Debunked: 6 common myths about screen locks

Debunked: 6 common myths about screen locks


Customer details, transaction history, employee information: the types of data you keep as a business owner is extensive, and so is the list of scams that cybercriminals might use it for.

Your phone might not be the main device where you store data, but there are some blind spots on it that cybercriminals might target. If you fall victim, you could lose money and face damaged relationships with suppliers, customers and staff.

Setting up a screen lock on your phone is a simple security feature that experts recommend. Yet, it’s still a common misconception that they’re not needed.

Table of contents

Screen lock myths you shouldn’t believe

1. Myth: I have passwords and other security features set up on important apps, so I don’t need a screen lock

Cybercriminals can also steal your data from apps that are typically left unlocked. 

For example, they might look at your emails to find information about your suppliers and then contact you, posing as one, to scam you out of money. On the other hand, identity thieves can look at your photos app, where you might have a picture of your driving licence, bank cards or personal documents.

In any case, it’s better to be safe than sorry. A screen lock is another line of defence to keep cybercriminals out.

2. Myth: I delete important information off my phone

Even if you delete it from your device, your information might still be stored in the cloud or in an unemptied virtual bin, such as your ‘Recently Deleted’ photos folder. Cybercriminals can steal this information from these locations.

3. Myth: I’ll forget to lock my phone, so there’s no point

You can set up an inactivity timeout on your phone, so it’ll automatically lock the screen after you’ve not touched it for a certain amount of time. That way, you’ll be covered in any situation.

4. Myth: Screen locks take too long to unlock

There are different screen lock options, some of which will unlock your phone instantly:

  • Fingerprint scanners and facial recognition: These are widely considered to be the fastest options on the market
  • Passcode or PIN: Depending on your device model, you should be able to set a passcode or PIN that’s 4 or 6 digits long
  • Password: A classic option, but it might take a little longer to unlock than the others

5. Myth: If I lose my phone and someone finds it, they won’t be able to see my contact details to return it if it’s locked

iOS and Android devices have features that allow you to mark your phone as lost, remotely lock it and display a custom message and contact details. That way, whoever finds it can get in touch with you without needing to sift through your phone.

Depending on your device, you might need to set this feature up beforehand to use it when you need to.

6. Myth: A thief can guess any passcode, password or pattern

Setting up a screen lock isn’t a foolproof barrier to stop cybercriminals. However, it is another hurdle for them to tackle, which can put them off.

Generally speaking, the longer your passcode or PIN is, the better. You can make your passwords more secure by using a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. If you opt for a pattern, stay away from easy-to-guess shapes such as Ls and Hs and turn off feedback lines.

💡 Tip: To enhance your lock screen’s security further, set your phone up to limit the number of times someone can guess your passcode incorrectly before it disables login for a set amount of time.

What’s next? Set up your screen lock

The process differs depending on your device’s operating system. Follow the instructions set out for Android or iOS. Don’t be an easy target – set up your screen lock!

How Tide protects your data

We’re ISO/IEC 27001 certified. So, you can rest assured knowing we meet international standards when it comes to keeping your information safe.

Amina Sinclair-Diallo

Amina Sinclair-Diallo

Midweight Copywriter

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