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CTIA Explains How to Use Passwords for Your Mobile Device

To help you set a password so your wireless device is protected if it's lost or stolen, here are step-by-step instructions. We'll be adding more videos so keep checking back to this post.


  1. Go to apps.
  2. Scroll down and tap "Settings"
  3. Tap "Security"
  4. Tap "Change Screen Lock"

Apple iOS

  1. Tap “Settings”
  2. Tap “General”
  3. Tap “Passcode Lock”
  4. Tap “Turn Passcode On”
  5. Enter in a four digit password
  6. Re-enter to confirm password


  1. Scroll down through your apps, Go to "Options."
  2. Scroll down to "Security" option and press.
  3. Click on "Password."
  4. Set a password using the "Set Password" button and then check the "Enable" box.

Microsoft Windows

  1. Scroll down to "Settings."
  2. Then select "Lock & Wallpaper."
  3. Set a password and then confirm.

5 Responses to “CTIA Explains How to Use Passwords for Your Mobile Device” Leave a reply ›

  • avatar

    If one sets a PIN or a password on an Android phone, does the software automatically shut down attempts after a certain number of failed attempts. Or, if your phone is stolen, can the thief keep on trying all possible combinations until they find the right one. Obviously, this will affect how long the PIN or password needs to be. But, I have not found anything about how many tries are allowed, or whether access can be shut down for a settable amount of time, before further tries.

  • avatar

    Hi Dr. Uhlig - Good question! We took at look at the various operating systems (including Android) and here's what we found.

    Android - With Android OS, it depends on the devices and Android OS. In some instances, it's anywhere from 4 times to 12 times. If a user has a Gmail account, the Gmail password may be used to unlock the device. NOTE: Face Unlock Option - Using state-of-the-art facial recognition technology, some Android devices may be unlocked with your smile. A user only needs to turn on the device, look at it and then in. No password is necessary.

    BlackBerry - After five failed attempts, users will receive a warning that the next failed attempt will wipe data from BB. Users may set the number of attempt limits. If the password is incorrectly typed in, it can wipe the data on the phone.

    iOS (Apple) - After five failed attempts, the iOS device will be disabled for a period of time before the user can try to log-in. After a certain number of unsuccessful attempts, the user must connect the device to the "home" computer to sync it. NOTE: Users may configure the device to erase its data after ten consecutive incorrect password attempts. This setting is "off" by default.

    Symbian - Users have five attempts to unlock the device.

    Windows - After five consecutive failed attempts, a "hint" will appear on the device and then walks the user through the unlocking process. For Windows 7 OS, after the seventh attempt, users will receive an alert saying the next incorrect attempt will wipe all personal data from the phone.

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