If someone gets physical access to your smartphone, you’re screwed, lock screen or not

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 26 Mar 2013

Apple recently had to issue a software update to address a flaw that let anyone access private information on an iPhone if they followed a series of instructions that were widely circulated on the internet. Around the same time the iOS flaw was discovered, Samsung also ended up with egg on their face due to a similar issue. Now there’s a story floating around about Sony’s Xperia Z having a lock screen that can be bypassed.

All these stories have one thing in common: Physical Access.

As someone who used to work in IT, let me tell you, everyone in the office held this firm belief that the second someone got physical access to your device, you were screwed. If someone really wants your information, then almost nothing can stop them. It didn’t matter if you encrypted your hard drive, applied a BIOS password, whatever, there were always ways to get around security measures.

So while I chuckle at all these stories about insecure lock screens, especially people’s reaction to them, I can’t help but think that the best security measure you can take is to never let anyone get near your phone.

Sounds hard, but it’s not.