Weekend Open Forum: What phone security do you use?

By on December 6, 2013, 7:15 PM
smartphone, password, security, cell phone, passcode, phone, pattern lock

Like locking a car door, passwording my phone has always felt like it would only deter the weak willed. Nonetheless, earlier this year I decided a basic passcode was comforting enough for everyday life and started using a four-dot pattern lock, which quickly grew to six and then nine once each step became firmly ingrained.

For the second and a half it takes me to swipe through Android's lock screen, I don't see myself going passwordless again -- if nothing else, the obstacle keeps me from looking at my own phone too much. What type of security do you use on your phone and does it make you feel safe beyond a nosy sibling or spouse?




User Comments: 39

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Lurker101 said:

I don't carry a mobile phone with me. Seems like a pretty secure way of doing things. If I'm not at home, I'm at work, where there's a phone. If I'm not at work, I'm at home, where there's a phone. If I'm at neither of those places, chances are that I don't want anybody calling me.

Senthil.c Senthil.c said:

@ Lurker101 - remind me of my grandpa, its sounds like you still living in 18th century that's ok but the author not asking people like you..

I'm using just simple pin code in my lumina920 for work, finger print on atrix 4g at home.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Galaxy Note 2 running CM 11 (KitKat)

4 digit pin for unlock and another 4 digit pin for Play Store purchases. Phone set to lock after 5mins.

Using Pins and ADM make me feel safer.

WithoutAnyMilk WithoutAnyMilk said:

Even with a password, all one has to do is plug the phone into a computer and voila! Everything is at the thief's fingertips. So no, I don't feel secure at all.

1 person liked this | hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Even with a password, all one has to do is plug the phone into a computer and voila! Everything is at the thief's fingertips. So no, I don't feel secure at all.

When I connect my phone to my PC it shows up, but when I double click on it, it says "Folder is Empty" when my phone is locked.

Update: I did forget my ext SD card can be removed and viewed on a computer so I should encrypt it. Ooops. I could also go one step further and set up a SIM lock in case someone tries to change it.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Typically, I don't use security on my smartphone. Since nothing sensitive is stored on it, I feel passcoding it just creates more trouble than worth.

TrueBooleanFals TrueBooleanFals said:

No security. You can easily crack the codes or bypass them altogether. I always have my phone either, in my work van (Dish), in my toolbelt, in my pocket, or in my ACU top (Army). Want it? get it from me first.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

No security. You can easily crack the codes or bypass them altogether. I always have my phone either, in my work van (Dish), in my toolbelt, in my pocket, or in my ACU top (Army). Want it? get it from me first.

That's not true, and if you have the phone in your hands it can be stolen.

See: "Apple Picking"

TrueBooleanFals TrueBooleanFals said:

No security. You can easily crack the codes or bypass them altogether. I always have my phone either, in my work van (Dish), in my toolbelt, in my pocket, or in my ACU top (Army). Want it? get it from me first.

That's not true, and if you have the phone in your hands it can be stolen.

See: "Apple Picking"

Never thought of that, good thing the majority of the time it stays in where I put it and use my BlueTooth.

Even if they hack the Bluetooth, setting up a security code for unlocking the phone is useless

EDIT:

Oh! I do have a kind of security on my phone, dunno if it works or not, but I have "Where's my Droid". I have tried the GPS, Ring, and flash, but never tried to wipe it via WMD Commander. It's not a lock screen, but if it gets stolen, I can wipe all data, send a message to my wife that the phone has been stolen from my phone, send its GPS coordinates in real time or via triangulation, other cool features.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

None, I can't imagine anyone would want to steal my 5 year old blackberry.

1 person liked this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

None, I can't imagine anyone would want to steal my 5 year old blackberry.

Antique collectors can be a nefarious bunch. I wouldn't let my guard down for too long.

Guest said:

Using fingerprint security of iphone %s now :)

hitech0101 said:

No security, but only things stored in my phone are contacts and spam sms.

