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Published December 15, 2021 Updated December 15, 2021
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Verizon Security

Verizon and security are two words that don’t go together well. Mobile networks, in general, are notoriously awful. That said, there are a few things you can do when using Verizon, as your cell provider, by walking through how to protect your data and subsequently your identity. We’ll start with adjusting your account settings followed by your mobile device. Let’s dig in!

Account

There are several settings for your account we’ll need to adjust. To start, follow these steps:

  1. Login.

  2. Once logged in, click on AccountAccount SettingsAccount Settings Overview.

Now we can focus on the specifics.

Password

To be thorough, we’ll start by reviewing your account password. Your password should be the maximum length allowed with a mix of numbers, characters, case, and symbols. If you’ve not maxed out your password length or made it more complicated to guess, now’s a good time to make those corrections.

Account PIN

Your account PIN is used for customer service and can only be four digits long so pick something unique with non-repeating digits. Save this in your password manager.

Secret Question

Secret questions are a joke when it comes to security because they are a terrible user experience and pale in comparison to better alternatives such as Two-Factor Authentication or — even better — Universal Second Factor. Regardless, we must fill in an answer for this question so pick something that is jibberish and fairly long then store this information in your password manager for future use.

Two-Factor Authentication

As mentioned in the Secret Question section above, I highly recommend enabling Two-Factor Authentication. Sadly, Verizon’s implementation is terrible and falls back to sending you a temporary code via your phone or email. Definitely not ideal but enable it anyway. Something is better than nothing, I suppose.

Number Lock

For this setting all you need to do is ensure it’s enabled for all of your devices. Later, when you need it, you can generate a temporary PIN that is good for seven days. You only need this when transferring to another carrier. Otherwise, leave it enabled to prevent potential theft.

Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI)

This and the following sections center around data privacy. Sadly, Verizon immediately opts you into selling your personal data by default. You definitely need to prevent the export of your data so make sure you don’t share any of this information by ensuring don’t share is selected for all of your devices as follows:

Settings screenshot.

Business & Marketing Insights

Ensure don’t use is selected for all of your devices as follows:

Settings screenshot.

Identity Verification Settings

Ensure don’t agree is selected for all of your devices as follows:

Settings screenshot.

Custom Experience

Ensure don’t use is selected for all of your devices as follows:

Settings screenshot.

Custom Experience Plus

Ensure don’t use is selected for all of your devices as follows:

Settings screenshot.

Devices

When it comes to your mobile device, you’ll want to ensure your SIM PIN is configured with a hard to decipher passcode to prevent someone stealing the SIM from your phone and associated identity. While the following is specific to iOS devices, hopefully this walkthrough will be of help for your specific device.

SIM PIN

To enable and configure your SIM PIN, follow these steps:

  1. Sign into your iOS device.

  2. Open the Settings application.

  3. Click on Cellular.

  4. Click on SIM PIN.

You should be see a screen similar to the following:

PIN and unlocking key screenshot

Now you can create or change your SIM PIN. The PIN should be eight digits or longer. If you’ve never created or changed your PIN before, you’ll need your default PIN as provided by Verizon to get started. To obtain your default PIN, follow these steps:

  1. Login.

  2. Once logged in, click on AccountMy devicesDevice overview.

  3. Select your specific device from the list.

  4. Click on Manage device.

You should see something like this:

PIN and unlocking key screenshot

What you are looking for is your default PIN. You’ll need to supply this PIN first before you apply your custom PIN. You only have three attempts to do this right. If everything goes awry, you’ll need to fallback to using the Unblocking Key.

Once you’ve created your SIM PIN, make sure to store it in your password manager for safe keeping. You’ll also need this PIN when restarting your phone.

Conclusion

Congratulations, your Verizon account and mobile device are both more secure (relatively speaking). Verizon is, generally, not forthcoming about any of this information so whenever you are logged into your account, you should scan your settings from time to time since they can and will change.