod lying around full of personal data, embarrassing photos and private emails, without any security at all.

In fact, I'm sure you know somebody who does that.

If you do, why not email them a link to this Instructable as a subtle hint to make themselves a little bit safer?
<p>Ever hear the story about the boy who locked one of his relatives (distant or close, I can't remember) out of their phone for a million years (Quite literally)? </p>
Great idea about the notes! You could also turn off the simple passcode to make it a word, or phrase. This is a much more secure way to lock your phone/ iPod
<p>True.</p>
Excellent points...<br> <br> I leave my iPhone on the passenger seat 50% of the time when<br> coming home :-o<br> <br> What would help a lot, is an app that would ding sweetly when the<br> engine stopped :)<br> <br> A
<p>here is an idea ...</p><p>...an arduino connected to the ignition or other electronic then the arduino would send an email or text to your phone or dedicated app (like text-plus) then set that apps notification to a prerecorded message or sound</p>
<p>sorry doble clicked the button</p>
(|. |)<br>(~^_^~)
I find word locks more effective.
This is brilliant!!
Thank you!
that's smart
This is a great idea I wrote up a note on the lock screen as soon as I read it mines always locked. Thanks for the great ideas !!!!
You're welcome!
If you have a good memory... http://lifehacker.com/5914602/this-is-how-you-should-secure-your-iphone
On the passcode setting there is also an advanced passcode option, in which you can have as many digits as you want.
Yeah, and you can use words instead of just numbers. :)
Correct!
O_o is the Christian capture of Antioch really so important to Brits that 1098 is a widespread PIN...?
Haha, isn't google fun?
More like Western Civ/history in general on the brain, although I confess I had muddled up the dates and my _very_ first thought was of the Battle of Hastings... <br><br>But I can't come up with another meaning - what's up with 1098? :D
Instead of 1-2-3-4, it's the opposite; 10-9-8... (apparently it's a common 4-digit passcode).
OH, I see, haha. Herp a derp.
apple has an app called find my iPhone it lets you locate it on a map, play a sound and post a message remotely from your laptop or other ios device. you can also erase your data. And best of all it is free.
That is true, and I have it installed on all four family iPods (wonderful for finding put-down iPods around the house).<br><br>However, for iPods, they only work if they are connected to a wifi hotspot. As soon as your iPod is out of the house (and maybe school or office), then it's out of the reach of the app.
You, sir, are brilliant. I never would have thought to do this.
Thank you.
you're also my favorite person on instructables. :)<br>
So many blushes...
Wow, very practical...I had never thought of that before, great ideas! I will definitely do that on my iPod and soon to be iPad 3...:) thanks Kiteman! <br><br><br>...youre my favorite person on Instructables...
&gt;blush&lt;<br><br>Too kind.
...but its true...;)
go smart people! seriously good instructable but whoever is gonna need it probably wont care for it. good idea though
Thanks - that's why I suggested emailing a link to the folk that need it.
yeah as a matter of fact i do know a few people like that... anyway good able, couldnt have put it better my self. now, only to wait till im done with my exams so that i can get my ipod back from my PARENTS!!!

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Bio: The answer is "lasers", now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Project previews on Tumblr & Twitter: @KitemanX
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