By their very nature, smartphones have always been fairly private devices. The conversations we have, the pictures we take, and the other various types of data we store on our smartphones are likely very private and often very sensitive.
While I don’t personally keep anything compromising – pictures, text, or otherwise – on my smartphone, private conversations I wouldn’t want other people to read abound. My smartphone also has access to my bank account, my LastPass account, which holds the passwords to all my online accounts, and cloud access to all my photos, documents, and other data.
However, those aren’t the biggest dangers for me; they’re all password protected until I need them. The biggest threat for me is unwanted access to my social accounts – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram. I have thousands of followers on each, save for Facebook, where it’s all personal friends and family. If someone gained access to one of my phones, it could quickly turn into a nightmare.
In other words, my smartphones, tablets, and even my computer are time bombs, just waiting on a passerby to snatch them up. We’re all in the same boat; to some degree, we all store some form of private or sensitive information or data on our smartphones.
The question is, do you take the increasingly necessary precautions to keep prying eyes and fingers out of your apps, pictures, emails, calendars, social accounts, digital wallets, and other sensitive parts of your phone?
With so many new and innovative smartphone security technologies available, there’s no reason not to.
Standard PINs and passwords get rather annoying when you have to reenter them every few minutes, but it gets easier over time. The Pattern Lock in Android is a nice compromise. It’s incredibly easy to input and remember, but often just as difficult to crack (so long as you don’t make it too simple, like a letter).
Further, more than a few phones now come with a fingerprint scanner built-in – iPhone 5s, Galaxy S5, HTC One max, etc. Not all work as well as others, but in most cases it’s quicker than manually entering a PIN or password, and it’s certainly more difficult to spoof or hack. Google introduced Face Unlock with Ice Cream Sandwich and … it isn’t the worst thing ever.
And there are some third-party lock methods, to boot. Motorola introduced Skip with its Moto X, an NFC-enabled magnet which could unlock your phone. LG pairs KnockOn with a pattern, called Knock Code. And Android developer Justin Case developed one of my favorite lock methods ever: TimePIN. TimePIN is a free app that changes your PIN every minute to match the time, or some variation of the time, to make your phone more secure.
I typically use TimePIN on my Android phone, a standard PIN on the iPhone 5, and a password lock on the iPad. Do you secure your phone, ladies and gents? Take our poll below to let us know!