Why should you lock your SIM card? Your mobile number is now intimately attached to your personal profile and financial security. It is your access to two-factor verification on many digital services, including Facebook and Twitter, among others. It is where your bank debit and credit alerts go, and it gives access via USSD code to banking transactions. Also, locking your SIM card prevents it from being cloned.
All cellular phones, including your iPhone and cellular iPad, require a subscriber identity module (SIM) card in order to use cellular services on GSM and some CDMA networks. With the new Nano-SIM that phones currently use, a CDMA device can connect to GSM networks when roaming, which is useful if you travel a lot.
Every SIM card whether MTN, Airtel, Glo, or 9Mobile comes with a default PIN which is usually 0000. Another is a PUK PIN which is the unlock Key. You’ll only need the PUK if you’ve attempted to do a SIM PIN Lock, and you fail to guess the original PIN.
SIM Swap fraud has been a real issue in Nigeria for both skilled and barely skilled cyber criminals. The most important step to take is to protect yourself by locking your SIM card.
Lock Your SIM on Your iPhone:
- Go to Settings on your iOS device.
- Tap on Cellular.
- Locate SIM PIN and tap it.
- Toggle the SIM PIN to ON.
- Input your current SIM PIN if the SIM wasn’t locked.
- Enter a new SIM PIN to lock your SIM card
- Make sure that you remember it!
Lock Your SIM on Your Android Phone:
- Go to settings, then Security.
- If you are using a dual SIM phone, select the SIM card you want to lock.
- Set up SIM card lock.
- Enter the default SIM PIN.
- Tap Change SIM PIN.
- Enter the old SIM PIN and press OK.
- Enter a new SIM PIN to lock the SIM card.
- Confirm the new four-digit PIN.
- Press OK and exit.
Table of Contents
How to Lock SIM Card on Phone: A Step-by-Step Guide for Enhanced Security
Locking your SIM card is an important step to protect your personal information from unauthorized access. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure enhanced security for your SIM card on your phone.
Step 1: Find your SIM card provider’s customer service number
To begin, locate the customer service number of your SIM card provider. This information can usually be found on the provider’s website or on SIM card packaging.
Step 2: Call your SIM card provider’s customer service
Using your phone or another phone, call your SIM card provider’s customer service number. Be prepared to provide your account information, such as your mobile number, name, and identification details as requested by the customer service representative.
Step 3: Request to lock your SIM card
Once connected to a customer service representative, explain that you want to lock your SIM card for security reasons. Provide the necessary identification information to verify your identity, such as your mobile number, name, and date of birth.
Step 4: Follow the instructions provided by the customer service representative
The customer service representative will guide you through the process of locking your SIM card. This may involve providing you with a unique PIN or PUK code. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure that your SIM card is locked securely.
Step 5: Set a new PIN or PUK code (optional)
If desired, you can set a new PIN or PUK code for added security. Inquire about the process during the call or ask the customer service representative for instructions on how to change your PIN or PUK code.
Step 6: Keep your PIN or PUK code secure
After locking your SIM card, it’s crucial to keep your PIN or PUK code secure. Avoid sharing it with anyone else or storing it on your phone or other digital devices. Memorize it or store it in a secure location, such as a password manager or a physical safe.
By following these steps, you can lock your SIM card on your phone and ensure enhanced security for your personal information. Remember to contact your SIM card provider if you need further assistance or have questions. Safeguarding your SIM card is an important step in protecting your personal data from unauthorized access.
What happens when you lock your SIM card?
Every mobile network issues a default PIN (personal identification number) on all SIMs sold. Here are the default PINs of the different networks in Nigeria:
- MTN: 00000
- Airtel: 1111
- Glo: 0000
- 9mobile: 0000
You need to change this default PIN to another 4-digit number that is known to only you. Do not share your SIM card PIN with anyone. So, what happens when you lock your SIM card?
When you lock your SIM card, any time your phone is restarted or your SIM card is put into another phone, a PIN is required before the card can access any network services, whether it is a voice call, SMS, or Internet data.
Without entering the correct PIN, the SIM card will not work on that phone. And if you enter the wrong PIN three times, the SIM card is locked and cannot be used anymore till you contact your network operator to unlock it.
How to protect your SIM card from scammers
Below I will show you easy steps you can take to protect your SIM card from scammers that can use your SIM card to transfer money from your bank account in Nigeria.
- Go to SETTINGS for your phone.
- Navigate to SECURITY & LOCATION under SETTINGS.
- Go to SIM CARD LOCK.
- Click on LOCK SIM CARD.
- Enter Your mobile network default SIM CARD PIN. For most Glo, MTN, Airtel, and 9Mobile networks the pin is 0000.
- After you enter the MOBILE NETWORK DEFAULT PIN, right under you will see CHANGE SIM PIN, click on it to change to Your unique 4-digit pin.
- Confirm Your unique 4-digit pin by entering it again and you’re done.
Locking SIM card FAQ
To protect your SIM card from others using it for phone calls or cellular data, you can use a SIM PIN. Then, every time you restart your device or remove the SIM card, your SIM card will automatically lock and you’ll see “Locked SIM” in the status bar. Don’t try to guess your SIM PIN.
Locking a sim card protects your identity and no one can access it without knowing the various codes or having the exact biometric pattern of your fingerprint. It’s done to prevent fraud if your device is ever lost, stolen, or misplaced.
The PIN is an acronym for Personal Identification Number and represents an access code made of four digits. When you buy a SIM card, you also receive a PIN for it. You need this four-digit code to enable the SIM card once you have inserted it into your phone, to be able to access your operator’s mobile network.
To unlock your SIM Card, reset the PIN by entering your SIM Card’s unique PUK (PIN Unlock Key). Note: Entering an incorrect PUK (PIN Unlock Key) 10 times will permanently lock your SIM Card. If the SIM Card becomes permanently locked, you will need to swap it for a new SIM Card.
You can remove the SIM lock by performing an unlock procedure on the phone. Although the specific unlock instructions differ according to your phone model, the procedure consists of obtaining an unlock code from your existing mobile provider. You can also buy a code online if the provider is unable to give it to you.