Lately, news have been going round about people having their bank accounts emptied after they lost their phones. The ability to perform such feat might seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it is pretty easy for hackers and phone thieves to do.
Before I go on to guide you through how to add extra protection to your device by enabling Sim lock, let me highlight few ways your bank accounts can be emptied just by losing your Sim cards to the wrong people.
Many of us lock our phones with pins, passwords, and patterns, but, when a thief gets your phone, the person might simply switch the Sim card to another phone, and that leaves your Sim cards exposed.
If you have not activated USSD banking on your line, the thief could activate it successfully, since the OTP would be sent to the Sim, and s/he has the Sim already.
Once activation is done, the thief could run transactions on your bank account, and zero your account. Worst off, the thief could even access loan facilities on your account, leaving you in debt.
If you have activated USSD banking already, the thief would not know your USSD pin, but s/he could still buy recharge cards on your line, and exchange it for cash later. Many banks do not require USSD pin for airtime purchases.
It’s simple hacking skills for tech savvy petty thieves.
About Sim Pin and PUK.
By default Sim cards come with a PIN code, and a PUK code. The PIN, which stands for Personal Identification Number, is the security code you lock your Sim with.
If you enter the wrong pin three times, the Sim is locked, and would be unusable, until it is unlocked with another code. The PUK is used to unlock the Sim after it has been locked from wrong pin entry.
PUK stands for Personal Unblocking Key.
Pin codes can be changed, but PUK is fixed – it cannot be changed. The PUK is usually written on the Sim pack. PUK can also be gotten from the apps of the service providers, provided your line is registered on the app.
- For MTN, the default pin is 0000
- For Glo, it is 0000
- For Airtel, it is 1234 (or 1111)
- For 9 Mobile, it is 0000
It is advisable that you change your Sim Pin from the default pin, as soon as you can. This would prevent your PIN from getting changed by a mischievous person.
How to activate Sim PIN lock on Android
Go to Settings > Security (and location).
Scroll down, and tap Sim Card Lock.
This would take you to the interface where you can switch on Sim Card Lock, and another option to Change your Sim Pin.
How to activate Sim PIN lock on iOS
Go to Settings > Cellular > SIM PIN.
If you have an iPad, go to Settings > Mobile Data > SIM PIN.
Toggle the Sim PIN lock on.
Remember, that you are advised not to guess your Sim Pin, because entering the wrong pin three times would lock your Sim card. Simply follow the column (above) about Sim Pin for guidance.
Good luck, and stay safe.