Phone Security: Setting Up a Lockscreen Pattern, Password And PIN on an Android Device

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By Judith Aparri | April 9, 2014 8:12 PM EST

Setting up a lockscreen pattern, password and PIN on your Android device for security is highly recommended. It is very essential to set up and maintain a good smartphone security.

Some fundamentals may not seem important all the time. But they often offer to ensure your gadget is safe. One of those fundamentals is the lockscreen protection in your devices so you can be sure you are the only one who has the access to your phone. This is a good alternative especially if you have confidential data that require protection. So how it is done is quiet simple.

Here is what we learned from Phandroid, #Android and AndroidTapp:

Most Android users have their own way of having security lock to protect confidentiality. There are even some favored discussions as to which one is more reliable in terms of security.  It is essential that you have one option to use. 

  • None - has zero security, you will have your home screen right in your face once you turned on your phone.
  • Slide - this is the default and most probably what most are using. Most touchscreen phones have "slide to unlock" and this has no guaranteed security.
  • Face Unlock - this works if your phone has a front-facing camera which can use your face for identification. The setup is to simply select the option and follow the simple instructions. Once done, your phone will unlock when you look at it. It won't work for anyone else! You need plenty of light on your face for it to work properly. It can be frustrating if it doesn't work initially although you can open your phone using a secondary unlock method if the Face Unlock doesn't work.
  • Pattern - the most common screen unlock method and as long as you can keep your pattern secret, your phone is very secure. The good thing is it's really easy to set up. When you select it from the menu, you automatically get a screen with nine pins on it. Now you have to drag your finger between the points to create a pattern. Keep it relatively simple, but try to touch several points. Try a shape you are likely to remember! You then have to repeat the pattern, by clicking "Continue," to set it permanently. To unlock, you'll have to quickly repeat the pattern to unlock your screen. It adds extra security to your device meaning only you can open it. When you have successfully unlocked the device, it'll look a little like this: If the pattern is incorrect, it will display in red.
  • PIN - it works like your ATM card. The four-digit pin number is the real actor and works equally the same. You just need not to forget it. It's a good idea not to use repeating numbers (don't use more than two if you absolutely must). Hit continue. Re-enter the PIN to confirm.
  • Password - works like when you log into web sites, e-mail and other user interface. But this can drag a little if you do it every time you open your smartphone, but it is secure. The password must be at least four characters, must be no more than 17 characters, and must contain at least one letter. Use an alphanumerical password with symbols which is a minimum of eight characters for ultimate security. But anything will do. Hit continue. Re-enter the password to confirm.

It is important to decide which one to choose that will work best for you. If you don't favor the password method because it requires you complex combination (strong password), maybe the PIN or Pattern method (if you don't need much security) is fine with you.

If you have decided which one you go and to access these options, follow the steps below.

Step 1  Go to Settings either in your app draw or, if you have a newer device you can find it in the upper right hand corner when you drag down from the top of your screen and reveal your notification panel.

Step 2  Scroll down and find Security or Security and Screen Lock located under the "Personal section for Android 4.2 or higher. Under screen security section, choose "Screen Lock" option.

Some smartphones are having more than one option for lock-screen security like most newer phones with front-facing camera to support Face-Unlock Security.

Special phones like the HTC One Max - even give you a fingerprint scanner. Check out your device's manual to see how to take care of all of that.

 Other Settings

Check with your phone's settings for you to setup a time limit that will keep your phone unlocked until you will reach the time limit. You have to setup locking your device anytime power button is pressed. This will not affect what you have setup in the timer. This works when you want to peep-on your phone to check with messages and you don't want to use an access code to unlock your phone every now and then.

Google Password

Remember and familiarize your Google password otherwise recover your account and set it to something easy for you to remember. It is very necessary because in case you forgot your PIN, password or pattern or locked-out after a number of incorrect entries, the only option for you to get back in is through your Google account, otherwise you will opt for factory reset - which also means losing all your data.

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