What is Tech? Should you keep your car insurance card on your phone?

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49 states now accept digital proof of auto insurance, two states accept digital driver’s licenses, and Apple says 11 more states are working to add the option in the near future.

This means people can store these official documents on their iPhones and open the Wallet app when someone asks for proof of license or insurance.

But is it a good idea?

Consider this: You’re asked to show proof of car insurance at a traffic stop, and you have to hand the officer your unlocked phone. It is always best to keep a hard copy of this insurance card in your glove box or console. But let’s say you haven’t replaced an expired proof of insurance card with a new one. The only proof you will have is on your phone.

There are other times when we share our phones with someone else. Maybe it’s a friend who wants to play a game, a friend who wants to read a book on your Kindle app, or someone asking to text someone. I don’t want anyone using my phone but if it is necessary to hand it to someone unlocked there is a way to prevent them from seeing anything without
permission.

This is a setting you should change if you ever give your phone to someone. On an iPhone: Open Settings then Accessibility, then scroll down the screen to turn on “Guided Access”. It is disabled by default.

When you move the slider to the right to enable it, you will be asked to create a password. This is not the password you use to unlock the phone. You can set it as the same or any new password (just remember what it is).

When someone needs to watch a certain app on your phone, before handing it over, open the app they need to use and click the power button on the side 3 times. You will see a pop-up window for Guided Access. Tap it and it will prevent them from opening another app or navigating away from the app you have allowed them to use.

To turn off Guided Access, triple-click the side button and enter the password you just set up to unlock the phone.

On an Android device: go to settings and security, and at the bottom of the screen, open the “Advanced” options. At
at the very bottom of the screen, activate “App Pinning”.

On the screen showing all open apps, long press the icon of the app you want to pin. This will pin any open app, preventing someone from opening and closing apps or navigating away from the app you pinned.

To turn it off, press and hold the back button and the home button simultaneously, which will open the locked screen where you can re-enter your password to unlock the phone.

This may be different on other Android phones, so you may need to dig a bit into the security settings to find App Pinning.

Guided Access and App Pinning don’t change the way you use your phone now, so you can set it up ahead of time (just make sure you don’t forget the new passcode on an iPhone ).

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