Cell Phone Security

The need for cell phone security is very real. Given that you probably have your phone linked automatically to your email, banking accounts, and other personal information, you should care about having effective security on your phone.

Because of this, LG has given pattern style passcodes a twist in their new G3 phone. Instead of the more common nine dot pattern, you get four quadrants that you tap in a pattern you define. You can use as few as three taps or as many as eight, giving you over 80,000 possible combinations. Since you tap instead of swipe, this would be more secure than normal swipe patterns.

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Numeric passcodes are a little better, but most people pick easy-to-remember numbers, like birth dates and street addresses. These numbers are easy to remember, but they also tend to be pretty easy to guess. Some phones give you the option of switching to a full password with letters and/or punctuation included. While this option improves security, most people opt not to use this feature because of the inconvenience.

However, even with their shortcomings, these measures are definitely better than no security. If you turn off the passcode feature of your phone, you leave all of your data completely unprotected. In today’s world of identity theft, this can be a very bad idea.

Taking cell phone security to the next level, some of the new smartphones that have come out in the last year include fingerprint sensors. While there is some debate on how well these sensors work, I think this might be the most secure unlocking mechanism yet.

After you’ve implemented cell phone security measures, you should ask yourself, “What happens if I do lose my phone? What happens if it’s stolen?” If this happens, having the Find My Phone app installed can be invaluable in finding it again. You can also install apps that will allow you to remotely wipe your phone so that if it is lost or stolen, people would not have access to your personal data.

Just this week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed groundbreaking legislation that will require a “kill switch” on all smartphones sold in the state. The “kill switch” technology will allow smartphones to be disabled remotely. This would render the phone useless and could lead to fewer cell phone thefts.