Security is one of the most essential features of any smartphone. With increasing security threats on mobile devices every day, people are now more concerned about protecting their privacy and personal data from unauthorized outsiders.
Editor’s note: We created these instructions using a Samsung Galaxy S22 running Android 12. Depending on your device’s software version, some steps and menu positions may look slightly different.
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Security threats on Smartphones
There are two major ways we see that a mobile phone’s data can be hacked or leaked. One way is internal and the other way is external.
If you wonder what mean by internal (internal attacks), and external (external attacks) are, let us explain them first.
Internal attacks mean attacks that can come through the internet. Not only malicious apps, visiting harmful sites, clicking phishing links, and being a victim of social engineering attacks also belong to this category.
On the other hand, externally or external attacks mean security threats that could come from outside of a smartphone. Think about someone that takes your phone without asking, and looks at all of your personal data such as images, videos, text messages, etc. Not only that, external storage devices, and controllers can also harm your smartphone and its data.
Therefore, concerning those two types of attacks, we decided to write a series of guides to help you secure your Samsung smartphone. As its first guide, we will enlighten you about how you can reduce external attacks, by setting up a screen lock on your Samsung smartphone.
It is not rocket science to set up a screen lock on your Android/iOS smartphone, so we will not tell you just how to set up a password, pattern lock, fingerprint, etc. We will more focus on the pros and cons of each of the screen lock types that Samsung smartphones have offered you while giving you simple instructions on how to enable the best type of screen lock for you.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Screen locks you have on your Samsung smartphone
As of the time we write this guide, there were more than 10000 smartphones have been released. Since it is hard to mention every smartphone and every screen lock option they had, we will only explain screen lock options that are available on most of the new Android/iOS smartphones.
From the traditional pattern, password, and pin screen locks there has been an incredible advancement that has been made to the new smartphones, which is Biometrics. So far there are 2 types of biometric security options available on new smartphones, fingerprint, and face ID.
Let us list all the screen lock options below to make them easy to compare.
- Face (First introduced in Apple iPhone X)
- Fingerprints (First introduced in Toshiba G500)
We sorted this list by the security each option offers, from zero to maximum security. As you can see, fingerprints are the most reliable security option to lock the screen.
But that doesn’t mean other security options are not reliable at all. Each one has its own pros and cons. So let’s see what those are.
Nothing really to talk about. If you don’t want a lock screen for your Samsung smartphone, then this option is for you.
Same as None but you will see a lock screen with a wallpaper, only a swipe on the lock screen is enough to unlock the screen lock, therefore, this option will be best if you don’t want to accidentally unlock the device (Especially when you put the smartphone into the pocket)
We can’t say the PIN lock is a secure way to lock the screen of your Samsung device. It is because there are only 4 numbers that you can set as the PIN for your screen lock. So it is easy for someone to sneak behind you and see the PIN when you type it.
The pattern lock can be more secure if you have set up a complex pattern to lock your screen. However, it will take some time to build muscle memory to remember a new pattern lock. And it will be less secure to keep just one pattern lock for years without changing it.
This is one of the most used screen lock types before the introduction of fingerprints to smartphones. It is much more secure than the other screen lock options. However, like the pattern lock, you have to set a lengthy password to make your screen lock more secure. Also, it is better to change the password at least once a month so that nobody can ever guess what your password is.
Face Unlock (Face ID)
Before the introduction of the depth sensor to identify the face more accurately, some smartphones had the Face unlock feature by utilizing the selfie camera of the smartphone. But unlike the new technology, it was a lot less secure and has a higher false acceptance rate (FAR). Also, it couldn’t even be used without the light.
However, that doesn’t mean the new face unlock feature can be trusted 100% percent. It is because even with the new technologies, there are reports that say it can be spoofed with a photo of a user.
Another drawback of facial recognition screen locks is they cannot identify the face if the user is wearing a mask or sunglasses.
When we say fingerprints are the best biometric security option, we don’t mean the traditional optical fingerprint scanners that capture an image of a fingerprint. It is because optical fingerprint scanners are easy to fool, by using a print of the fingerprint.
There are two other fingerprint scanners, capacitive, and ultrasonic. Capacitive fingerprint scanners use electricity to map the fingerprint, while ultrasonic scanner uses ultrasonic waves to capture the fingerprint of a user.
If we compare capacitive fingerprint scanners and ultrasonic fingerprint scanners, the most secure and reliable fingerprint scanner is the ultrasonic scanner.
So here is a summary of what we discussed so far.
How to set up the screen lock on Android smartphones
It is up to you to choose which security option you want for your smartphone’s screen lock. Since Android and iOS are two different systems and have different approaches to setting up a screen lock, first we will show you how you can set up a screen lock on an Android smartphone.
Note: The procedure to change/set up a screen lock can vary depending on the smartphone model and the Android version.
- Open Settings
- Go to Biometrics and passwords
- Tap on the Screen lock
- Choose the option you want
- Set up the screen lock and save
How to set up the screen lock on iPhone
Here is how you can set up the screen lock on iPhones.
- Open Settings
- Go to Face ID & Passcode
- Choose the screen lock option
- Set up the screen lock according to the option you selected
With the increasing scientific discoveries and inventions, there will be more biometrics and other security features will be added to smartphones. Until then, it is up to you to keep our smartphone and the data secure in every possible way.
We hope this guide helped you to choose the best screen lock option, and how to set up them.
If you have any questions regarding this guide, leave a comment below.
Have a nice day!
More useful resources for your Samsung Galaxy smartphone
- How to Backup and Restore Your Samsung Smartphone/Tablet – 2023
- How to Enable Developer Options on Any Samsung Galaxy Smartphone/Table Easily (2023)
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Update Tracker 2023 (Continuously Updating)
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Software Update Tracker 2023 (Cont. Updating)
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Software Update Tracker 2023 (Cont. Updating)