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Android Introduces Advanced Theft Protection Features to Keep Your Device and Data Safe

TLDR: Google introduces advanced theft protection features for Android devices, including factory reset upgrades, private space, enhanced authentication, automatic screen lock, offline device lock, and remote lock, to keep your device and data safe before, during, and after a theft attempt. The features will be rolled out later this year.

Google is introducing a suite of advanced theft protection features to keep your Android device and data safe before, during, and after a theft attempt. These features will be rolled out through Google Play service updates later this year to billions of devices running Android 10 and above, with some features available in Android 15.

1. Improved device and data protection to deter theft before it happens

Google is 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. If a thief forces a reset of the stolen device, they won’t be able to set it up again without knowing your device or Google account credentials. This makes a stolen device unsellable, reducing incentives for phone theft.


Private space hides your sensitive apps. 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 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, the 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.

2. Automatic protection the moment your phone is stolen

Google has 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, 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.

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.

The 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.

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


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