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    Google introduces new protection wall for Android users


    Making life difficult for thieves
    Google introduces new protection wall for Android users

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    Cell phones with Google's operating system are to become less valuable to thieves. By blocking them in various places, the company wants to better protect user data and make it almost impossible to use stolen devices. The security programs are now being rolled out gradually.

    Smartphones with the Google Android operating system will soon be able to use artificial intelligence to detect when a thief snatches the phone from the owner's hand and flees the scene of the crime. If the AI ​​recognizes a common movement associated with a theft, the phone's display will be locked immediately, Google announced at the I/O developer conference in Mountain View. Google is reacting to numerous incidents in which thieves not only managed to snatch the smartphone from the hands of unsuspecting passers-by, for example from a moving motorcycle, but also used the unlocked device to further harm their victims immediately after the robbery. The online bank accounts linked to the smartphone were often plundered. The screen lock activated by the AI ​​will in future prevent thieves from easily accessing the data.

    But Google is also putting up another protective wall that is designed to make it more difficult for criminals to resell a stolen Android smartphone. If a thief resets a stolen device, he can no longer set it up without knowing the device or Google account details. “This makes a stolen device unsellable, reducing the incentive for phone theft,” Google explained.

    New area for sensitive data

    In January, Google competitor Apple further expanded a similar anti-theft protection for the iPhone and made it virtually impossible for thieves to unlock it with the iOS 17.3 operating system. Google is now following suit: In the event that the thief was able to spy on the lock code, Android can prevent the PIN from being changed or the anti-theft protection from being deactivated if this is done from an untrustworthy location (such as home or work). In this case, a change to important account and device settings must be confirmed with a biometric feature (fingerprint or facial recognition).

    In addition, Android allows you to set up a separate area on your smartphone for sensitive data, hide it, and lock it with a separate PIN. This can provide additional protection for apps that contain health or financial information, for example.

    Most of the anti-theft features presented will be activated later this year via Google Play Services on smartphones running Android 10 or later. Android 10 has been on the market since 2019. Some features, such as factory reset protection and private storage, require Android 15, which will be introduced later this year.

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