With the Samsung S10 family out — people are complaining about unlocking features such as the in-screen fingerprint reader not being “fast enough” and the “easy to fool” face unlock.
What people SHOULD be doing is using Smart Lock.
We live a precarious life; balancing security with convenience.
We want immediate and care-free access to our smart devices, but we don’t want to be put through any trouble whatsoever — all the while complaining about security and how phone manufacturers need to work harder to protect us.
Before we discuss what Smart Lock is — let’s discuss what we’re really concerned about protecting — that way we understand what security level we really need.
Lost doesn’t mean stolen necessarily. You can’t find it — but you’re pretty sure no one deliberately took it. Still, if you can’t find it — you want to be reasonably sure there is no easy access to the device.
This is a crime of opportunity. Someone wants your device to resell or keep for themselves. Who you are and your assets are unimportant. It is the hardware they want.
Obtaining your phone is part of an elaborate plot to steal your identity. It has everything someone needs to access your bank, your social media and that secret Grinder account you’ve been hiding from your significant other. These people probably have your PIN, password and at least 10 to 15 really good pictures of you. Oh, and your identical twin locked up in a closet somewhere.
Not trying to downplay the issue — but most thefts are crimes of opportunity and any barrier to entry to your device will keep anyone but the devout
Sadly, this is probably the real reason you want your phone locked. You don’t want someone you know looking at your stuff; your co-worker, your kids … your wife. People quite often don’t want to hide their phone from strangers — they want it hidden from someone close to them.
Alright, we’ve covered the big ones. Figure out where you fall into the equation.
Let’s get back to Smart Lock.
Smart Lock allows you to keep your phone unlocked based on certain criteria; mostly location or proximity based. That means when you are SOMEWHERE or near SOMETHING; your phone stays unlocked.
There are four major areas that Smart Lock can eliminate all the ‘cumbersome’ security processes that seem to be pissing everyone off. On-Body Detection, Trusted Places, Trusted Devices and Voice Match.
You pick your phone up off your desk — unlock it with a conventional method (PIN, Pattern, Fingerprint, etc) and as long as the device in motion on you — it stays unlocked. This works surprisingly well. It doesn’t ELIMINATE pain in the ass unlocking — but it does drastically reduce it.
Use Google Maps to choose a location; home, work, favorite lunch time eatery — and as long as you are within the “geofencing” area of that location? Your phone stays unlocked. Unless you’re hiding your phone from your wife or husband? This is pretty damn cool.
If you have a smart watch, Hands Free in your car or pretty much any other reasonably new Bluetooth device (speaker, PC/laptop, etc) you can designate proximity to that item as a key to unlock your phone.
If you’ve been looking to justify buying a smart watch or wearable and you never want to have to unlock your phone EVER again? It might be time to pull the trigger.
As long as I’m wearing my watch, am in my car or laying around in my house full of Bluetooth devices? I never have to unlock my phone.
With apologies to Ferris Bueller … “If you have the means — I highly recommend picking one up. It is so choice.”
This is pretty self-explanatory. Use your voice to unlock your phone and perform certain operations when it is locked. After all, your voice is your passport.
Take a look at Smart Lock. I promise you … reading articles about the suffering of in-screen fingerprint readers and the insecurity of face unlock will worry you just a little bit less.
And isn’t that what good security is SUPPOSED to do for you?