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There Are Better Reasons To Put Password On Your Phone Than To Hide Things From Your Spouse Or Lover



There Are Better Reasons To Put Password On Your Phone Than To Hide Things From Your Spouse Or Lover

By Emeka Ugwuonye

As the head of DPA, which mediates disputes between husband and wife, we frequently come across cases where the cause of the fight is that either the husband or the wife put a password on his or her phone. The assumption made almost automatically is that the reason for the password is to hide evidence of infidelity. This post is intended to show you that you are probably wrong, if you have been guilty of such assumption. Indeed, if you live in Nigeria and you do not have a password on your phone, you’re living dangerously.

Generally or all over the world, there are good reasons to put a password on your phone. And if you live in Nigeria, a password on your phone should be a must. It is as important as having burglary proof to your door. The reasons for this include:

1. Privacy and security: One of the primary reasons for using a password or PIN is to protect sensitive and personal information stored on the phone. This can include personal photos, messages, emails, financial data, and other private information. A password ensures that unauthorized individuals cannot access or misuse this data if the phone is lost, stolen, or accessed by someone else.

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2. Identity theft prevention: A locked phone reduces the risk of identity theft or unauthorized access to personal accounts and online services. For example, if someone gains access to your locked phone, they may be able to access social media accounts, email accounts, banking apps, or other sensitive platforms.

3. Prevent unauthorized use: By setting a password, users can prevent others from using their phone without their permission. This can be important in situations where the phone is shared or left unattended, preventing unauthorized access to personal information and applications.

4. Protection of personal communications: A password helps safeguard personal communications, such as text messages and emails, from being read or intercepted by someone without authorization. By ensuring only the owner has access to their device, they can maintain the confidentiality of their communications.

5. Prevent accidental actions: A lock screen password can help prevent accidental actions, such as unintentionally dialing or messaging contacts, making payments, or modifying settings. It provides an additional layer of security to avoid inadvertent actions on the phone that can lead to unintended consequences.

6. Compliance with regulations: In some industries and professions, such as healthcare or finance, there may be legal or regulatory requirements to protect sensitive information. Setting a password on the phone can help meet these obligations and maintain data security and privacy standards.

If you live in Nigeria, the most important reason to put a password on your phone is to stop a corrupt police officer from blackmailing you and extorting money from you. I will narrate my personal experience to buttress this point.

In 2011, when I was unlawfully arrested and detained by the EFCC, they held my phone and my luggage, while I was detained in their cell. Mrs. Farida Waziri was the Chairman of the EFCC then. For several days, the EFCC were not able to force me to agree with their proposals. They would call me to their offices and say: “Barrister, just agree that you will refund the Embassy the 1.5 million dollars when you return to the US. Even if you don’t refund it, just sign that you would do so”. The EFCC officers knew that there was no money to refund, that I should not refund it. They just wanted to fool the ambassador by telling him they released me after I promised to refund money. I did not want to sign any such thing because the ambassador could use it against me. In fact, the Ambassador and Femi Babafemi (the then EFCC media person) would forward it to Omoyele Sowore for him to place it on Sahara Reporter and use it to blackmail me. Then, the Ambassador was paying Sowore money to use Sahara Reporters to smear me. I refused to sign anything. The EFCC held me and they had to commence a futile prosecution against me that lasted 10 years before they lost woefully.

Now, this is where the story is relevant to this post. When the EFCC officers saw that I was not going to yield to their madness, they decided to find some way to blackmail me. They remembered that they had my phone. They tried everything they could to access my phone. But there was a password on my phone. They called their pseudo tech experts and none of them could open my phone. Their goal was to access my phone, see who my friends were, maybe see a side-chick and somehow blackmail me and my contacts. My contact list was very rich and quite interesting. Remember I had been a lawyer to the former head of state for nearly ten years before this incident. If they had access to my phone, they would have read private communications between me and my clients. Though there was nothing incriminating, it would be very embarrassing for my client’s private and confidential communications with me to be accessed by the EFCC operatives. They knew they were doing something illegal. But one thing you must understand is that the EFCC operatives are not different than the regular police. Indeed, they are worse. In 2011, the EFCC operatives were mainly ordinary police officers that bribed their way into being posted to EFCC. Usually, they were the worst in the police force. Not much has changed in EFCC. They are just as criminal-minded as ever.

All the time I was in detention, they denied me phone access to my office and family. They never allowed me to use my phone. But one afternoon, they came to the cell with my phone. The offer said to me: “Barrister, this your phone. You can make calls with it”. I took my phone from him, happy that I was allowed to make a call. But immediately I unlocked my phone, the officer snatched the phone from me and started running upstairs. So, all he wanted was to trick me into unlocking my phone. I did what they did not expected. My phone, even in 2011, could be locked by voice command. I uttered the command and the phone locked itself in his hand. But he didn’t know. It took him a minute or so before he realized that the phone was locked. Since then, they stopped trying to access my phone. If Farida Waziri and her men had accessed my phone contact, it would have been published on Sahara Reporters. They were in conspiracy against me then.

Since that experience, I knew that leaving your phone without password is just to allow the criminal elements especially with the law enforcement community to blackmail you. I later discovered other cases involving the EFCC and their other suspect. They would arrest a man, access his phone and go through his contact list. They will figure out if he has a side chick. When his wife comes next to bring the man food while he is still in the cell, the EFCC would call the woman aside and show her the man’s chats with his girlfriend. You can imagine how that will affect the woman. Some women would suddenly stop coming to visit their husbands in detention and may actually begin to cooperate with the EFCC in implicating the man.

If you live in Nigeria, have your phone passworded, not just because regular criminals would take advantage of your private information, criminals in uniform are the greatest threats. It’s important to choose a strong, unique password or consider using advanced security measures to enhance the protection of your device and personal information. When dealing with the Nigeria police, using finger prints is not wise. Even while dead, they can still use your finger print to unlock your phone. Use pin. At least you need to stay alive for your phone to be unlocked.

Having said that, if you have a password, it is okay to share it with your spouse or leave it where your family could find it. If you die suddenly and nobody in your family could access your phone, people you didn’t owe money may claim that you owed them money and people you had repaid could claim that you never repaid them. So, keep the password where he or she could find it in your own interest.


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