A regular smartphone has several security features designed to keep your data safe from the outside world. Devices have always had several options for users to use, but with the development of mobile technology, the number of ways to unlock a smartphone is only increasing.
Gone are the days when devices only had password, PIN and pattern unlock options. In recent years, product manufacturers have begun to add various biometric security features to smartphones. These measures allow device owners to use various body parts, including fingerprints, faces, iris, and voices, to unlock their devices.
These features can be customized to suit the user’s lifestyle. Smartphone users can also configure multiple unlock functions for different security settings on the device. Take a look at all the unlocking functions you can find on your smartphone, how they work and how they can be useful to you as a user.
Note. While these instructions are more appropriate for Android smartphones, they are easy to translate to iPhones where applicable
No / Swipe
Many smartphone users usually leave the security mode on their devices by setting it to no password or using the Swipe to Unlock setting. This method leaves no protection mode for the smartphone and is generally not recommended. If your device is lost or stolen, other users have direct access to your most important information.
If you insist on leaving your device without a set of security features, consider having a password-protected folder on your smartphone. You can store the most important information and applications in this folder, having easy access to your smartphone for more everyday tasks.
To set this option for your smartphone, open Settings, Lock Screen & Security, and then select your screen lock type. If you have one, enter your password or backup PIN to continue. Choose “None” or “Swipe the screen” from the screen lock options. Your device will return to the previous settings page for confirmation.
The password protection setting is the same as any other security setting for a website or application. You can set the password to a sequence of numbers, lowercase or uppercase letters and symbols. A password is considered a high security option, but it depends on the complexity of your password sequence.
To set this option for your smartphone, open Settings, Screen Lock & Security and then Password. You will see a warning explaining that if you forget your password, you will have to erase the data from the device and return it to factory settings. This means that you will lose all of your data unless you create an external backup.
Enter your password once, select continue, and then again to confirm. If possible, select the eye option to your right, which will allow you to see the password as you type it. This will ensure that the password is entered correctly. Select OK. This will take you to the notification settings page, where you can decide if you want to receive notifications on the lock screen and how much detail will appear in the lock screen notifications. Choose your preferences and click Done.
It is highly recommended that you do not use your smartphone password as the password for any other device, service, website or application.
The PIN security option is popular with smartphone users because the codes are usually easy to remember. Users often choose numbers that matter to them, which makes them less likely to forget. The PIN is considered a medium security option, but it depends on the length and complexity of your sequence.
A PIN is usually a set of numbers. Depending on the device, your PIN may be four to six characters long. Many smartphones use PINs as a fallback security option for other login methods, so chances are you already set up a PIN on your device and don’t remember. I
To set this option for your smartphone, open Settings, Screen Lock & Security, and then PIN. As with setting a password, you will see a warning about what happens if you forget your PIN. Enter your PIN once, select continue, and then again to confirm. Your device will return to the previous settings page for confirmation.
On iPhone, you can choose in the same settings whether you want a numeric PIN or an alphanumeric password. On an Android device, PIN and Password are two different security settings.
The “Template” security setting is popular with smartphone users because it is easy to remember and entering a predefined pattern pattern can be fun. The template is considered a medium security option because many users can choose a simple design, but it is easy to change the overall design to a more secure template.
To set this option for your smartphone, open Settings, Screen lock & security, and then Pattern. As with setting a password, you will see a warning about what happens if you forget your template. Enter your sample once, select Continue, and then again to confirm. Your device will return to the previous settings page for confirmation.
The fingerprint security option can be used not only as a method of unlocking your device, but also as an authentication function for smartphone functions such as payment systems. You can use the fingerprint suite to authenticate payments to Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay on older iPhones.
Some devices have a fingerprint scanner inside the Home buttons, while others have this feature on the back. Several newer devices have built-in fingerprint scanners right into their displays.
Smartphones usually require users to be able to back up when setting up a fingerprint. You can choose a password, PIN or pattern as a backup.
