Know Your Options for Smartphone Security

UPDATED 01/27/20

By the very nature of how we use them, our smartphones become the repositories for a lot of important personal information. For instance, mine has names, addresses, phone numbers and even email addresses for nearly everyone I know stored in my contacts, not to mention all my photos, emails, and even access to various apps that store my unique user name and password.

As a result, it’s crucial to make sure we’re diligent about protecting our data to keep it from winding up in the wrong hands should a device become lost or stolen. What’s surprising is that with all the great security options available, research has shown that less than 30% of smartphone users are currently using a screen lock or other security features!

There’s no reason to run the risk. Smartphone security technology has evolved significantly over the past few years, so it’s easier than ever to effectively keep your information safe. The simplest thing to do is to set a passcode. By doing this, your phone is locked, and can only be opened up by entering the code you’ve selected. This prevents anyone who picks up your phone, by accident or otherwise, from using it. You’re able to set this up by going to the phone’s Settings menu. Most phones will provide an option to choose either a numeric code, or a distinctive “swipe” pattern that you trace on the screen using your finger.

Many phones also offer fingerprint recognition, allowing you to unlock your phone just by holding your finger over the device’s Home button or separate fingerprint sensor. You store your fingerprint into the phone’s memory by following a series of steps, which will vary slightly between manufacturers. For an added measure of security, you’ll also often have the option to require a numeric PIN code along with your fingerprint access.

Newer phones have even expanded their security options. Apple introduced Face ID, similar to facial recognition on the Samsung Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note10. This feature uses the device’s front facing camera to “map” your face, so that your phone will only unlock if it recognizes you. The Samsung models also offer “retinal” (eye) scanning software, which again uses the phone’s camera to map your unique features. On the Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy S10, this can even be combined with facial recognition to provide truly thorough security.

There are so many effective ways to enhance your smartphone security, and they’re so easy to activate, that you’re certain to find one that’s perfect for you. Take the worry out of setting your phone down by going to your Settings menu! With just a few simple steps, you’ll be assured that all of that precious information belongs to you alone–just the way it’s supposed to.

25 Thoughts on "Know Your Options for Smartphone Security"

  1. virginia johnson says

    It seems lately that I am getting 20 to 30 calls a day from telemarketers. Is there anything Consumer Cellular can do or suggest to stop this from happening?

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Virginia. We know this is an issue that can be frustrating. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to block incoming calls to your phone, but there are a few things you can do. First, there are numerous call blocking apps available, such as Hiya or Truecaller. These can help block calls from known spam numbers and telemarketers. If a specific number calls you multiple times, you can block that number on your iPhone. Go to the call log, and tap the “i” symbol next to the phone number. Scroll down the screen and tap “Block this Caller”. We’re happy to help you with any other questions you may have at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us, and we hope you have a great day!

      • Mary M says

        Ashley, Yes, everyone at CC recommends the “Block this Caller,” though that’s been useless. I now have an endless list of blocked calls. I have hundreds of calls from just one area code. Apparently it’s caller ID spoofing I called a couple of those numbers and they were “regular” people/businesses who had no idea what was going on with their phone numbers.

        • Deborah Doss says

          I have the same problem and I don’t know how to get rid of them. I need help.

          • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

            Hi Deborah, while we don’t have a way to block these types of calls in our system, you can check for third-party call blocking apps available in your phone’s app store to see if that will help. You can also report spoofed calls to the FCC directly as well here.

  2. Richard R Shaw says

    I’ve been advertising your Consumer Cellular site for a couple years now and I hope and know people like it. I have a iPhone and I just love it

  3. Rebecca wetter says

    Consumer cellular has great customer service

  4. Brian Peterson says

    Hello, I’m new to cell phones and a new subscriber to C.C. and want to ask a “stupid” question. My data usage page tells me I have used 0.68 of 2.81 GB. Is this 0.68 of my 3 GB plan (over half) or 0.68 of 1 GB? Thank you in advance. I love my phone and the service.
    B. Peterson

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      That’s a great question, and one that is commonly asked! If your My CC app says that you have used 0.68, that is slightly less than 1GB used. We’re here to help with any other questions, so please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you posting, and we hope you have a lovely day!

  5. Marilyn says

    Please consider upping the data allotment from 1 gig to 2 gigs for the same amount of money in order to be competitive with Cricket Wireless. Thanks.

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Marilyn, and for sharing your suggestion with us. I’m happy to pass this on to our management team. If we can assist you with any questions about your account, just give us a call at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us, and we hope you have a lovely day!

  6. Cathy says

    I still have a lot to learn about cell phones. I’m concerned about security of data on my iPhone SE when I’m using it out and about in the community away from my secure home wi-fi network? Do I need to add a special app or download something to secure my phone information?

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      That’s a great question, Cathy. It’s always good to be cautious when using a public Wi-Fi network. To play it safe, we don’t recommend using banking apps or accessing any sensitive information while using a network outside your home. It’s also a good idea to avoid any downloads, too. We appreciate you posting today!

  7. Wayne says

    Hi, I am interested in using a free internet security app on my iPhone, so please provide a link or reference to one.

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Wayne. We aren’t able to offer any recommendations for a third-party security app for you to use on your iPhone. I recommend checking the app store, and reading reviews to find one that would best suit your needs.

  8. Eric says

    In June of 2019, the Federal Communications Commission passed a ruling that allows and encourages phone companies to block robocalls by default. Does Consumer Cellular plan to participate?

    • Hi Eric, thanks for your post. We are working on something in regards to the robocalls and other unwanted calls, but at this time we don’t have a timeframe for when this will be rolled out for customers. As soon as there is an update, or it becomes available, we will let our customers know.

  9. Kathie Schroeder says

    Every time I call someone with my phone no one wants to answer my phone because it doesn’t tell them who’s calling. But says private caller. I have called consumer cellular with no luck. Please let me know what to try next!

    • Hi Kathie, thanks for your post! We’ve gone ahead and removed the caller ID block for your line so that your caller ID will show again. Just power the phone completely off and on to allow for that change to go through. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  10. Virginia Garcia says

    I will also love an iPhone since I never have, I was told they r very expensive. Is that true?

    • Hi Virginia, thanks for your post. iPhones can be priced on the higher end in terms of smartphones, but they do vary in price depending on the model so there may be one in your budget range, especially with our EasyPay options. If you’d like, you can take a look at our Apple phones and prices here. Just let us know if you have any questions!

  11. Loretta Wright says

    Hello just bought my phone and I have put a pin code on it and I don’t know what it is.

    • Hi Loretta, thanks for your post. If you don’t remember the security passcode for your phone, we would need to perform a master reset to clear it and set up a new one. If you need assistance with that, give us a call at 800-686-4460 or you can also chat with one of our live agents here for further assistance.

  12. Christine Filas says

    A Chicongo company recently bought Consumer Cellular so I expect the quality of service to decline significantly.

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for posting, Christine. While Consumer Cellular was bought by GTCR in 2021, we remain confident in our partnership. Our focus remains on our customers and offering the same great service you have come to expect.