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Definition

PIN lock

The PIN lock is an authentication measure for mobile phones that requires the entry of a personal identification number (PIN) code before a device can be used. Most mobile phone users lock their devices with PIN codes to prevent fraudulent use in case the phone set is lost or stolen.

A lost or stolen mobile phone presents a significant danger of identity theft. Current mobile phones, particularly smartphones, often store a great deal of information about the owner, including e-mail contacts, the owner's residence address, phone numbers of relatives and colleagues, corporate associations, social networking usernames and passwords, and banking information.

Because many mobile workers also access corporate networks and  store corporate data on their phones, a lost or stolen device can also put their company’s security at risk.

Despite the advantages of locking a phone with a PIN, a significant proportion of mobile phone owners neglect to take this simple precaution.

This was last updated in November 2012

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