What is a PIN? What you need to know about the security feature

PIN is a security key that authenticates users and protects their information, such as a password. The code is often required for banking, payment processing, SIM card validation, and mobile phone unlocking.

On smartphones, enabling the PIN is the first step to preventing strangers from accessing the device owner’s data. Here are what you need to know about the security feature:

What does PIN mean?

PIN is an acronym for Personal Identification Number.

What is a PIN?


PINs are alphanumeric or numerical codes of at least four digits used to access a system securely. Personal identification numbers validate the user’s login and are required in a variety of situations, including banking, payment processing, activation of mobile phone chips, and unlocking of mobile phones.

On smartphones with Android, PINs help enhance device security by preventing anyone from unlocking the screen and having easy access to the user’s personal information. Even if the attacker attempts to reboot the device to bypass the security mechanism, the operating system will require a password, and the device will not receive calls, messages or notifications – which is especially useful in the case of lost or stolen phones.

What is the difference between PIN and PUK?

Like the PIN, the PUK (Personal Unblocking Key) is a code assigned to mobile phone chips. Composed of four digits, the PIN is used to identify that the SIM card is unique and belongs to a specific user. The code can be used to block features such as making phone calls, browsing the Internet and sending SMS messages.

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The PUK, on the other hand, has eight digits and is used to unlock or change the PIN code. The password is especially useful when the user enters the wrong PIN three times and ends up blocking the chip. In such cases, PUK works as a second chance to unlock the SIM card. Also, the code can be used in case of loss or attempted PIN fraud. Both the PIN and PUK can be found on the back of the card that comes with the chip.

How do I recover my phone PIN?

Unfortunately, there is no way to know your phone PIN after setting it. Even so, those who forget the code can resort to some tricks to help them regain access to their mobile phone. On Android phones, a very useful feature at this time is Smart Lock, which allows you to keep your device unlocked while it is in a safe place or near its owner.

If you have configured Smart Lock to unlock the device at a specific address, such as your home, simply take it to that location to unlock the screen automatically. To enable the feature and prevent any inconvenience, go to Settings > Lock Screen > Smart Lock. Then confirm your current security mechanism (PIN, pattern or password) and choose an unlock signal.

Another option is to use the Device Manager from the device manufacturer. Owners of Samsung phones, for example, can access the Samsung Find My Mobile website, log in with their Samsung account and enable the “Unlock my screen” option to unlock the phone remotely. Remember that you can only activate the feature if you have previously registered on the site. Other brands may offer similar features.

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If none of the above alternatives works, you will need to format your phone. To perform the procedure remotely, go to the Android Device Manager (www.google.com/android), sign in to your Google account, and select “Clear Device”. After cleaning, the system will require the Google account password before the device can be reused.

How do I get my PIN off my phone?

To deactivate the PIN lock on your mobile phone, simply access the system settings and open the “Lock Screen” section. Then under “Screen lock type”, the user must confirm the PIN code to expand the other system lock options. You can choose to swipe the screen, set a design (default), create a password, enroll fingerprints, or even not use any security mechanisms.

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