For many years now, iOS has offered an option in the Passcode section of the Settings app: “Erase all data on this iPhone after 10 failed passcode attempts.” […] I’ve long been intrigued by this setting, but never turned it on, out of the vague fear that something could happen and I’d wind up with a wiped iPhone. Say, if a “friend” surreptitiously took my phone at a bar and entered 10 wrong passcodes as a prank. Something like that.
[…] I had no idea until I looked into it last weekend, but it turns out this feature is far more clever than I realized, and it’s highly unlikely that your kids or jackass drinking buddies could ever trigger it. […] Attempts 1-4 are “free”. There’s a 1-minute delay before the 5th attempt, 5 minutes before the 6th, 15 minutes before the 7th and 8th, and a 60-minute delay before the 10th. […] During this timeout the only thing you can do is place an emergency call to 911.
[…] According to Apple’s own iOS Security Guide (page 15), it would take one hour and 36 minutes. […] I’ve got it turned on now, and I can’t think of a good reason why anyone wouldn’t enable this.
I hadn’t really put too much thought into this before, but it’s a good point. After finding this tip, I’ve enabled it on both my iPhone and iPad.