Windows Phone 7 Tips & Tricks: Security Options

August 11, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Along with all of the other features and benefits of owning a Windows Phone, there are various security settings that you can apply. For instance, you might like to set a password to protect your phone should it fall into the hands of a stranger, or setup the screen time-out, a sort of auto-lock feature. Location services and geotagging might also be construed as a security risk; they can certainly let people know where you are if you’re using apps such as Twitter.

Additionally, disabling the caller ID function might afford you some extra privacy, but if you’re really concerned about security and the safety of your expensive new phone, why not setup the Find my Phone tool?

Let’s take a look at the full selection of Windows Phone 7 security options!

Windows Phone 7 Tips & Tricks: Security Options

Setting a Password and Screen Time-Out

It might seem the most obvious step, but a password can protect your phone from unauthorized eyes; this is particularly useful if you use it for social networking and email.

A four digit password can be set via Settings > System > Lock & wallpaper > Password – once activated you will be prompted to create and confirm the password.

It is via this screen that you can set the phone to lock automatically, a handy feature for anyone prone to making phone calls from their pocket! Simple select the duration of the time-out from the drop down menu; you have a choice of 30 seconds, 1 minute, 3 minutes and 5 minutes, and as long as you don’t have a password set, the Never option is also available.

Disabling Location Services

Location services and geotagging can be hugely beneficial, but as well as eating your battery they can also prove to be a major flaw in your personal security. Updating your Twitter status with geotagging available will let people know where you are – and that your house is empty, or that you are alone somewhere remote. Clearly this isn’t an option that everyone will want to have enabled.

Locations settings can be disabled via Settings > System > Location – this is a master control for any apps that feature location services.

Geotagging also occurs in photographs, but you can disable this in Settings > Applications > Pictures & Camera – flick Include location (GPS) information in pictures you take to the Off position.

Activating the “Find my Phone” Function

Microsoft have unified Windows Phone 7 and Windows Live accounts with some great features, notably the Find my Phone tool which is intended to help track a device if it has been lost or stolen.

This isn’t activated by default, however, so you will need to go to Settings > System > Find my phone to check the Save my location periodically for better mapping option. Once you have done this, logon to windowsphone.live.com to check how the interface works and the tools at your disposal – you can view your phone’s location on a map, ring it to play a special ring tone regardless of whether the volume is switched off or not, lock the phone to prevent use by anyone else and also erase it.

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