Android 15 will make it harder for phone thieves to steal your data

After bucking tradition and devoting an entire Google I/O keynote to demonstrating what it’s like Filling the AI ​​with everything imaginable, the company devoted a second day to catching up with the one-time star of the show, Android. Along with the arrival of the second Android 15 beta on Wednesday, Google opening The 2024 mobile app includes previously unannounced security features, including AI-powered theft detection, Google Play fraud protection, and more.

Theft Detection Lock is a new Android 15 feature that will use artificial intelligence (again) to predict phone thefts and lock things accordingly. Google says its algorithms can detect actions related to theft, such as grabbing and closing the phone, riding a bike or driving a car. If an Android 15 phone detects one of these situations, the phone’s screen will quickly lock, making it much harder for a phone thief to access your data.

The Remote Lock feature allows you to quickly lock the phone if someone manages to pick it up without activating the Anti-Theft Lock. You can do it with (you guessed it) Remote Lock lock it remotely complete the phone screen from any device with just your phone number and a “quick security challenge”. This is to prevent situations where someone takes (or loses) their phone but doesn’t know their Google account password to access Find My Device.

Along similar lines, Offline Device Lock automatically locks your phone’s screen when your phone is offline – authentication is required to unlock. This is designed to counter thieves who quickly take a stolen device offline before the owner can remotely lock or wipe it.

At the same time, updating to factory reset protection will require your credentials to use the phone after the data is wiped, which reduces the incentive to steal the phone in the first place. Additionally, turning off Find My Device or extending the phone’s screen time will require security authentication, eliminating another common tactic phone thieves use to reset a device before it’s locked.

It looks like a feature Apple is out earlier this year, Android 15 will also require additional authentication when attempting to change an account’s security settings (such as changing a PIN, turning off anti-theft, or accessing passkeys) from an untrusted location.

Stay up-to-date with all the news from Google I/O 2024 here!

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