Mobile phone security | ACMA

Mobile phone security

There are several steps you can take to make your mobile phone more secure:

  • consider insuring your phone
  • activate your phones security features (check manual)
  • lock your phone to your SIM card - minimises the possibility of your phone being used with another SIM card
  • enable the PIN (Personal Identification Number) security feature
  • record the 15-digit IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identification) number of your mobile phone handset

Personal Identification Number (PIN)

Your mobile phone SIM card contains a PIN to help protect your phone from unauthorised usage. Your PIN is located on the scratch panel when you first purchase your SIM card. It’s always best to change your PIN when you first get your SIM card. Your mobile phone manual will show you how.

Locking your mobile phone to your SIM card

See the user manual for instructions on SIM-locking your mobile phone. Activating this feature means a PIN will have to be entered before another SIM card can be used.

Locking your SIM card

SIM cards have a security feature that requires a PIN to be entered each time the mobile phone is turned on. Calls cannot be made using your SIM card without entering this PIN (except for emergency numbers 112 and 000). The PIN is for the SIM card, not the phone. The SIM will not work in another phone unless the PIN is entered. The SIM card is identified by the network by its electronic serial number-the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number.

Unblocking your SIM card

Your SIM card will be blocked if an incorrect PIN is entered three times. You will need an unlock code - or PUK code (Personal Unblocking Key) - from your mobile phone service provider. Once the PUK code is entered you will need to create a new PIN.

International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number

Every mobile phone has a 15-digit IMEI number, which can be identified by the mobile phone service provider’s network. It is on the back of the handset under the battery and can be found on most handsets by pressing *#06# on the phone keypad.

You should record your IMEI number in case your mobile phone is lost or stolen.

IMEI 'blocking' prevents a mobile phone from being used with any SIM on any Australian network.

Mobile carriers are able to block the use of lost or stolen mobile phones and unblock recovered mobile phones on their network. These numbers can be blocked/unblocked across all Australian mobile networks.

If your mobile phone is lost or stolen

If your mobile phone is lost or stolen, contact your service provider immediately to suspend your service and stop unauthorised calls being made. Your provider will block your SIM card and IMEI number to prevent your phone from being used on any Australian mobile network.

Report the loss or theft to the police, giving identification numbers for your SIM card and IMEI number.

Some mobile phone service providers may charge a fee to reactivate a SIM card service. Blocking your phone does not cancel your contract. So, if you block your mobile phone, you are still required to honour your mobile phone contract.

Check if a second-hand mobile phone is lost or stolen

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) lets you check the IMEI status of a mobile phone.

 Please note: This document is intended as a guide only and should not be relied on as legal advice or regarded as a substitute for legal advice in individual cases.

Last updated: 18 May 2016