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Mobile Device Passwords

Locking your phone by using a PIN

Have you ever left your phone somewhere only to not be able to find it?  Do you travel frequently and worry about it getting lost or stolen?  Use a PIN or password to keep sensitive information private.

General Tips

  • A strong alphanumeric password provides more security than a simple PIN because it's more difficult to guess. The longer it is, and less meaningful, the less likely it will be guessed.
  • You can always make emergency calls, even when your phone is locked. To avoid accidentally placing emergency calls, make sure you don't begin your password with the digits of the local emergency services phone number.
  • If your device allows entering owner information that can be displayed when a phone is locked out, it is recommended to do so. This enables your phone to be returned to you. Do not use the cell phone number as the phone number to call if lost.
  • Do not use the cell phone number as the PIN number.
  • Important:  In the event that you set a password and forget it, you will need to perform a hard reset before you can use the device.  This will restore the device back to a factory state, and all data stored on the device prior to the hard reset will be lost. It is highly recommended to use a Hint for your password if your device allows.
  • Set inactive time before the password must be re-entered to 10 minutes or less.  Set the number of invalid password attempts before the device is locked and all data and applications are lost to 10 or less.

Phone Specific Instructions

Still having trouble?  Check out Bowdoin's self-service Knowledge Base with links particular to mobile devices.

Document author:
Last modified:
Oct 14, 2009