Smartphones have become vital pieces of technology that contain more than just our contact books these days.

Banking, social media, email, and more are all now accessible through our smartphones and if thieves get a hold of your device, chances are they get the keys to your kingdom as well.

It’s a good idea then to secure your smartphone using biometrics, a secure pattern or a PIN.

In the case of the latter you might want to reconsider using something simple.

According to the SANS Institute, the 20 most common mobile phone PINs are:

  • 0000
  • 1004
  • 1010
  • 1111
  • 1122
  • 1212
  • 1234
  • 1313
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2222
  • 4444
  • 3333
  • 4321
  • 5555
  • 6666
  • 6969
  • 7777
  • 8888
  • 9999

The SANS Institute says it found that 26 percent of all phones are cracked using the above codes. This means that criminals don’t have to know a thing about you to get into your phone.

“Another method people use to remember PIN codes is to use numbers that mean something to them. However, a threat actor relies on people who tend to have an ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude, so what if the person wanting to get into your phone knows a little about you? When phones have a 4-digit code, people will often use a year; when a 6-digit code is recommended, people often enter a memorable date to unlock their phone,” explains chief executive officer at ESET South Africa, Carey van Vlaanderen.

ESET advises folks set up a long, alphanumeric passcode to access their handset and then set up biometric authentication to make accessing your phone easier.

“It might also be a good idea to mention here that you should also be aware of your surroundings and who might be watching your movements. Far too frequently on public transport we see people enter PIN codes, passwords, or even on the phone shouting out credit card details including the three-digit CVV number on the back,” says van Vlaanderen.

Another good idea is to turn on the “Find my device” feature that many phones ship with. These services often allow you to remotely wipe a handset so that if it does fall into the hands of criminals they won’t get access to your data.

[Image – CC  0 Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.