What is a PIN? Understand about this cell phone security number

When purchasing a chip card to enable a cell phone number, you may have already noticed the presence of two codes. This is the PIN and PUK, which can be very useful to keep the data stored on the SIM card safe.

Most people don’t care about these keys until they need them. Unaware that they serve to prevent the use of the chip by others, some end up throwing the card away before writing down the information and storing it in a safe place.

What are these codes, what are they for and how to retrieve them? Find out below.

After all, what is a PIN?

The Personal Identification Number (PIN) or personal identification number is a numeric or alphanumeric code composed of at least four digits, and serves to access a certain system in a secure way.

In the case of the cell phone PIN, we have a feature to strengthen the security of the phone, preventing strangers from having access to the personal information stored on the chip in use, something very useful in case of loss, theft or theft of the smartphone, for example.

The PIN and PUK are recorded on the chip's packaging.The PIN and PUK are recorded on the chip’s packaging.Source: Gearbest Blog / Reproduction

Protection occurs even if the device is restarted to try to circumvent the security mechanism, as the operating system will require the key to enable the chip. Without knowing the password, it will be impossible to make and receive calls, send messages and display notifications.

It is worth remembering that the PIN may also be necessary in several other situations: to unlock screens on Android and iPhone, validate banking transactions (payments, transfers, PIX etc.), confirm login on different platforms, among others.

Activating the PIN

By default, SIM card unlocking is disabled by operators, but it is easy to add this extra layer of protection to your SIM card, if you want to.

PIN activation is done as follows:

  1. Open the “Settings” menu of the cell phone and tap “Security”.
  2. Press the option “SIM card lock” and modify the position of the key to activate it.
  3. Enter the standard PIN code, available on the SIM card.

Enabling PIN on Android.Enabling PIN on Android.Source: André Dias – Tecmundo / Reproduction

I forgot my PIN. And now?

The first thing to do is to look for the chip card and check the PIN directly on it. But if you lost the card, you don’t need to despair, as there are other ways to recover the code; the easiest is using your carrier’s default PIN.

If you have not modified the original code, you can try one of the options below, depending on the operator used:

Forgot or lost your PIN? There are ways to get it back.Forgot or lost your PIN? There are ways to get it back.Source: Freepik

Another alternative is unlock your phone using Android’s Smart Lock function, if it has been previously enabled, or try to use the device manager offered by the device manufacturer. Samsung smartphone owners, for example, have on the website Samsung Find My Mobile a good alternative, as long as the feature is already in use before the phone lock.

There is also the possibility to contact your operator’s call center and request the PIN directly from them. Ultimately, if none of the above tips works, the most drastic solution is reset the phone to factory settings (remembering that all data will be erased).

Disable PIN blocking

If you already block the SIM card by PIN and do not want to use this function anymore, just turn it off. Go to the “SIM card lock” option, in the “Security” section of the “Settings” menu, and change the key to disable the feature.

The PIN protects the data on the chip.The PIN protects the data on the chip.Source: Unsplash

And PUK, what is it for?

The Personal Unblocking Key (PUK) is an eight-digit code used to unlock the PIN. The chip is blocked when the user enters the wrong code three times in a row and access to it is only allowed when informing the PUK.

It is also available on the SIM card, just use the packaging to find it. But you need to be careful, because, if you enter this key wrongly ten times, the chip will be permanently blocked, being necessary to buy another one to activate your phone number on it.

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