Signal, the secure messaging application, connects to your phone number. For added protection against thieves stealing your phone number, you can turn on Registration Lock so that no one can register another account with your phone number.
What is Registration Lock?
Your Signal account is linked to your phone number, which means you don̵
To log in again on a new device, you need access to your number (usually via your SIM card) so that you can receive a code to prove who you are. But what happens if someone steals your phone or SIM card, or gains access to the Google Voice or similar account you signed up with?
Registration lock prevents your account from being reregistered on another device without providing the PIN you used to sign up for Signal. If Registration Lock is on, whoever gets your SIM card or Google Voice account must also know your PIN to use your account.
Signal will block your account for a week if you enter the wrong PIN a few times. If you forget your PIN, the registration lock will expire 7 days after inactivity (this will be reset every time you access your Signal account from a paired device).
Once the registration lock has expired, you can register your number again without a PIN.
RELATED: Criminals can steal your phone number. Here’s how to stop them
Enable registration lock on your device
You can enable Registration Lock by launching Signal and tapping your user icon in the top left corner of the screen.
In the menu that appears, tap “Privacy” to display an additional list of options.
Find ‘Registration Lock’ in the Privacy menu and turn it on. It’s about half way down the list.
If you want to reset your PIN, you can do so from this menu using the “Change your PIN” option. You do not need to know what your PIN was to do this. Provided your device is registered, Signal will let you change your PIN.
While an intruder is unlikely to be able to guess even a four-digit PIN before access to your account is blocked, you can choose to create a more complex alphanumeric PIN (a password) by clicking the ‘Create Alphanumeric PIN’ button in the Menu “Change your PIN code”.
More tips for locking the signal
While Signal is focused on protecting users’ privacy, secure messaging is more than just downloading the app. Learn how to properly lock Signal to protect the privacy of both you and your contacts.
If you’re using Signal for security purposes, you might also want to learn a little more about the rival app Telegram.
RELATED: How to make your signal chats as safe as possible