Android Little Known Security Feature

Android Security Feature – Smart Lock

Available on Android devices with an OS of 5.0 and above is a security feature called Smart Lock. It can be accessed, with screen lock android phone securityenabled, in settings > general > security, and then needs to be enabled and configured under smart lock. Location may vary.

The feature allows setting screen lock to be linked to GEO location (several zones can be set), a trusted Bluetooth device, or it can determine if the device is no longer on your person. It also allows for other trusted methods such as NFC tags, and facial or voice recognition.

Because you can set device to lock screen in just a few seconds this security feature can be an extremely useful security option. The GEO location allows setting of safe zones based on GEO location so the device will not go into screen lock in those locations. The Bluetooth connect allows pairing with another trusted Bluetooth device so if you are no longer in range the device will lock. And if you set your device down and walk away while not in a trusted location the device will lock.

One of the greatest threats to our security is our inability and unwillingness to take steps to ensure that security and, instead, taking short-cuts. No one likes to keep entering a lock screen code so most just disable it and thereby enabling threats. Smart Lock gives you flexibility to not worry with locking your screen when you don’t need to and locking it when you do and it does it automatically.

The interface for the settings is fairly straight forward and ties nicely into the device GPS system. As soon as you go into the Trusted Places settings it brings up your current GPS location and then gives you the ability to navigate to add other safe zones if you wish. To add a Bluetooth device simply go into Trusted Devices and have it find your device or touch an NFC tag. The internal mechanisms on the device can detect if you have placed your device down and lock the screen after the time you have it set for if it is not in a safe zone or connected to a safe device.

Smart Lock takes most of the worry and needless entering of lock screen passcode away from the user. It also allows for the setting up of security zones and setting lock times for your devices that make more security sense. Having a lock time of 15, 10, or even 5 minutes is not a very secure time limit.

 Setting up a 15 or 30 second time to lock screen makes more security sense if you tie that to your person, safe zones, and safe devices. Theoretically, the only time our device would lock screen is when it was in an unsafe or untrusted place and not on your person.


by Jim Atkins 'thedosmann"

Memphis Web Programming