Enable a Password, PIN, or other Coded Entry
A password or PIN entry system is the simplest preventative measure you can take to ensure the security of your smartphone. This creates a physical barrier to help keep intruders out of your phone. Depending on your operating system, you may have the option of swipe-entry, password, or PIN code system. Read below to learn how to set up a password entry system for your device.
Android users have the option of a swipe pattern for secure entry (Android 2.2 Froyo users can also set a PIN or Passcode.) To set up a password entry in Android follow these steps:
1. Open Android Settings from the Applications Menu
2. Select either "Security Settings" or "Lock Screen and security"
3. Once inside the Security Lock Menu you have the option of changing the Lock Type (PIN, Passcode, Swipe, Fingerprint), changing the Lock Code, and changing the Security Lock Time (how long you phone will remain idle before locking itself.)
Making a swipe pattern is as simple as connecting the dots, but it is only secure as you make it. You do not want to chose an obvious shape, just as you would not chose to use your birthday as a passcode. Try to come up with a complex pattern that you will be able to remember. Once you've set your password you will be able to return to the home screen to unlock your Android Smartphone.
Setting up a passcode on iPhone devices is very easy, but it is no more secure than a four-digit PIN number. If you are running iOS4 or higher, you can set a password instead. If not, four digits is better than nothing. Follow these steps to secure your iPhone device:
1. From the App Menu open the Settings app
2. Choose 'General' settings and then select 'Passcode Lock'
3. If you do not already have a passcode, you will be asked to create a passcode and confirm it. If you already have a passcode you will be asked to enter it.
4. You will now be inside the 'Passcode Lock' menu where you can Turn Passcode On/Off, Change Passcode, or set a Passcode Auto-Lock.
In addition, iOS allows you to view a preview of incoming SMS Messages when you receive them. This can be "Disabled while Locked" so it will not show a preview while your device is locked. This function is accessable in the 'Passcode Lock' menu as well.
In Windows Phone 7, you are able to set a lock screen password very similar to the iPhone. This requires you to input a 4-Digit PIN code in order to use your device. To do this:
1. From the home screen, go to your application list and select Settings.
2. In the Settings menu select Lock & Wallpaper
3. Turn on the Password option and you will be prompted for a new password
4. Verify your new password by entering it in again
5. Select Done to save you changes
Very similar to other operating systems, you can choose the auto-lock timeout period. You will now be prompted for you password next time your Windows Phone goes to sleep.