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How to lock individual apps on your mobile phone

The 2010s has seen a boom in complimentary WiFi hotspots in coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants. These have become popular places for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs to meet with clients or to make use of as their mobile office space. There is a false sense of security sitting at a cafe in the middle of the day with other people. You may not be as vigilant about who may be scouting out your belongings.

I am paranoid about my phone being stolen and sensitive emails and Whatsapp messages being accessed. Below are the preventative measures that I recommend setting up on your mobile phone.

Passcode for your mobile phone

Setup a passcode to unlock your mobile phone. This is your device’s first layer of protection against unauthorized access. Your passcode also prevents people from accessing any data stored on your device unless they have a password, fingerprint or Face ID. Choose a 6 digit passcode instead of the 4 digit.

How to set the Auto-lock screen setting on your Apple iPhone

Ensure that your phone’s screen auto-lock is set to 30 seconds or 1 minute at most.

  • Go to settings
  • Display & Brightness
  • Tap Auto-Lock
  • Tap 30 seconds or 1 minute.

Lock individual apps in addition to the phone passcode

Lock each app that you want to secure. Yes, this can be cumbersome but after a couple of days, you will get used to it. With newer phones, you can use Face ID or facial recognition technology to unlock apps and phones, this extra layer of security is a bit easier to live with.

Apple iPhones unfortunately do not have a built-in way to lock individual apps, unlike Android and Samsung mobile phones. Having recently switched back to an iPhone, I am finding this frustrating and weak on Apple’s part. There are cumbersome work arounds which are not ideal at all, so I’m not going to mention them in this post.

Some third-party apps that run on IOS that have extra protection built-in with an option to lock the app with a passcode:

  • Whatsapp – open the App, tap on Settings > Account > Privacy > Screen Lock, enable Require Face ID > select after how many minutes.
  • Dropbox (and other Cloud Storage apps),
  • LastPass (and other Password Manager apps),
  • Evernote, PayPal (and most banking apps),
  • Apple Notes lets you lock individual notes.

How to lock individual apps on a Oneplus Android phone

  • Go to Settings,
  • Utilities
  • App Lockers
  • Choose a screen lock method
  • Select the apps that you want to lock.

If you have an Android or Samsung mobile phone, I recommend that you secure apps these apps – banking, messaging, photos, Facebook, SMS, email, financial. In the event that your phone is stolen while you are using it or it is unlocked when stolen, that gaining access to one of these apps is just a little bit more difficult for the thief.

Setting this up can prevent someone from accessing your data sensitive apps while they use your phone for e.g. a friend who wants to make a call or your child who wants to play a game on your phone.

It is common for us to share a lot or private information through Whatsapp and email – and if somebody managed to get a hold of your email account or access your Whatsapp, then I think it’s best you don’t imagine what they’d be able to do with the information.

Sherissa | Web Designer

Wordpress web designer, mom, wife, documentary photographer, compulsive researcher, rock-climber, table tennis enthusiast