Losing your phone

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones Forum' started by Coz, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. Coz

    Coz
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    Touch wood this never happens, but suppose I lose my phone. Is there anything I can do to stop someone else using it and accessing everything on it? Like a password or something?
     
  2. RobM

    RobM
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    Which phone is it?

    Almost all modern phones will allow you to set a PIN or password, plus allow you to choose the timeout before this is applied. So, for instance, you could have a simple 4-digit PIN that is promoted after 5 minutes of inactivity. You could also have a complex alpha-numeric password that is prompted instantly. The choice is, usually, yours.

    Some phones also have the option to automatically delete the entire contents of the phone when you get the password wrong a certain amount of times. Set it to 10 and it allows you to have a few dumb moments, but doesn't offer somebody who finds it unlimited chances to try and get in. After the 10th failed attempt, it's wiped.

    Additionally, some phones are backed by a service from the manufacturer that lets you track your phones location online. This only works if the phone has a constant data connection and stops the moment the data connection stops, or it's powered off, but it's very useful if you've just misplaced it.

    It all depends on your phone though. Anything from Apple or BlackBerry and many Android and Windows Phone devices can do all of this.
     
  3. Coz

    Coz
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    Thanks. I have a Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro. Any idea if my phone can do any of that?
     
  4. RobM

    RobM
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    Go into the main phone Settings, then look for either 'Security' or 'Location / Security' you should find the option to see an Unlock Pattern, a Password or a PIN.

    Unlock pattern is a pattern you 'swipe' to unlock, linking at least four-dots together to unlock.
    Password is a combination or letters and numbers.
    PIN is just a 4-digit PIN.

    The rest of the options to customise should be in the same menu.
     
  5. WildeKarde

    WildeKarde
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    Windows phones let you phone the handset, send messages to it, lock it and erase it remotely. I presume no phone really helps if someone hard resets it straight away for the hardware though.
     
  6. Coz

    Coz
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    Looked in settings and my phone has:
    Set unlock pattern
    Set up SIM card lock (what's this?)
    Set password

    So if I do set a password or whatever, would I be able to undo it later if I decide I no longer want one? Or will I be stuck with it?
     
  7. RobM

    RobM
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    You can undo it at any time if you change your mind, the option to disable it will be in the same settings as you've found.

    SIM Card Lock is a PIN for the SIM, so regardless of what happens on your phone, it won't connect to the mobile network until you enter a PIN. Your phones PIN/Password/Pattern is separate to this.
     
  8. Coz

    Coz
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    Thanks. So I only need to set a pin/password/pattern for the phone and not bother with the sim card lock?
     
  9. Coz

    Coz
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    Just been thinking... these passwords won't protect the memory card in the phone, will they? So whoever found your phone could just take the card out and put it in theirs or a PC and see all your photos etc on it. And do the text messages get stored on the memory card or the phone?
     
  10. RobM

    RobM
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    Personally speaking, I don't bother with a SIM card lock. So long as you report it lost to your network operator quick enough, the risk is minimal.

    I believe that's correct, but you may also find options to encrypt the media card. I'm not sure it's worth it though, as text messages are stored on the phone (even if some parts are on the card, they won't be readable easily) and photos don't really pose much of a risk to you (just embarrassment, perhaps).

    The real risk is your online accounts - email, Facebook, stored passwords in the browser, cloud storage for saved documents, that sort of thing. Those pose a risk as they open you up to all sorts of fraud. Pictures and other media don't.

    All IMO, of course, but that's the stance I take. I'm sure nobody cares about my photos :)
     
  11. wiz

    wiz
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    Do Android phones do this (remote wipe etc)? I have a Moto Razr
     
  12. Coz

    Coz
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    Yeah, the main thing I'm bothered about is texts and all the stored passwords in the browser etc. So are all the browser passwords on the phone and not the memory card?
     
  13. RobM

    RobM
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    It's standard Android functionality and I don't think any manufacturer has removed it. It should be there on your Razr.

    It depends on the app in question, but generally speaking yes, browser passwords will be on the phone. If you've deliberately moved the browser to the MicroSD card that might change, but you'd know if you had done that :)
     
  14. Coz

    Coz
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    Do you know if it's possible to move photos from the memory card to the phone's internal memory? When I go to a folder and press edit then move, nothing happens. It doesn't give me the option to move it to the phone. I don't think I could do it on my laptop, as when I plug my phone into my laptop, only one window comes up where everything is stored on my phone.
     
  15. RobM

    RobM
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    I don't know for your phone specifically I'm afraid. Perhaps stick a post in the Sony Ericsson forum section and hope another owner of the same model can help.
     
  16. Jay Z

    Jay Z
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    For added security, you could use Lookout Mobile Security. I have used it for nearly 2 years now and it's not given me any issues. It's got anti virus built in and I can remotely make contact with my phone if I need to locate it, remotely wipe it or any other things.

    You can try the trial version and then if you like it, get the Premium version which is around thirty quid a year, which gives you some extra bits of security.


    Jay
     

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