Locked

We've talked before about how to set up your Android phone with a secure lockscreen, and today we're going to talk about why you should do it. We're all concerned about our privacy and security when it comes to our smartphones and connected devices, and the first step is to take whatever measures are available to us and put them to good use. It's not very wise to sit back and complain about the security issues if we're not willing to take any steps ourselves to keep things private. Ultimately, we as users are responsible for security and privacy on our phones. 

A rally against an application, or our carriers, for privacy concerns is all well and good. It's something we all need to concern ourselves with, and be armed with as much information as possible. But in the end, we have to make the final decisions about what we feel is secure and what isn't. A good start is to keep your private information safe in the event that you lose your phone or it gets stolen. It happens -- it's happened to me, it's likely happened to more than a few of you. You either leave your phone behind somewhere and it's gone when you go looking for it, or some unsavory type takes it upon himself to make your property disappear. A couple years back I was relieved of my laptop and briefcase containing two smartphones in a parking garage, and after the initial period of anger and shock I instantly worried about the fellow having access to my information -- not the equipment itself. Luckily, everything was password locked and I don't think any of my precious data made its way into someone else's hands. The laptop and phones were replaced, and all was well.

That scenario would have played out a good bit differently had the phones been left unprotected. Besides my personal information (which I certainly don't want anyone to have access to) I had business contacts, documents that were covered under an NDA, and other information that would have caused quite a stir if it had ended up in the wrong hands. Companies -- even and especially the one you work for -- take that sort of thing pretty damn seriously, and they should. That means you should. Whether it's some sort of trade secrets, sensitive financial data, or just information about your family, you don't want someone getting hold of it. Would you want someone horrible enough to steal your phone knowing which school your kids attend, or your Mom's address? What about your banking information, or your work email? Just because you have nothing to hide doesn't mean you shouldn't care. If you think cancelling and replacing credit cards and your drivers license is a pain when you lose your wallet, imagine what it's like trying to fix things when your Google account has been compromised. Or your PayPal account. Or even Facebook. 

Yes, it's inconvenient to have to type in a PIN or passcode every time you unlock your phone. It's also inconvenient to pay your car insurance every month. But when the time comes that you need either, you'll be glad you did.