The security level of this option is not clear as features such as fingerprint spoofing are possible but not common. Fingerprint scanners on iPhones are considered to be more secure than on Android devices, but fingerprint scanners on Apple devices are now rare.
To set this option for your smartphone, open Settings, Screen Lock & Security, and then Fingerprint Scanner. Confirm the backup passcode and follow the instructions on the fingerprint recorder.
On most smartphones, you will have to place your finger on the designated spot on the scanner in several different positions for it to enroll your fingerprint. Do this until the progress is 100%. Select Done.
Once complete, you will see the Fingerprint Scanner Settings page, which shows how many fingerprints you have registered on your device, the apps and services available for fingerprint verification, and the option to disable or enable fingerprint unlocking as you see fit.
The face recognition security option is another method that can be used both to unlock devices and as an authentication feature. The security level of this option is device dependent.
Many Android devices allow users to set up face verification for certain apps, but this feature is not considered secure enough to authenticate payments. The new iPhones use Face ID as the only biometric option for unlocking and secure authentication, including Apple Pay.
To set this option for your smartphone, open Settings, Lock Screen & Security, and then Face Recognition. Confirm your backup passcode and follow the device’s instructions to record your face.
On most smartphones, you will have to hold the device slightly tilted to align your face with the circular viewfinder that will record your image.
Once complete, you will be prompted to enable the feature. Select Enable. You will then see the Face Recognition Settings page, which allows you to manage your face data, set up app verification, and disable or enable this feature.
Scanning the iris
The iris scan security option can be used both to unlock the device and as a form of secure authentication for payment systems such as Samsung Pay and Google Pay. Feature; however, this is not so common on smartphones. Many devices prefer facial recognition to scanning the iris.
To set this option for your smartphone, open Settings, Screen Lock & Security, and then Aperture Unlock. Confirm the backup passcode and follow the instructions on the iris recorder.
On most smartphones, you will have to remove your glasses and possibly contact lenses and then bring the device forward so your eyes align with the viewfinder to scan your eyes. Once complete, you will be prompted to enable the feature. Select Enable.
You will then see the Face Recognition Settings page, which allows you to manage your facial data, set up app verification, and disable or enable the feature.
The Voice Detection Security option is a little-known feature that is available not so much for security as for convenience. Users can set up Voice Match so that the Google Assistant on their smartphone responds with only their voice. Subsequently, you can set up Voice Match unlock to show and unlock your device by saying “Ok Google.”
To set this option for your smartphone, open Settings, Screen Lock & Security, and then Smart Lock. Confirm your backup password and select Voice Match. Select Access with Voice Match to record your voice to the user using Google Assistant.
Accept the terms and follow the instructions on the voice recorder. Back at the “Ok Google” settings page, select “Unblock with Voice Match” and confirm the request to confirm the feature restrictions. It details that after several unsuccessful attempts, users will have to enter their backup password to access their device.
Once set up, if you say “Ok Google,” your device’s screen will turn on and go directly to the Google Assistant, awaiting further instructions. Many users may not find this feature useful unless they are active Google Assistant users.
More tips for managing your smartphone password
Users must set a backup passcode to enable biometric functionality such as fingerprint unlock or face unlock, but you can also use the biometric feature as a backup if your password is forgotten. Until your smartphone has been restarted, you will be able to use your biometrics to access the device without a password.
The Smart Lock option, which includes voice detection, has other features that allow your device to remain unlocked in designated secure areas. With Smart Lock, you can configure your smartphone to remain unlocked when on you, when connected to Wi-Fi in trusted locations, or in a location with another trusted device connected to the same Wi-Fi.
Register your device with the manufacturer if they offer this service. You will need to create a username and password (for example, Samsung’s Find My Mobile option) that you can use to log in and remotely make changes to your device.
Connect your Google account to your phone so you can always confirm that your device belongs to you if prompted.
Back up information on your smartphone so that you have all the data in case you have to reset your device to factory settings because you don’t know the password.