Acespaces Acespaces said:

3 years ago I used a passcode (android pattern lock) but than noticed that it hindered me from doing tasks at full speed like answering a sms or checking the weather (full speed as in one handed in 5 seconds). The only reason I kept the password on at the time was because of theft, or the occasional person getting a hold of my phone and snooping around. But after thought I came to conclusion that someone would only steal my phone is I allowed them to or gave them the opportunity I.e leaving it laying around. But I never do that. Also that the only thing I'm afraid for people to see are a few photos on my phone.

So for the past 3 years I have not had a lock on the lock screen, always kept my phone in my hand or right thigh pocket, and used a file locker/hider on those not so clean images.

EClyde EClyde said:

Tracphone. Only way to go.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Never thought of that, good thing the majority of the time it stays in where I put it and use my BlueTooth.

Even if they hack the Bluetooth, setting up a security code for unlocking the phone is useless

EDIT:

Oh! I do have a kind of security on my phone, dunno if it works or not, but I have "Where's my Droid". I have tried the GPS, Ring, and flash, but never tried to wipe it via WMD Commander. It's not a lock screen, but if it gets stolen, I can wipe all data, send a message to my wife that the phone has been stolen from my phone, send its GPS coordinates in real time or via triangulation, other cool features.

I'm interested in how you think its so easy to hack bluetooth and pin locks.

FYI, services like find my droid, adm, android lost, and find my phone are useless used on their own if the thief shuts off the gps and or location services before you could wipe it. That's where pins, encryption, and sim locks come in.

Btw, remote wipes can be done anywhere you can get an internet connection. Waiting for wifey could be too late.

baN893 baN893 said:

Using facial recognition on my Nexus 5 to unlock it.

Guest said:

I have a Nexus 5. There is no SD card to speak of, the internal memory is encrypted with a PIN which is also the lock screen PIN, there is a SIM pin, and there's a Desktop Backup Password (you can set this under Developer Options) so if you want to adb backup you need that passphrase too, even if the phone is not at the lock screen.

drfan said:

I dont use password to unlock phone but pin code for sensitive apps like message, mail... Also, I encrypted private files or photos, videos. I use at least 6 numbers pin or password.

learninmypc learninmypc said:

After setting up a passcode for a panimage tablet

for a friend & it later was given to me, & none of of remembering it, I've decided NO passcode on my iPhone 4. Its still sitting here, untouched.

Guest said:

Well I don't own a regular phone, I own an iphone and they don't get viruses or anything. I am not worried. Its by far and away the best and most secure phone on the market. its not like cheap Android phones that are full of security holes and very vunarable. I would never choose another phone.

learninmypc learninmypc said:

Well I don't own a regular phone, I own an iphone and they don't get viruses or anything. I am not worried. Its by far and away the best and most secure phone on the market. its not like cheap Android phones that are full of security holes and very vunarable. I would never choose another phone.

Give it time, I'm sure there are hackers out here looking for a way in them

1 person liked this | Blkfx1 Blkfx1 said:

Well I don't own a regular phone, I own an iphone and they don't get viruses or anything. I am not worried. Its by far and away the best and most secure phone on the market. its not like cheap Android phones that are full of security holes and very vunarable. I would never choose another phone.

Ohhh, Guest. You're are so silly. I really hope that you're just being sarcastic. If it was so secure, why in the world does each revision get jailbroken the moment it's released lol.

TrueBooleanFals TrueBooleanFals said:

Well I don't own a regular phone, I own an iphone and they don't get viruses or anything. I am not worried. Its by far and away the best and most secure phone on the market. its not like cheap Android phones that are full of security holes and very vunarable. I would never choose another phone.

I hope you are joking... ANY software can get a virus. I hate "Apple uber-enthusiasts", the main reason I hate apple products.

JC713 JC713 said:

4 number passcode.

Nobina Nobina said:

Well I don't own a regular phone, I own an iphone and they don't get viruses or anything. I am not worried. Its by far and away the best and most secure phone on the market. its not like cheap Android phones that are full of security holes and very vunarable. I would never choose another phone.

