In the interests of security, you want your phone to lock. But sometimes you need strangers to be able to access emergency information from your phone. Or your kid’s phone. Or your elderly parent’s phone. Fortunately, more recent iPhones and Androids can do that. Here’s how.
First: Why Lock Your Phone?
Your phone is a portal to everything about your life. Sure, a lot of what’s there won’t be of interest to potential criminals. The fact that you have an all Rush mix in iTunes or that you’re halfway to all three stars in all levels on Angry Birds is neat, but not worth locking up, right?
However, your phone also has stuff like Facebook, email, bank apps, and more. If you’re logged into your email, it’s pretty easy for a criminal to check whatever accounts are linked to that email address. Then said criminal can try and login to, say, an online shopping site, select the ‘forgot password’ option, and use your email to get into the online shopping site. Unless you plan on typing in your password to everything you use every time you use your phone, lock it.
Second: Why Put Emergency Information in Your Phone’s Lock Screen?
There are two reasons you want to edit what your lock screen looks like. Reason one: if there’s emergency medical information someone might need to know about you, the face of your phone isn’t a bad place to put it. No doubt that first responders will check for medical alert bracelets, but keep in mind: everyone carries a phone, so it’s not a bad place to check.
Second reason: if you lose your phone, you want to make it easy for possible good citizens to contact you and return it.
Your iPhone has a pre-installed app called Health. Open it.
At the bottom, there’s an option called Medical ID. Tap it.
The app will now walk through some medical information that might be useful in an emergency. Medical conditions, allergies, medications you’re on, blood type—all the stuff doctors want to know can be written here.
Also, don’t neglect to add an in case of emergency contact. If your phone dials 911, it will also send your emergency contact a text with your location.
Now, there’s a setting at the top of the screen that reads Show When Locked. Turn it on, save your changes, and exit the app.
Go to Settings. Then tap Users.
Tap your username. Now, so long as you have a passcode enabled, you can edit Emergency Info, which has fields for information like allergens, blood type, medical conditions, and more. Also, you can specify an emergency contact.
The Bottom Line
Chances are, you can probably think of a few members of your family who could use some emergency information on their phone screens. Your children’s phone should certainly have you as an emergency contact listed, and if your parents are older, it can’t hurt to set up their phones to display emergency info as well. Remember: it never hurts to be prepared.