Why is it so important to keep a phone password protected?

Password protection on phones. It’s not a new concept, but as we pour more and more data onto our phones, it has become something that many people consider mandatory on their devices. There are are a few different methods available on Android, from the standard PIN method, to more modern ones like pattern and Face Unlock. All of the methods should be more than suitable in the event that your phone is stolen, but why is it all such a big deal? What is so important on your phone that you MUST keep it protected at all times?

This all comes to mind after news broke out that the FBI was unable to get into an Android device protected by the pattern method. A criminal was arrested, and the authorities wanted to access his phone. They had every right to, and the criminal in question was actually violating his parole by having his phone protected. In this case, it played in favor of the criminal. But to the average Joe, why must we keep everything so secure?

Now, someone with a corporate job will probably feel the need to or maybe even be required to keep a password on their phone at all times. It makes sense, as confidential information is going through those phones all day long. Same thing with someone working for the government. The information on their phone must stay protected. There are other situations where users may need a password on their phone, but most of the people I see with passwords have almost no reason.

I realize that a ton of personal information goes onto a phone. But that doesn’t mean it can be used in any way, shape or form against a person. That information is mostly useless. In the event your phone gets stolen, who cares if the thief sees your Twitter or Facebook? So what if they see your web history? If you’re uncomfortable showing others what you’ve been doing on your phone, you probably shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

On my phone, I never keep a security lock in place, aside from the occasional stint of Face Unlock to show off to my friends. It’s an unnecessary step that I don’t need to keep in place. When I take my phone out of my pocket to check it, this is usually a quick thing. It happens at least a hundred times a day, as there’s always new emails and texts that need to be checked (and maybe a little Draw Something). I don’t like it when something slows me down, and entering a password or pattern does just that. It’s an unnecessary step in a world where speed is everything, and it seems like no one has time to spare.

If my phone was lost or stolen, I wouldn’t be too alarmed. I’d be more mad that my $700 Nexus was gone than the fact that someone had access to my social media. Sure, I may have my bank account hooked up to my phone, but the Chase app requires a login every time it launches. My only real concern would be that the thief has access to me email. And by the time the thief finds something of value in my email, the password will have already been changed. Same with the social networks. And text messages? I don’t talk about anything worth truly knowing in text conversations, so that wouldn’t be a big deal either.

In my opinion, people are taking data on their phones a little too seriously these days. There are definitely situations where a password is needed on a phone, and they are in place for a good reason. If keeping a password on your phone helps you sleep at night, don’t let me stop you. But just take into consideration that it won’t be a nuclear fallout in the event your phone goes missing. Who has a password on their phone? Why is it there? Let us know in the comments!

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