Smartphones have become an essential part of our daily lives, helping us with a wide range of tasks, from online banking to capturing precious moments. And now, Android brings new features to keep this use safe.

It turns out that as we increasingly rely on these devices to store sensitive information and carry out financial transactions, we also make them potential targets for malicious individuals who want to access our data. With that in mind, Google has brought some resources that can help in this case. Check out!

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Google introduces security features for Android

To address this growing security concern, Google is introducing a new suite of advanced theft protection features for Android devices. These features are designed to help protect your device and data before, during, and after a theft attempt.

Android and data protection improvements to deter theft

One of Google’s focuses is to bring resources that aim to make it as difficult as possible to resell a stolen smartphone, in an attempt to discourage theft.

One of the key improvements is the update to Android’s factory reset protection, which will make it harder for thieves to reset your stolen device and resell it. With this update, even if a thief forces a device reset, they won’t be able to set it up again without the original owner’s device or Google account credentials. This makes reselling the device much more complicated.

Additionally, to prevent thieves from disabling important security features such as Find My Device, you will now need to enter the user’s PIN, password or biometric authentication, preventing and making it as difficult as possible for criminals to keep your device unlocked and untraceable online.

If the PIN is known to the thief, enhanced authentication will still require biometrics to access the most critical settings of the Google account and the device, such as changing this PIN, disabling theft protection or even accessing Passkey.

However, in many cases, even if the device becomes unsellable, criminals may still be more interested in what’s inside it, especially in extracting important data or even using banking applications to make transfers and purchases. And this loss can be even greater than the value of the hardware.

In this case, Google announced Private Space, a separate area where important banking or note-taking applications with passwords can be placed, for example. This Private Space is protected by another password, different from the PIN used to unlock the screen, which guarantees an additional layer of security.

Android will notice when your cell phone is stolen from your hand

Android will notice when your cell phone is stolen from your hand

A robbery, especially theft, often happens very quickly, so it is difficult to react at the same time. For the device to have this type of reaction, Google also revealed automatic blocking features powered by AI.

The Theft Detection Lock can detect whether a device has been quickly removed from the owner’s hand and lock the device’s screen to prevent unauthorized access to data. This is important because thieves often wait for the victim to be using the unlocked device to steal and take advantage of this screen unlock time to make changes or even prevent it from being locked again.

Android will notice when your cell phone is stolen from your hand

And even if the thief gains access to the device and tries to disconnect it for an extended period of time, Offline Device Lock kicks in, which automatically locks the screen to protect data, even when the device is offline. Additionally, if the thief makes multiple authentication attempts to try and guess the password, the device will also be locked.

Help when your Android has already been stolen

Currently, Android already has the Find My Device feature, which allows it to wipe or lock the device remotely in case of theft or loss. However, in some cases the victim is very confused by the theft or does not even remember the Google account password.

In this case, Google is introducing the Remote Lock feature, which allows the user to remotely lock the device’s screen via using just their phone number and a quick security challenge. This will give you time to access Find My Device more calmly.

lock Android even without using Find My Device

Resource availability

According to Google, these advanced theft protection features will be implemented through updates to Google Play services later this year, providing an additional layer of security and peace of mind for Android device users.

Enhanced Authentication Protections, Theft Detection Lock, Offline Device Lock, and Remote Lock features will roll out to select devices later this year.

Factory Reset and Private Space Updates will be released as part of Android 15.

Source: Google


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