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Secure messaging application, Signal, ties itself to your phone number. For extra protection, you can enable Registration Lock, preventing anyone from registering another account with your phone number.
What is Registration Lock?
Your Signal account is tied to your phone number, which means you don’t even need a password to log in. Your Signal account can only be linked to one phone number, so you can only have Signal active on one iPhone or Android smartphone at a time.
To sign up again on a new device, you’ll need access to your number (usually via your SIM) so that you can receive a code to prove who you are. But what happens if someone steals your phone or your SIM, or gets access to the Google Voice or similar account you used to sign up?
This is the reason Signal is introducing an additional layer of protection, which requires you to enter a PIN as well as the SMS code. Registration Lock prevents your account from being re-registered on another device without the PIN you used to sign up for Signal being provided. With Registration Lock enabled, whoever gets ahold of your SIM or Google Voice account will also need to 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, Registration Lock will expire seven days after inactivity (This is reset each time you access your Signal account from a linked device.).
Once Registration Lock has expired, you will be able to re-register your number without a PIN.
How to enable Registration Lock on your device?
Step1: You can enable Registration Lock by launching Signal and tapping on your user icon in the top-left corner of the screen or by going to Signal Settings directly.
Step 2: In the menu that appears, tap “Privacy”.
Step 3: Under the Privacy menu, find and enable “Registration Lock.”
Signal says there is no limit on PIN length, and although the company uses the term Personal Identification Number, it is in fact a password, so can include alphabetic characters as well as numbers. To guard against the possibility of forgetting your PIN, you’ll be periodically asked to enter it.
Signal includes a built-in reminder feature that uses spaced repetition. To help you memorize your PIN, Signal will periodically ask you to confirm it. These reminders occur at the following intervals after the feature is first enabled:
- 12 Hours
- 1 Day
- 3 Days
- 7 Days
- 14 Days
You can, however, reset the PIN on your registered device without having to know it: the PIN is only designed to protect against your phone number being assigned to a new device.