Home Science Technology Google Unveils Advanced Anti-Theft Features for Android Phones

Google Unveils Advanced Anti-Theft Features for Android Phones

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Android Security Anti Theft
Android Security Anti Theft

Google is rolling out new anti-theft technologies for Android devices, aimed at protecting users from data loss, identity theft, and other risks.

These features will be available through Google Play services updates later this year on billions of devices running Android 10 or later, with some features exclusive to Android 15.

Key Features:

Factory Reset Protection: A new upgrade ensures that if a thief attempts to reset your device, they won’t be able to set it up again without your Google account credentials. This makes stolen devices less valuable and reduces the incentive for theft.

Private Space: This feature allows users to create a separate, locked area on their phones for apps containing sensitive information, such as health or financial software. This space can be secured with a separate PIN code.

Enhanced Authentication for Sensitive Settings: Users will need to enter their PIN, password, or use biometric authentication to change critical settings like disabling Find My Device or extending screen timeout. This prevents thieves from making a stolen device untraceable.

Enhanced Authentication Protections: This requires biometrics for accessing and changing critical Google account and device settings, adding an extra layer of security if a thief knows your PIN.

Theft Detection and Response:

Theft Detection Lock: Using Google AI, this feature detects if a phone is snatched from a user’s hand and if someone tries to get away with it by running, biking, or driving. If such motion is detected, the phone’s screen will lock immediately, preventing access to data.

Offline Device Lock: If a thief tries to disconnect a stolen phone for long periods, the screen will automatically lock, even when the device is offline. The device will also lock if there are excessive failed authentication attempts.

Remote Lock: If a phone is stolen and the user can’t recall their Google account password, they can lock the screen using just their phone number and a quick security challenge from any device. This feature buys time to recover account details and access additional options in Find My Device, including sending a factory reset command to wipe the device completely.

Pilot Programs and Global Rollout:

In Brazil, where phone theft is a significant issue, Google is launching a beta version of some of these features for Android 10+ devices, following successful pilots in Singapore and Thailand. These new features are expected to be highly welcomed in South Africa, where phone theft is rampant.

Google’s new anti-theft features mark a significant step in enhancing the security of Android devices, aiming to provide users with peace of mind and greater control over their data and device security.

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