SIM cards are integral to mobile communication. And as we have seen recently, it is one of the emerging targets for hackers. We know why SIM security is crucial and how to go about it. A SIM card already comes equipped with essential security features such as the SIM PIN. And it is one of the best measures we can take considering SIM security. Also, the only security aspect we can actively control. As such, the following article deals with changing a SIM card PIN code.
What is a SIM PIN code?
A SIM PIN code is exactly as the name suggests, a PIN code for your SIM cards. Without iterating on the necessity behind SIM security, let us say a SIM is one of the most vulnerable pieces of tech on your smart device. It can get easily targeted, which, in turn, can add to substantial losses, both physical and financial. Hence, as a countermeasure against this growing cybersecurity threat, most advise employing the SIM PIN code, a feature already available in the SIM.
Like any other PIN, it is a 4-digit unique code that can get changed by the user to lock the content of a SIM. Doing so will deny unauthorized access to the card, essentially shielding it against most cyber threats. The PIN works as an authentication process. Hence, whenever you restart your phone or re-slot your SIM card, it will ask for the PIN. The feature actively counteracts SIM thefts, as the culprit can no longer take your SIM and use it on a new device. And the best part is that the SIM PIN is not associated with the device but with the SIM card. Thus, it will work on any device.
Why is a PIN code necessary?
A PIN code is crucial to the well-being of the user. Only recently, SIM hijacking has plagued the globe with toolkit attacks that take control of a SIM card and pass data such as call history and text to the culprit. Another study shows that there are still 10 billion SIM cards active around the globe that can be affected by such an attack. Hence, it is paramount that the user realizes the need to keep the SIM card secure. And while there are different methods to go about SIM security, setting up a PIN code is undoubtedly the most effective and active one. It directly counteracts most SIM card threats and also ensures peace of mind. Thus, a PIN card is pretty necessary if a user is serious about SIM security.
Changing SIM PIN on an Android device:
First, let us demonstrate how to change the SIM PIN on an Android device.
- First, go to your phone’s settings.
- Then, scroll down and tap on Security.
- After that, tap on Advanced or More Security Settings, depending on your device manufacturer.
- Now select SIM card lock settings.
- Here, users have to toggle the option next to Lock SIM card.
- Only then can the users change the PIN.
- Thus, tap the Change PIN option just beneath.
- Here, the user will be prompted to enter the previous PIN.
- If it’s their first time changing the PIN, then the users are required to enter the default PIN. It is generally 0000, 1111 or 1234.
- Otherwise, users have to enter the previous PIN, only then can they change to a new one.
Note – Be cautious when changing the PIN. The SIM only allows for a limited amount of incorrect attempts. After that, your SIM will be blocked. If you are unsure about the PIN or can’t remember it, it’s better to contact the SIM carrier and use the PUK to unlock the SIM.
Changing SIM PIN on an iOS device:
Apple has also recognized the importance of SIM security and, as a result, has added a feature, “SIM PIN,” with the iOS 12 update, which allows users to manage their SIM card PIN. The following will highlight the necessary process of changing the SIM PIN on any iOS device.
- Start by tapping the Settings icon on your iOS device.
- Then select Cellular from the list.
- Now tap SIM PIN.
- In order to change the PIN, users must first activate the lock. Hence, toggle the SIM PIN option.
- Finally, click the Change PIN option.
- Remember, first-time users have to enter the default PIN before they can change it.
How to recover your SIM PIN
It is equally important to know how, or if it is possible, to recover your SIM PIN. As we have already mentioned, users can only enter a wrong PIN a limited number of times/ It is 3 attempts for most carriers. After which, your SIM ceases functioning, and you lose the network. While it ensures safety in case of theft or any other cyberattack, it is pretty drastic if a user forgets his PIN, which is typically what most people do.
Thus, the SIM network providers also offer a feature known as PUK (Personal Unlocking Key) that can get used to resetting the SIM. Every SIM has an exclusive PUK, as the name suggests. However, the PUK also has a limited amount of tries, 10-tries. Although a PUK can reset your SIM, the company can’t provide you with the PIN as it is something you set personally. Hence, it is prudent to keep the PIN secure, and if not, use the PUK to reset your SIM card. You can read how to find the PUK of your SIM card to make it work on the first try.