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UK Police Lobbying for Compulsory Mobile Phone Pins

Tue 19 Aug, 2014 // Firstnumber Team
locked phone

Do you have a pin code to enter your phone? The UK Police Force thinks you should – and they're lobbying the government and major mobile manufacturers, including Apple and Samsung, to include one as standard with every new phone. The National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU) has been working towards this new measure, which they believe will be a step in the right direction when it comes to tackling mobile phone and identity theft.

Think about it: how much of your personal information is on your smartphone? Could a quick witted thief steal not only your expensive handset, but your credit card information, contacts, and personal accounts too? The police want to change the default settings on new mobile phones, meaning that buyers will have to actively switch off the password option, rather than switch it on as currently happens.

This idea has apparently been gaining in popularity over the years, especially as the range of actions we can complete with our phones becomes more complicated. Mobile phone crime is no longer simply stealing a phone and trying to sell it on – nowadays, your phone could be stolen, sent across the world, and used to steal your identity by organised crime gangs. This means you won't just lose one item of value: you could be at risk of losing thousands of pounds as a victim of identity fraud.

Apple and Samsung certainly seem to see the seriousness of the issue, with Samsung responding positively to the Home Office on these new ideas for tackling phone crime.

So what can ordinary phone users do? At Firstnumber, we recommend you put a secure password or pin code on your phone, if you don't already have one. A phone that's locked is a phone that's protecting your personal information – and a locked phone is less appealing to thieves in the first place. So, until these new regulations come into place, make sure your smartphone is as safe and secure as possible! 

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