Tips for Creating a Secure Lock Screen

Your phone probably has a lot of personal information stored on it. From passwords to photos or even social media accounts which automatically log in upon launch. So, it’s not surprising that many phones have locks set up to prevent unwanted access. If you don’t have a lock set, then maybe you should. If you already have one, how secure is it, really? As it turns out, not very. Much like regular account passcodes, people are dismally bad at coming up with unique passwords, especially when it comes to the famous Android lock patterns. But, there are a few things you can do to make your phone a bit more secure than the average device.

Android

Android has far more options than iPhones do for securing and locking away your phone. While some phones do have unique things, like LG’s Knock Code or fingerprint scanning on some newer Samsung devices, there are some similarities that all Android devices have. Here’s how to make them more secure: Pattern
  • More nodes is always better – try for at least six
  • Make the pattern invisible
  • Change directions
  • Cross lines or backtrack to another node
  • Avoid drawing letters
  • Avoid going left to right or top to bottom
  • Clean your screen to wipe of fingerprint residue
  • Create a backup PIN you’ll remember
PIN
  • Avoid sequential numbers
  • Don’t use numbers easily connected to you such as birthdays or anniversaries
  • If possible, use more numbers. I recommend at ¬†least five.
  • If the option is available, check the box to randomize the number pad
Password
  • Avoid using names
  • Include at least one number or special character if the password is short
Setting a lock on your device is tricky business. While you likely want it to be secure, it needs to be something that isn’t super time-consuming to use constantly. It also needs to be easy to remember because if you forget it, you are definitely in trouble. Make sure you keep both convenience and memorability in mind when setting your new lock. The other trick is to use it several times in a row to help get used to it. There’s nothing more disconcerting than forgetting your password into a device.

iPhone

iPhones don’t have quite as many options for locking the device as Android device do. I think this is partially because all iPhones launched after the 5s have a fingerprint scanner. And, really, those are pretty secure in of themselves. However, if you don’t want to use your fingerprint scanner for whatever reason, you can set up a pin or a word password in the “Touch ID and Passcode” section in the Settings app. From there, you can set a pin, enter your fingerprint or toggle off the “Simple Passcode” option to enter a word with the keyboard. PIN
  • Avoid sequential numbers
  • Don’t use numbers easily connected to you such as birthdays or anniversaries
Password
  • Avoid using names
  • Include at least one number or special character if the password is short
  • Avoid using passwords from other sites
Make sure that your PIN or password are memorable because if you forget it, you’ll be in trouble and might have to take it back to the Apple store. I’ve never had that happen so I’m not really sure how you’d fix it, but I can definitely say it’ll be a hassle.]]>

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