Google launches a new theft protection feature for your device safety

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Smartphones help users store personal information and valuable data making them attractive targets for theft. To improve security, a new set of advanced theft protection features are being introduced through Google Play service updates. This update could affect billions of devices running Android 10 and above with some features available in Android 15.

For your information, these updates include enhanced data protection to prevent theft and data resets to prevent thieves from selling stolen devices. Additionally, those who change sensitive device settings such as disabling Find My Device or extending the screen timeout now require authentication. The authentication step requires biometrics to access critical settings if a thief knows your PIN.

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Next, the new Theft Detection Lock feature uses Google AI to detect if your phone has been stolen, then locks the screen instantly. The Offline Device Lock feature automatically locks the screen if the phone is disconnected for a long period or detects excessive failed authentication attempts. The feature will be available for Android 10+ devices via a Google Play services update starting later this year.

Additionally, for those who need to act quickly after their phone is stolen, the Remote Lock feature offers the next solution. This feature allows users to lock their phone screen using only their phone number and a quick security challenge from any device, even if they don't remember their Google account password.

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Overall, this should give time to recover account details and use Find My Device for further actions such as sending a data reset command. Remote Lock will also be available for Android 10 and above devices via a Google Play services update while Find My Device is available on Android 5+ devices.

We have yet to confirm other details on the feature. So, we should wait for more confirmation from Google. Hopefully, this feature will arrive in Malaysia soon.

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