Set a power-on PIN or password | webOS Nation
 
 

Set a power-on PIN or password 15

by Adam Marks Mon, 09 Aug 2010 5:32 pm EDT

As smartphones have become more powerful and part of our daily lives, the amount of sensitive information that has been entered into those phones has also increased. Therefore, you may want to consider setting a power-on password to prevent anyone from accessing your data in case your phone is lost or someone else gets a hold of it without your knowledge. Continue reading after the break to learn how to set your PIN or password, as well as some other privacy options you in webOS

To set a PIN or Password:

  1. Open up the Screen & Lock app ( Screen & Lock )
  2. Scroll down to the "SECURE UNLOCK" section.
    • If you have not previously set a PIN/Password, you will just see an option for "Off".
    • If a PIN/Password has been set, the first row will indicate what type of option has been set.
  1. Click on that first row of the "SECURE UNLOCK" section and then choose the unlock option you want and follow the onscreen directions. The three options are:
    1. Off: No unlock code
    2. Simple PIN: a numeric-only PIN that can be anywhere from 1 - 29 digits long (Note that in early versions of webOS, this could only be 4 digits long, but now it can be as short as just one number)
    3. Password: any combination of letters, numbers or symbols 
  1. Be sure to remember your PIN/password. If you forget it, you will need to remotely reset your phone and may lose data
  2. Choose a "Lock After" option, which indicates how long the screen needs to be turned off before the need to reenter your password/PIN.  You can choose any time from immediately after the screen turns off up to 30 minutes.

Note that even though you may have a password set to access your phone, your notification can still be seen from the lock screen. If you would like to prevent your notifications from showing on the lock screen, you can update that in the "NOTIFICATIONS" section, just underneath the "SECURE UNLOCK" area. Just set the "Show when locked" to "NO".

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15 Comments

These tips have been very helpful. As a user of Palm products 10+ years and a DayOne Pre-Adopter, I still find new things exciting. Thanks so much! And keep them coming!

One thing to add: if you use a PIN, you can enter it on the touchscreen without needing to slide the phone open, whereas a password involving letters requires you to open the phone. I use the PIN option for easier one-handed entry ;)

my big concern with my pr

As I mention above, "Note that even though you may have a password set to access your phone, your notification can still be seen from the lock screen. "... so, if you send a notification to the phone, someone can see that even if there is a pin set. However, if you have a "contact" or memo on the phone itself, there is no way for someone to access that without the PIN/password

That was one of the things I missed about my Treo: being able to place the "if lost, contact xxx" info on the home screen even when locked so if found, I could be called on my work cell. I resolved this by hooking up the Pre in USB mode, then making a copy of my preferred wallpaper and editing it and typing, "If found: contact LTrane at xxx-xxx-xxx" right in the middle of the wallpaper.

You can also write it on a piece of paper and just put that in the battery compartment! :-)

LOL good idea!

I wish I could use drawings instead of pin to lock my phone. So cool on android to just use a zig zag to open phone.

Once you have your PIN or Password set how do you enter a notification?

what do you mean?

As a healthcare provider I have seen phones come in handy to find and contact family and friends when patients can not. If the phone was locked it would do us no good. So I choice to leave my phone unlocked. Still a good tip.

Adam I got my own answer. If you lose your phone and send a message to it from a friend's phone "if found call 123-456-7891" the message will show up. Then if someone finds the phone and turns it on to either try to use it or find out who it belongs to they can still read that message and possibly call you to return it.

Correct. If you lose your phone you can send a text message (via a friend's phone, or the web) to your phone and anyone finding it can see part of the text message and take action. However, if it's one of several messages you receive (friends who don't know you lost your phone are also texting you, calendar notifications are popping up, etc.) that notification might not really be visible.

Furthermore, as stated above, a true "owner information" display as other devices have is more useful if you are unable to send a notification. For example, if your phone is found before you know you lost it, someone might check it, see no way to contact you and instead turn it in to a lost-and-found, hoping you'll remember where you lost it and go claim it. Or if you are found unconscious - hard to always be sending yourself text messages just in case you later are in an accident.

Sounds like a good opportunity for a homebrew patch, while we wait for Palm to find a solution. Ideally, I would recommend two buttons on the lock screen that work without unlocking the phone: "Owner Information" and "Emergency Contact". Each could be populated from within the screen lock settings and displayed on the lock screen.

I like your idea! I haven't used any homebrews yet, but it would be nice if Palm came up with this. I did lose my phone once and it has way too much information on it. I was more nervous about the information than about the phone. So my screen is now locked and I have often thought about the above scenarios. Hopefully Palm will come up with something in the future.

Perhaps another interim solution to put contact information on the screen is to create a JPG or picture file to use as your background picture. Kinda ugly, but gets the job done.