You can prevent your notes on your iPhone from being accessed by others on your iPad.
Notes apps help you store your important information on your iOS devices be it iPhone or iPad. But do you know what happens when your sensitive and private notes sync across your iPad via iCloud from your iPhone? These notes from iPhone are available across your iPad and can be found by other family members or co-workers who use the same iPad. You are then at risk of leaking your notes to others who can read or edit them or even can delete them from your device.
To prevent this blunder from happening you can protect your sensitive piece of information when more than one device is logged into your account by three easy ways. In this way you can keep notes only on your iPhone and that they never sync to your other devices, you can lock your notes with a password so only you can access them, or you can turn off syncing on your iPhone or your iPad.
1. Keep your notes safe only to your iPhone boundary
If you wish to keep your notes or some important set of notes solely on your iPhone then everything in this folder will not sync to your iPad since it’s stored locally.
For this to happen you need to open up the Settings app, scroll down and tap on “Notes,” then toggle on the “‘On My iPhone’ Account” setting. When setting up your iPhone for the first time, if you did not log into or use iCloud, “On My iPhone” is already toggled on for Notes as that would be the only folder available in the app.
So when you open Notes to the Folders screen as you may need to tap the back button if you’re in a folder already, you should see an On My iPhone section with a “Notes” folder.
By default, Apple prioritizes the iCloud section at the top when logged into iCloud, but On My iPhone should be the next section, before any third-party sections for Gmail, Yahoo, or the like. You may have to scroll down to find it depending on your display view, text size, and the number of folders and subfolders in your iCloudsection.
You can tap “New Folder” at the bottom, select “On My iPhone” to create a new local folder, then tap that folder’s name once created, or you can just tap the default “Notes” folder under On My iPhone to begin generating local, non-synced notes right away. If you have more than one folder in a section, a new folder will automatically be created to contain all your notes, “All on My iPhone” folder in this case.
If you have a note in your iCloud section that you want to be stored locally on your iPhone, you can swipe left on it from its folder screen, tap the folder icon, then select the folder under On My iPhone. Alternatively, you can use 3D Touch to peek into it, swipe up while peeking, then tap “Move” to select a new folder.
2. You can Lock Notes with a Password
With latest iOS now Notes allows for password protection for individual notes, with biometric support. Using “Lock Note” is an excellent solution if you need to protect a few notes that can be synced to your other devices but otherwise want to have transparency with the rest. When a locked note appears on your iPad or Mac, it cannot be opened nor deleted without the assigned password or biometric.
Note that biometrics such as Touch ID or Face ID defeat the purpose of “locking” notes if other users have their biometrics saved on those other devices and this means who ever access your iPad have to get permission to unlock locked notes with their fingerprints or facial features instead of a password.
Multi-user biometrics may be a thing in a household as several family members could have multiple fingerprints or faces saved to expedite bypassing lock screens. You can toggle off biometrics and rely solely on passwords for accessing locked notes in these cases.
Also you can creating different passwords for different notes, meaning protected notes do not all have to rely on a single password if you want to make Notes even more secure.
3. Do not allow your notes to be synced with iCloud
All notes between your iPhone and iPad, orother iOS devices can be kept separate by turning off Notes syncing in iCloud. You can turn off iCloud syncing for your iPhone only, turn off iCloud syncing for your iPad only, or turn off iCloud syncing for all devices. Best option is to turn off iCloud syncing for your iPhone since anyone with access to your other devices can turn iCloud syncing back on without any credentials.
To turn it off on your iPhone, open Settings, tap your name up top, select “iCloud,” then toggle off “Notes.” On the prompt, tap “Delete from My iPhone” to erase all the iCloud notes from your device. By doing so, you’re only erasing them from your iPhone, and now all your iCloud notes will still be stored in iCloud. However, you may want to move sensitive iCloud notes to your iPhone’s local storage first.
Note then when all devices must be logged into iCloud, you can have your iPhone logged into a different iCloud account than the iPad like one designated strictly for business use. But remember that this becomes complicated if other apps and data synced via iCloud like your Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Safari need to be made available across all devices as in sharing devices with family members. It is likely best to keep things simple and stick to a single iCloud account for your own devices and turn off Notes syncing for your iPhone to maintain privacy.
Although locally stored notes on your iPhone are not synced across devices, they are still backed up with iCloud when “iCloud Backup” is toggled on in your iCloud settings. If you use iTunes to create iPhone backups instead, your notes will be stored in the backup on your computer. Because of the way these backups are designed, Notes data within a backup is not easily accessible and readable unless the information is restored onto an iPhone, and that would require your iCloud password.
Simply choose the way among these three which you feel comfortable to protect your iPhone notes syncing across your iPad.