Thursday, May 23, 2024

Android’s theft protection features keep your device and data safe

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1. Improved device and data protection to deter theft before it happens

We’re working to strengthen your device’s security against theft with new and improved protection features that will make thieves think twice about trying.

Factory reset upgrade prevents a reset by a thief. For some criminals, the goal is to quickly reset your stolen device and resell it. We’re making it more difficult to do that with an upgrade to Android’s factory reset protection. With this upgrade, if a thief forces a reset of the stolen device, they’re not able to set it up again without knowing your device or Google account credentials. This renders a stolen device unsellable, reducing incentives for phone theft.

Private space hides your sensitive apps. Some thieves just want the device, but many aim to extract valuable data and transfer funds from your phone that can be worth much more than your hardware. Private space is a new feature that lets you create a separate area in your phone that you can hide and lock with a separate PIN, giving you additional security for apps that might contain sensitive data, like health or financial information.

More steps for changing sensitive device settings to protect your data. Disabling Find My Device or extending screen timeout now requires your PIN, password or biometric authentication, adding an extra layer of security preventing criminals who got a hold of your device from keeping it unlocked or untrackable online.

Increased authentication to protect you in case your PIN is known by a thief. When enabled, our new enhanced authentication will require biometrics for accessing and changing critical Google account and device settings, like changing your PIN, disabling theft protection or accessing Passkeys, from an untrusted location.

Factory reset protection updates and private space will be released as part of Android 15. Enhanced authentication protections will be released to select devices later this year.

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