Is It OK To Not Put A Passcode On Your Mobile Devices?

My recklessness often gets turned into cautionary tales around here: I destroyed a screwdriver by trying to use it as a hammer, my hard drive died before I could back it up, and this week I left my brand new iPod Touch at a cafe. Usually, they serve as reminders of why we should be doing this or that. But the only lesson to be had this time around is that it’s actually OK to not secure your gadgets with a passcode.

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Earlier this week, my boyfriend and I hung out at a cafe before heading to the movies. It wasn’t until we were halfway into the movie that I realised I didn’t have my iPod on me — and only because my boyfriend took out his phone to turn it off after it kept vibrating with notifications. They turned out to be text messages from a friend who was trying to let us know that someone found my iPod, handed it in to the cafe staff, who then posted this message on my Facebook wall.

I went to the cafe and retrieved my iPod the next day without incident. But it got me thinking — would the outcome have been the same if I had put a passcode on my iPod? It’s only because it was unlocked that the cafe staff were able to find out it was mine, promptly tell me where I had lost it and where I could pick it up.

If I had locked it, I would have had to activate Apple’s Find my Device feature and assume that it was gone for good until I heard otherwise. In other words, not having a passcode resulted in me getting my iPod back more quickly and with less stress than if I had put a security passcode on it.

So even though it’s probably a good idea to put a passcode on my iPod (and my Android phone), I still haven’t done so and probably never will. My gadgets are full of personal and work-related information that I obviously do not want strangers accessing, but that’s not enough of a motivator for me to set up an annoying passcode. I never bother logging out of applications or websites (except anything related to banking) because my devices mostly remain at home. When I do go out with them, I regularly check that they’re still in my bag or coat pockets. I don’t want to set up a passcode that will give me some security at the expense of total convenience.

Do you think this sort of attitude is reckless? Do you lock all your devices? What would you have done in a situation like this? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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