I don't own a regular phone either, I own an Android and it is far superior to your iphone. I never get any viruses on it even without having any kind of phone security because I use something called common sense and don't click on the $100000 prize ad. Same thing goes for Windows on PC.

rvnwlfdroid said:

As far a security to access the phone, I do not have anything set. With that being said I do have several other tools in place in case the device is lost/stolen. Apps them selves that need a code to access or modify. One app that requires a pass phrase to uninstall any apps, one that will perform a remote wipe, sdcard encryption, SIM card lock. I realize there are ways around just about everything but these steps will be enough to give me some peace of mind against the average Joe who might find it if I loose it.

Guest said:

And apparently you are silly too because they don't get jailbroken "the moment it's released" like you claim. The jailbreak too almost 6 months on iOS 6 and they still don't have one out for iOS 7 yet

Guest said:

I have a jailbroken iPhone and I use a 7 dot password lock (cydia tweak), along with Find my iPhone and a program that stops criminals from being able to wipe my phone if they get it (cydia tweak) and a program that can stop them from turning off my phone or putting it in airplane mode along with remotely activating location features so I can find my stolen phone (cydia tweak) so, contrary to what one of the earlier posters seems to believe, jailbreaking can actually enhance security

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

None sadly. Need to invest in a better phone. Mine doesn't even have a vibrate function and missed calls only show when it's turned on LOL

tonylukac said:

Just got my smartphone because I'm taking a free android app course at coursera.org. Got it at walmart. Did you know att makes smartphones for their prepaid system? That's what I have, an att avail. Can't you just reset the phone and remove the password anyway? I don't use a password. What I thought this article dealt with is antivirus (like avast) for the android phone.

IvanAwfulitch IvanAwfulitch said:

I don't keep anything on my phone or on the internet unless I'm okay with it being in the public domain. Anything more private than that, you'd have to ask the NSA for. I'm sure they could tell you everything about me.

That, and I use an old Motorola Razr V3 from 2005. If you wanted to have a look at my contacts, or my latest text message from my parents, you could come up to me and grab my phone and have a look if you want. I'm not saying I'm using the most secure, impenetrable device known to man, I'm just saying that using the older technology can keep you safer most of the time. My father, for instance, runs his laptops using outdated MS operating systems purely because there aren't any viruses being written for those platforms anymore.

One of the more disappointing aspects of current gen tech is that, when you're buying something, you have to accept that there's now a large risk that you're vulnerable to a cyber-attack of some kind. It then becomes a matter of what you keep on your phone, rather than how to keep people out. Always maintain a mindset of, "If I lost my phone today or had it stolen, would it be a catastrophe?" If the answer is yes, rethink what you're putting on your devices and why.

1 person liked this | amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

.

Well I don't own a regular phone, I own an iphone and they don't get viruses or anything. I am not worried. Its by far and away the best and most secure phone on the market. its not like cheap Android phones that are full of security holes and very vunarable. I would never choose another phone.

You don't need to worry about security, you have already agreed to absolutely zero privacy and to let Apple see and hear everything you do on your iphone. My Droid 4's OS may be easy as pie to break into but it offers much more versatility, freedom and performance.

I won't say that people who get iphones are usually tech dummies because thats not always the case, I like to put my brain on standby to and thats why I have an ipad.

gibbstar gibbstar said:

4 key password and finger print scan on the iphone 5s, plus I have the find your phone app, which is great for deleting all data on your phone if you get separated from it. I usually have my laptop on me, so as long as I have wifi access I can get onto the remote site and shut 'er down! What if somebody steals my laptop, too, you might ask? if they try and jack any of my shit I'm putting up a fight, so will probably be dead or not have it stolen depending on the outcome. I have it mostly for losing my items, such as in taxis after a long night, etc.

Guest said:

Most of you all insecure freaks... I 100% guarantee no one gives a damn about anything any of you have on your phones...

Khanonate said:

Most of you all insecure freaks... I 100% guarantee no one gives a damn about anything any of you have on your phones...

You wanna bet?! lol

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Mathew

On my Lumia 920 I have a pin code* (and I mostly carry it around). On my S4 (and all previous Galaxy S's) nothing, nada, it is pointless, since no matter what mechanism you use, it can be easily trashed. So no point in wasting my time on something which isn't going to hold out.

* I don't think it is unbreakable as such.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

None. Though using a Nokia S60 phone is kind of security by itself.

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