Keep your smartphone secure

A high number of smartphone users are leaving themselves vulnerable to identity theft and fraud by not setting a password. Drew explains how to set up a password on four different smartphones and how to choose a secure code.

With so much emphasis on secure online passwords and encryption for computers, phones are generally overlooked. If you lose your smartphone and don’t have a pass code, your emails, browsing history and all my phone contacts details could be stolen. If you don’t have a pass code in place, I recommend you set one up immediately and also pass this information on to your friends and family who also use a smartphone, as many of them will be unsecure also.


Choosing a pass code
Pass codes come standard as a four digit code on all smartphone devices. You should always avoid the obvious pass codes such as 1234, 5555, 9876 and so on as these are easily guessed if you ever do lose your phone. So how do you choose a pass code which is secure? Your ATM code is generally four digits but is this a secure pass code? I would always recommend against this code as there have been reports (not many) of thieves shoulder surfing people in cafes (not in Australia) to view the person’s pass code and then stealing their phones/wallets and using the pass code to withdraw money from the persons bank account. The best code you can use is a very random code which has no significance to your life at all. If this is too hard, the birthday of someone dear to you is always a great alternative.


Setting up a pass code

From your home screen, press the ‘Settings’ icon.

Scroll down and select ‘General’
Scroll down and select ‘Pass code Lock’
Select the ‘Turn Pass code On’ button
Enter a four-digit pass code
Re-enter the pass code.

From the homescreen, press the ‘Menu’ button
Select ‘Settings’
Select ‘Security’
Select ‘Screen Lock’ (depending on your phone the wording around this will be slightly different)

Depending on your phone, you can now choose either a pattern password or a pin password. Select this and then finally set how quickly you want your phone to lock itself (1 minute is recommended). This means if you try and reopen your phone within a minute of locking it, you won’t have to re-enter the pass code.

Windows phone
Navigate to the home screen. Flick screens left to the ‘Applications’ list
Select ‘Settings’
Select ‘Lock and Wallpaper’
Slide the option next to the password screen lock option to the right.
Enter the four digit password and then re-enter the password.

From the home screen, select the ‘Options’ menu.

Select ‘Security Options’
Select ‘General Settings’
Select the option for Password and select the ‘Enabled’ option
In the pop-up screen, enter your password
Set your number of password attempts (no less than 10)
Set your security timeout (1 minute is recommended)
Select no for ‘Prompt on Application Install’

Written by Drew

Starting out as a week of work experience in 2005 while studying his Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University, Drew has never left his post and has been with the company ever since, working on the websites digital needs. Drew has a passion for all things technology which is only rivalled for his love of all things sport (watching, not playing).