Always password protect your mobile device

Enabling the inbuilt mobile password (passcode) protection should be one of the first things you do when you first fire up your new expensive cherished device. You don’t want someone to be able to read or post Facebook status updates, post tweets, and send SMS’s and emails or listen to your private voicemails do you?

If you value your privacy then you should find this post rather interesting. Below you will find FOUR of the most popular mobile operating systems, where I outline the default method for setting up a password/PIN for your mobile operating system and data. Note: The following are in no particular order:

Apple iPhone iOS 4.0 upwards
This is a four digit pin which isn’t the most secure method, but it’s better than having no security on your iOS device. To activate your PIN click > Settings > General > Passcode Lock and click ‘Turn Passcode On’. You will have to input your PIN code twice to verify it is correct. Note: In the event you have 10 failed passcode attempts, iOS will erase ALL the data on your device.

BlackBerry OS 5.0 upwards
BlackBerry (RIM) is known for providing secure devices, so you’d expect BlackBerry to provide the most secure devices available. To set your password click on Options > Security > Password. Check the ‘Enable’ box and then Set Password. RIM has also been working on pass pattern technology for BB 7.1 and the new all singing and dancing BB 10 . So expect an even more secure login experience for BB users.

Android 2.2 upwards
All Android devices from Froyo 2.2 upwards offer four different types of options for locking your device. The first uses a swipe pattern. To set this up you will need to choose > Security > Change Unlock Pattern > Check Require Pattern to be able to enter a swipe pattern. Never create an obvious shape. The second option is PIN Unlock which is a four digit number. This is preset and can be accessed under your mobile setting. The third option is a Password Lock which allows you to create a stronger password with a combination of alphanumeric, numeric and special characters. To set the Password Lock you will need to be on the Home screen and then click > Menu > Navigate to ‘Settings’ and then select > Security / Security Option.

Windows Phone 7 (WP7)
For those of you who use WP7, you have the option of setting a password. On Start, flick left to the App list, and then tap Settings > Lock + wallpaper. To setup the password for the first time, you will need to turn on Password, enter your new password in the New Password box and then reenter to confirm it.

I also suggest you set up a SIM card lock. This will stop people from accessing your SIM card data in the event your mobile device is lost or stolen. You will need to consult your mobile device help guide to find out how to set this up. Final thoughts – I do understand that entering a PIN or password every time you access your mobile can be most frustrating and time consuming, but consider the alternative. That alternative is having someone you don’t know, know quite a bit about you and your private life. Who knows what they might do with the information. Only you can decide whether password protecting your mobile is worthwhile.

Safe surfing folks!

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One Response to Always password protect your mobile device

  1. Pingback: Always password protect your mobile device | News | IT Security Magazine - Hakin9

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