Do you ever worry that someone might be able to guess the PIN on your Android device? Or maybe that you know you should change it now and then... but you always seem to forget it? If that's you, there's an app that can help.
Dynamic Pin sets a pincode/password that's based on the current time and date, which (theoretically) makes it harder for someone to gain access to your device.
Here's how it works. There are five modes:
- Hour+Minute: If the current time is 09:56, your pin will be 0956
- Date+Year: If the current date is 06/15, your pin will be 0615
- Days of the week: If that day is Wednesday, your password will be Wednesday
- Hour: If the current hour is 09, your password will be 09
- Minute: If the current minute is 58, your password will be 58
There are also modifiers to use, to make the pincode/password more challenging:
Let's use the pin 1234 as an example and apply each modifier:
- Offset—If you configure the offset to be 10, the pin will be 1244 (pin+offset number)
Now that you understand how Dynamic Pin works, let's install it.
Installing Dynamic Pin is quite simple. Just follow these directions:
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android device
- Search for Dynamic Pin
- Locate and tap the entry by SGEND
- Tap Install
- Read the permissions listing
- If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap accept
- Allow the installation to complete
Now that the app is installed, launch it from the app drawer.
Upon first run, you'll be required to set a default pin. Do this, and then you'll find yourself in the Dynamic Pin main window (Figure A).
Dynamic Pin running on a Verizon-branded LG G4.
Now, you have to enable Dynamic Pin. Tap the top entry (labeled Dynamic Pin) to switch the system on. Then tap Activate (when prompted) to enable Dynamic Pin as a device administrator. Once you've done that, Dynamic Pin is enabled.
At this point, you must select the mode you want (tap Pin Generation) and add a recovery email. If you want to use a pin modifier, that is also set in the Pin Generation section (Figure B).
Setting your mode and modifier.
You're now ready to use Dynamic Pin. Unless someone knows you have it installed on your device (and knows which mode+modifier you're using), your phone will enjoy a bit more security than the four-digit pin you use for everything.
How do you secure your Android device? Let us know in the discussion thread below.
- Advice for mobile users who choose simplicity over security
- Let Authy handle your Android two-step authentication
- Despite Android's data encryption, mobile security is in users' hands
- Secure your Google account with a little 2-step shuffle
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.