Decided to forbid access to your smartphone? There are many ways to do that, although some also only protect your smartphone or encrypt your data. If that’s the case, you don’t shield your phone number or personal/billing information from abuse. The easiest way that includes the SIM card is the built-in protection in form of a PIN (Personal Identification Number) code. If that term sounds familiar, recall the time we mentioned PIN as part of the ways a SIM card can be unlocked. But, we never got into the process of enabling that security in the first place. We’ll fix that now by teaching you how to lock a SIM card.
Words of warning
Some carriers put default PIN code, but the SIM card lock is disabled in smartphone software. Even if the SIM card is locked, it isn’t secure. That’s because carriers always use the same PIN combination, such as 0000 or 1111. If that’s your case, you only have 3 attempts to enter the correct PIN before the SIM card asks you to find a PUK code. After following the steps below, use 1st and 2nd attempts for the combinations we mentioned. Reserve the 3rd attempt for contacting your carrier and getting a clear answer.
Guide to lock a SIM card on Android
Here are the instructions to lock a SIM card on Android 10:
- Tap on Settings.
- Scroll down and tap on Security.
On some Android phones, the option is titled Security & location. Alternatively, you have to expand the list by tapping on More or Advanced.
- Swipe up to scroll down and tap on Set up SIM card lock.
On some smartphones, you might have to tap on a Screen lock, Lock screen and security, or More settings option beforehand.
- The Lock SIM card option will be disabled. Toggle the switch icon to on.
On some smartphones, you need to select an option named PIN or Encryption and credentials beforehand.
- If it says Enter current PIN, we explained what to do next.
- If it asks you to set a PIN, pick a 4-digit number. Make all 4 numbers different, but not in ascending or descending order such as 1234 or 9876.
Steps to lock a SIM card on iOS
Follow these steps to lock a SIM card on iOS 13:
- Tap on Settings.
- Tap on Cellular.
- Scroll down and tap on SIM PIN.
- Toggle the switch next to the SIM PIN option to ON.
- If it says Enter PIN, refer to the words of warning.
- If it says New PIN, refer to the advice we gave for Android.
How does it work on Apple iPad?
For Apple tablets using iPadOS (based on iOS), the process is almost identical. The key difference? The developers named the Cellular option Mobile Data.
Is locking a SIM card remotely possible?
A SIM card can be locked remotely, but not by you. Carriers or phone manufacturers do this to apply technical restrictions. Those restrictions can be irreversible such as blocking a SIM card. On the other hand, blocking access to the SIM card can also be temporary or permanent, but reversible. An example of this is putting a lock and key on a SIM card based on region, network, or phone manufacturer. The last option is common with SIM cards that ship with some Nokia smartphones.