Did You Know…How to Secure Your Phone

by | May 21, 2012 | Uncategorized

Task: I have sensitive work and personal information on my phone and I would like to be sure that data is secure.  My company policy requires my phone secure to protect confidential information.

Solution: The easiest way to secure your information is to enable password protection on your phone.  However, be aware that most phones have a built-in security setting that will wipe the device after several incorrect password attempts, resulting in lost data.  If enabling a phone password, be sure to store your phone password (and all other passwords) in a safe location or password management tool.  Your company may already have a password policy, so please check with your technical support team before making any of these suggested changes.

How: For most phones you will find a password option under settings.  Below are steps for setting a password in iOS4.  We have also provided details regarding your options if an incorrect password has been entered to many times on your device.

iOS –iPhone:

iOS4 or higher allow you to set a password.  Earlier versions allow for a 4 digit pin number instead

  1. Tap Settings General
  2. Passcode Lock
  3. Turn it on and enter your new password or passcode

If you enter the wrong passcode too many times, the iPhone will be disabled until you connect to the computer with which you last synced it.  You can configure your device to erase itself after ten consecutive incorrect password attempts (turned off by default) by tapping Settings > General > Passcode Lock.  If you forget the Passcode, you have to restore your device using the computer with which you last synced it.


Android’s additional security comes in the form of a swipe pattern for most phones.

  1. Tap settings
  2. Security
  3. Change Unlock pattern
  4. Check Require Pattern and you will be able to enter a swipe pattern.  When creating a swipe pattern think of it like connecting the dots and don’t create an obvious shape, but make it a pattern you can remember.  You will then be able to enter that pattern on your home screen to unlock your Android.   You can opt for the standard password or PIN if your Android version has that ability.

After five failed attempts, you are prompted with forgot password (or pattern).  Tap on that, and sign in with your Google account info.  If you remember that info, then you can login and change the password or unlock pattern.  If not, you have to do a hard reset on the phone, which wipes out the phone’s internal memory.

Windows Phone:

In Windows Phone you can set a lock screen password.

  1. Go to your application list
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Lock & Wallpaper
  4. Turn on the Password option
  5. You will be prompted to enter a new password two times
  6. Select done to save

If you forget the lock screen password, you have to hard reset the phone.  In order to do this, turn off the phone.  Press and hold the camera button, volume down, and power.  You’ll get a message asking to reset the phone.  This will wipe the phone of all pictures, texts, apps, and data.


On a Blackberry you can set up a password so that you can lock your phone or have the phone lock itself after a certain amount of time.

  1. From the Home screen select Options
  2. Scroll down to select security or security options
  3. Select password
  4. Select Enable – at the top under General
  5. Select Set Password Button
  6. Enter password and select Enter, verify password and select  Enter

If a password is incorrectly typed ten consecutive times, all data on the BlackBerry will automatically be deleted.

Security Timeout is a feature that, after a predetermined amount of inactivity, will automatically lock the BlackBerry.  To turn on password protection timeout feature:

  1. From the Home screen of the BlackBerry, click Options
  2. Scroll Down to Security or Security Options
  3. Click Security or Security Options
  4. Click on Password
  5. Locate the button next to “Lock After” and click it
  6. A list of Timeout intervals appears.  This is the amount of inactivity the BlackBerry is permitted before it will automatically lock itself.  Scroll through the list of Timeout intervals and click on the Timeout interval that you want
  7. Click the Menu Button on the BlackBerry and select Save


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John Ahlberg
CEO, Waident

CIO in the corporate world and now for Waident clients. John injects order and technology into business process to keep employees productive, enterprises running, and data safe.


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