Information Security

Simple Ways to Lock Your Smartphone

If you leave your smartphone unattended for a while – or worse, if it’s lost or stolen - you don’t want to make it easy for someone to go through the contents. Setting your smartphone lock means that a PIN or password is required for access after an inactive period. This is the single easiest way to thwart the efforts of would-be thieves to steal your personal information through opportunistic unauthorized access.

The device-specific steps listed below may vary somewhat between OS versions. You can usually lock your smartphone by using a screensaver or tweaking the security settings. If you can't find how to do this on your device, contact the manufacturer. Here are a few examples:

  • Android: Go to Settings > Location & security > Set up screen lock. The timeout delay is configured separately, under Settings > Display.  Android also offers a connect-the-dots swipe pattern you can use in lieu of a PIN or password, but it might leave tell tale smudges on your screen.
  • BlackBerry: Go to Options > Security Options > General Settings > Password
  • iPhone: Go to Settings > General > Passcode lock
  • Windows Phone 7: Go to Settings > Lock & Wallpaper

Check out some additional ways to keep your mobile device and data secure.