How to lock your SIM card

Why should you lock your SIM card? Your mobile number is now intimately attached to your personal profile and financial security. It is your access to two-factor verification on many digital services, including Facebook and Twitter, among others. It is where your bank debit and credit alerts go, and it gives access via USSD code to banking transactions. Also, locking your SIM card prevents it from being cloned.

All cellular phones, including your iPhone and cellular iPad, require a subscriber identity module (SIM) card in order to use cellular services on GSM and some CDMA networks. With the new Nano-SIM that phones currently use, a CDMA device can connect to GSM networks when roaming, which is useful if you travel a lot. Similar Post: How To Unlock PUK Blocked Sim Card For MTN, Airtel, Glo, And 9Mobile

Every SIM card whether MTN, Airtel, Glo, or 9Mobile comes with a default PIN which is usually 0000. Another is a PUK PIN which is the unlock Key. You’ll only need the PUK if you’ve attempted to do a SIM PIN Lock, and you fail to guess the original PIN.

SIM Swap fraud has been a real issue in Nigeria for both skilled and barely skilled cyber criminals. The most important step to take is to protect yourself by locking your SIM card. Are you looking to use an eSIM? Read more on mobile phones and networks that support eSIM in Nigeria.

How To Lock Your MTN, Glo, Airtel, or 9Mobile SIM on your iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings on your iOS device.
  2. Tap on Cellular.
  3. Locate SIM PIN and tap it.
  4. Toggle the SIM PIN to ON.
  5. Input your current SIM PIN if the SIM wasn’t locked.
  6. Enter a new SIM PIN to lock your SIM card
  7. Make sure that you remember it!

How To Lock Your MTN, Glo, Airtel, or 9Mobile SIM on your Android phone:

  1. Go to settings, then Security.
  2. If you are using a dual SIM phone, select the SIM card you want to lock.
  3. Set up SIM card lock.
  4. Enter the default SIM PIN.
  5. Tap Change SIM PIN.
  6. Enter the old SIM PIN and press OK.
  7. Enter a new SIM PIN to lock the SIM card.
  8. Confirm the new four-digit PIN.
  9. Press OK and exit.

What happens when you lock your SIM card?

Every mobile network issues a default PIN (personal identification number) on all SIMs sold. Here are the default PINs of the different networks in Nigeria:

  • MTN: 00000
  • Airtel: 1111
  • Glo: 0000
  • 9mobile: 0000

You need to change this default PIN to another 4-digit number that is known to only you. Do not share your SIM card PIN with anyone. So, what happens when you lock your SIM card?

When you lock your SIM card, any time your phone is restarted or your SIM card is put into another phone, a PIN is required before the card can access any network services, whether it is a voice call, SMS, or Internet data.

Without entering the correct PIN, the SIM card will not work on that phone. And if you enter the wrong PIN three times, the SIM card is locked and cannot be used anymore till you contact your network operator to unlock it.

How to protect your SIM card from scammers

Below I will show you easy steps you can take to protect your SIM card from scammers that can use your SIM card to transfer money from your bank account in Nigeria.

  • Go to SETTINGS for your phone.
  • Navigate to SECURITY & LOCATION under SETTINGS.
  • Go to SIM CARD LOCK.
  • Click on LOCK SIM CARD.
  • Enter Your mobile network default SIM CARD PIN. For most Glo, MTN, Airtel, and 9Mobile networks the pin is 0000.
  • After you enter the MOBILE NETWORK DEFAULT PIN, right under you will see CHANGE SIM PIN, click on it to change to Your unique 4-digit pin.
  • Confirm Your unique 4-digit pin by entering it again and you’re done.

Locking SIM card FAQ

What happens if you lock your SIM card?

To protect your SIM card from others using it for phone calls or cellular data, you can use a SIM PIN. Then, every time you restart your device or remove the SIM card, your SIM card will automatically lock and you’ll see “Locked SIM” in the status bar. Don’t try to guess your SIM PIN.

Why should you lock your SIM card?

Locking a sim card protects your identity and no one can access it without knowing the various codes or having the exact biometric pattern of your fingerprint. It’s done to prevent fraud if your device is ever lost, stolen, or misplaced.

What is my SIM PIN code?

The PIN is an acronym for Personal Identification Number and represents an access code made of four digits. When you buy a SIM card, you also receive a PIN for it. You need this four-digit code to enable the SIM card once you have inserted it into your phone, to be able to access your operator’s mobile network.

How do you unlock a SIM card?

To unlock your SIM Card, reset the PIN by entering your SIM Card’s unique PUK (PIN Unlock Key). Note: Entering an incorrect PUK (PIN Unlock Key) 10 times will permanently lock your SIM Card. If the SIM Card becomes permanently locked, you will need to swap it for a new SIM Card.

Can you unlock a SIM-locked phone?

You can remove the SIM lock by performing an unlock procedure on the phone. Although the specific unlock instructions differ according to your phone model, the procedure consists of obtaining an unlock code from your existing mobile provider. You can also buy a code online if the provider is unable to give it to you.

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