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

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Smartphones help us with everyday tasks like online banking, storing sensitive information, taking photos of our friends and families and quickly paying for stuff. While our phones make our lives easier, they also contain a lot of valuable information which makes these devices a target for people who might want to get their hands on our data.

To help keep your device and your data safe before, during and after a theft attempt, we're introducing a new suite of advanced theft protection features. These features will be rolling out through Google Play services updates later this year to the billions of devices running Android 10+, with some features available in Android 15.

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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Android will protect access to sensitive settings by requiring users to enter their PIN or biometrics.

2. Automatic protection the moment your phone is stolen

Having a device stolen is unexpected and stressful and it can be hard to react quickly at the moment it happens. That's why we created features that can automatically recognize suspicious signals and proactively protect your data on the device.

Automatic AI-powered screen lock for when your phone is snatched. Theft Detection Lock is a powerful new feature that uses Google AI to sense if someone snatches your phone from your hand and tries to run, bike or drive away. If a common motion associated with theft is detected, your phone screen quickly locks - which helps keep thieves from easily accessing your data.

Added protection when a thief has your device. If a thief tries to disconnect your phone for prolonged periods of time, Offline Device Lock automatically locks your screen to help protect your data even when your device is off the grid. Android can also recognize other signs that your device may be in the wrong hands. For example, it will lock your device screen when excessive failed authentication attempts are made.

Theft Detection Lock and Offline Device Lock will be available to Android 10+ devices through a Google Play services update later this year.

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Android uses AI to lock the device if the phone detects motion that could indicate theft.

3. Lock your device and act quickly after your phone is stolen

Find My Device already lets you remotely lock or wipe a lost or stolen phone and you can now mark it as lost for easier tracking. But many users are shocked and stressed after a phone goes missing and can't recall their Google account password to access Find My Device.

Remote Lock feature throws you a lifeline if your phone is already gone. You'll be able to lock the screen of your phone with just your phone number and a quick security challenge using any device. This buys you time to recover your account details and access additional helpful options in Find My Device, including sending a full factory reset command to completely wipe the device.

Remote Lock will be available to Android 10+ devices through a Google Play services update later this year. Find My Device is available on Android 5+ devices.

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Remote Lock lets you remotely lock your device screen quickly

We're committed to keeping your device and data secure on Android. We're constantly developing new protections to help our users around the world. Look out for more security and privacy features and updates from Android.

Learn more about how we're also protecting users from financial fraud and scams with new features.

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