10 smartphone security features you didn’t know

Let’s face it – smartphones are getting smarter with every release or update. Everything imaginable users can think of usually start eventually showing up.
Taiwan smartphone customers
Beyond the obvious uses like watching shows, movies, talking, texting and day-to-day luxuries, safety continues to be a huge problem. Having a phone that continues to double its protection not only makes it more attractive, but keeps the user and their information safe.

One of the safest solutions is to secure your mobile with a VPN, but here are 10 additional smartphone security features most people don’t know about:

Message on Lock Screen

Users usually panic when they lose their phones. Although there is a “locate phone” feature that indicates to the owner where the phone is, there are certain features like the lost phone prompt that allows a person to leave a message for the person who found it. In Android phones, users can find this under Settings – Lock screen and security – Lock screen signature. The user is able to leave a backup number or email which is activated once the phone is lost.

Iris Scans

Most people don’t realize the new software in their phones may have an iris sensor. This military-inspired upgrade allows the device to scan the eyes of the person attempting to use it. If it recognizes the iris, the phone is opened. If not, the phone stays locked and the phone is inaccessible. To do this, the user should access Settings – Lock Screen & Security – Iris Unlock. If the person wears glasses or contact lenses, they may have to be removed for the software to properly capture the information needed.

Facial recognition

Just like the iris scan, facial recognition is growing in popularity to authenticate the user and unlock the device. There should always be a back up available to retrieving the information in the phone, especially if the software starts having glitch problems. On most phones, this can be done by going to Settings – Lock Screen & Security – Face Recognition. Slightly slanting the phone where the face can align with the viewfinder usually helps. Once this is complete, turn it on. This will also allow the user to set up app verification and other areas.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensors are here to stay. Although frequently used on computers, smartphones also have this capability and most people don’t realize it’s there. The fingerprint sensor uses a capacitator to analyze the user’s unique fingerprint, making it almost impenetrable by someone else. The beauty of this is that the fingerprint can be used to authenticate different payment methods like Google, Samsung and Apple Pay. Even with the fingerprint scan option, there should always be a backup method for getting into the phone.

Kill Switch

Most smartphones are equipped with a kill switch where the entire phone can be wiped if the phone is lost and unable to be located. Once a user feels as if the phone can’t be retrieved, they can go into their account and remotely reset the device to factory settings, erasing all personal information.

Password-Protected Folder

Users can place items in a password-protected folder to ensure their information is not compromised, even if the phone is stolen. Important apps and sensitive information can be stored in this folder, with general tasks are easily reached.

Voice Detection

Voice-activated everything makes things so convenient, right? This security feature is not well-known as a security feature, but rather one of convenience. Users can set up a Voice Match profile so the if they use Google Assistant, it will only respond to their voice. Additionally, there is an Unlock with Voice Match to unlock the device by simply saying, “Ok Google.” This could be very convenient for users who are always on the go or need very quick access to their information. This can be set up by using Settings – Lock Screen & Security – Smart Lock. The user will have to confirm a backup passcode, allowing them to select Voice Match. The user should then select Access with Voice Match to record their voice for the assistant.

The process may initially seem tedious, as the user will have to agree to the terms and confirm the prompt where it specifically states feature limitations. Users should note that the backup passcode will be needed to access the device if the system does not recognize their voice after multiple attempts.

Guest Mode

There may be times when a user allows someone else to use their phone. When this occurs, one of the biggest concerns is keeping their personal information confidential. The user can still do this and allow someone to use their phone by accessing the guest mode feature. To do this on an Android phone, the user will swipe down from the top with two fingers, accessing the user icon on the right. Add guest should appear, allowing the user to choose what the new user will be allowed to do with the phone once they have it in their possession.

Head Movement

Another feature many people don’t realize they have is the ability to use their phone with just simple head movements. This comes in handy on those days when it’s very cold outside and it’s better to keep the hands covered, or the hands are occupied but the user needs to continue the conversation. There is an app called EVA Facial Mouse that allows an Android device to be controlled with movements of the head. How cool is that?

Screen Magnifier

One of the worst compromisers of security is the inability to see, especially in dark places. Users are now able to change their phone settings to zoom in on any part of the phone when needed. This can be done by using Settings – Accessibility – Magnification.

These features help enhance the security of the phone while protecting sensitive information. An additional feature called Hotspot mode is becoming very popular. Using different hotspots can be dangerous, as this is one of the main ways hackers are able to tap into sensitive information over the Wi-Fi network. This is another reason why using a VPN is key.

What can a VPN do on a mobile phone?

A virtual private network (VPN) on a mobile phone is needed to protect online privacy. The VPN will mask the IP address and identity of the person using public Wi-Fi networks. Individuals can also use their VPN service when using their mobile phone at home to keep their location masked.

One of the highlights about having a VPN on the mobile phone is the ability to unblock restricted content and stream freely. Additionally, individuals who frequently travel for work can access corporate files on the phone without compromise. This is important, especially if the user will have to send attachments like worksheets and presentations through the system. A VPN creates a secure environment on both Android and iPhone.

Security is one of the most important elements when using a mobile phone in today’s technological environment. Knowing these tips and how effective a VPN can be when using a mobile device can make the difference between hackers or individuals the user may be familiar with who have ill intentions accessing their sensitive, personal data. Staying ahead of the game and using all the security protocols available on the phone makes it a worthwhile investment.

Rajani Baburajan