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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:59 pm 
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I called Consumer Cellular (hereafter CC) to get the SIM card number and PUK number since they didn't provide it when I signed up.
The phone must be set now with SIM PIN off, since I once turned the phone off and didn't have to enter anything to turn it back on - except my 6 digit passcode which I set myself.

The SIM number CC gave me is the 20 digit ICCID number that I already had.

Is that really the number that those of you use to unlock your phone each time you turn it off and turn it back on again if you have the SIM lock set - a 20 digit number??? How do you remember it? I do not use any of those storage thingies that keep Passwords encoded for us.

CC also gave me the PUK number - but they gave me two options:
Try the first (the customer service person said) and if that doesn't work, try the second.
When I questioned them, they explained this 2 number conundrum as being the result of their being a MVNO working off of AT&T.
I'm not thrilled with this 2 number optional thing and don't want to get locked out.

Does all of this sound right?
I read https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201529 but not sure it helped.

Do you all use a SIM PIN and is it 20 digits long?
Right now I'm assuming that the setting for SIM PIN is off since I didn't have to put in anything to turn on the phone. (I called the iPhone help number and asked how long a SIM PIN is, the girl there told me - it's a long number. Yet, I read online that (say) Verizon or AT&T have 4 digit default SIM PINs - so I'm a bit puzzled - what's new?)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:52 am 
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As you've turned the phone off and on again without issue, the SIM code has not been set.

The SIM code is four digits.

If a SIM is PIN protected and you fail to input the correct code three times (IIRC) the SIM will be blocked and that's when you are required to input your PUK code which is around seven digits.

When SIMs were invented, in addition to holding information on your number and access to your carrier network, they could hold your address book and some SMS. Perhaps 250 names and numbers. Of course, if your phone fell into the wrong hands, you wouldn't want anyone to have access to that information and the SIM code would keep the data safe.

Later on, feature phones came to market with more memory and more features. One of them being a better address book with more options. That's when people began storing their address books on their phones instead of the SIM in the phone.

When smartphones came along they took everything to the next level and improved security with longer passcodes, biometrics etc.

Nowadays, address books are often in the cloud.

Of course, your SIM can still be extracted from your phone and put into another one. Your number is on your SIM and is tied to your plan. Theoretically someone could pinch your SIM and run up a large bill (depending on your plan) but reality is that most of us are given internet accounts by our carriers to manage many aspects of our phones (including blocking a SIM in case of theft) so if you are on the ball you should be OK.

To PIN code protect your SIM or not is more a question of preference or habit than absolute necessity. Most of what you care about is one the phone itself and protected by the phone's own security measures.

I've never received a SIM without a preset code so it's habit for me.

The twenty digit reference is a mystery to me.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:15 pm 
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Thank you, Avon B7, for your very helpful explanation.

I did have UK issued cell phone years ago with a SIM card with a 4 digit #, and a PUK. And what you say is exactly how it worked, the address book was stored on the card (though I recall we had the option to store it on the phone as well.)

This phone is long out-of-date but your description of the working of SIM and PUK all brings that memory back.

As far as the 20 digits, I think just out of curiosity I'll call the carrier and ask further - maybe try to get a supervisor, but that's not always easy.
I know, for example, that AT&T and Verizon have default PINs readily available - but I'm not going there.
The 20 digit number I was given matches the bar code on the plastic card that the SIM was in - and also matches the ICCID I can get from settings - it's the number of the SIM card, but not a SIM PIN.

What I don't know - but am not courageous (or stupid) enough to experiment with - or even look at - is if I go to the setting for SIM PIN in settings to find out how to set the PIN - does it begin with the SIM number (20 digits) and from there you get to set a 4 digit SIM PIN?

I don't know, but don't want to screw it up. I'll try calling the provider tomorrow as I said above. I'll let you know if I learn anything.

Remember, as I posted elsewhere, here's what they said about this on their website:
"What is the PIN for the phone, and should I lock the phone? 

The PIN is a security feature built into the phone by the manufacturer. It is used to lock the phone when it is first turned on. We do not recommend locking the phone. If you feel it necessary to use the lock feature, please call our Customer Support team at (888) 345-5509 so we can walk you through the process."

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:01 pm 
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The 4 digit SIM PIN is a number you create, its not derived from any other number on the phone unless you want to set it that way. Its like an ATM PIN, its just 4 numbers you choose. After you choose them you damn well better remember them! :lol:

This applies to SIMs issued in the US. obviously overseas may be a different.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:56 pm 
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deleted -duplicated post

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Last edited by Mrs H on Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:02 pm 
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Mrs H wrote:
MonkeyBoy wrote:
The 4 digit SIM PIN is a number you create, its not derived from any other number on the phone unless you want to set it that way. Its like an ATM PIN, its just 4 numbers you choose. After you choose them you damn well better remember them! :lol:

This applies to SIMs issued in the US. obviously overseas may be a different.


So you mean Consumer Cellular (US company) can't give me a SIM PIN - I generate it - but from what? The number (20 digits) that CC gave me is on the bar code on the plastic sheet the SIM card popped out of (and from what I've seen online it's also printed on the card (I'm not bothering to take it out to check) and it's right there on the phone info page as the ICCID number.

I've read that AT&T and Verizon have know default SIM PINs. I've assumed when you go to the SIM PIN on/off setting in security you will be putting in the default sim and choosing your own. All well and good - but I don't have a default 4 digit sim.

Thank you for your comment on SIMs here in this thread "a bit of humor for you":
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=7993
It's very reassuring to know it's not just my carrier that doesn't offer a default pin and maybe I just don't need to worry about this problematical question.

It all began here and became a big puzzle for me, but one puzzle I probably don't have to solve...???
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=7982&p=104151#p104151

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Last edited by Mrs H on Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:04 pm 
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Yeah, just whatever 4 digits you choose.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:09 pm 
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Thanks, BDA and MB and everyone else.

I think I can put this issue to bed - no SIM PIN for me.

Good night (it's 11:11 here on the East coast)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:37 pm 
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I believe the default SIM PIN is 0000 if you haven't set a SIM PIN. At least that's what it was for me during the half dozen phones or so that I set a SIM PIN on.

I believe newer phones are a little smarter about realizing that the SIM PIN is 0000 and don't make you enter 0000 as the old PIN.


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