The Samsung Galaxy SIII (3) has been advertised quite heavily by Samsung here in the UK and in particular during the Olympics. Samsung have obviously paid David Beckham a lot of money to promote the new mobile device – that is for sure! So with this device clearly in the shop window here at London 2012, it’s even more important we look at what this device offers from the security standpoint.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 uses the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) operating system along with TouchWiz (which is Samsung’s own user interface) – it’s not the latest operating system, as that honour goes to Jelly Bean, but it’s still ahead of the iPhone in performance, feature sets and battery consumption. It’s security where Android has been lacking, and both ICS and Samsung (using their TouchWiz interface) have added some very useful features for users. All these functions are accessed via the pull down notification bar (which can be accessed only if the Security Setting is on the default Swipe setting). Remember, this feature isn’t enabled if you have enabled customised device security.
Here are the important features (and there are quite a few options available to you) you should take some time to look at:
- Screen lock – You have 8 options here – Swipe; Motion; Face; Face and voice; Pattern; PIN; Password or None. I suggest here you use either a PIN or Password. Do NOT use the Face or Face and voice function.
- With swipe lock – this allows you to use a secure lock (i.e. PIN or Password) and use the swipe function. Remember not to enable this as you will be presented with additional ‘Lock screen options’.
- Lock automatically – suggest you allow the screen to lock in 1 minute after the screen automatically turns off. It only takes a split second for someone to access your device.
- Lock instantly with power key – check this option. Hit the button on the right hand side of the device to instantly lock the device. It’s a useful instant locking function.
- Owner information – don’t input your address, post code or any other personal information here. Leave it blank!
- Encryption – you can encrypt (the S3 uses AES 256-bit encryption) the entire S3 which locks down your entire device. A password is required to decrypt the device each time you turn it on. Remember, if you are using the ‘Screen lock’ password option, don’t use the same password for encrypting your device.
- Encrypt SD card – the S3 didn’t come with an SD card in the box, but if you do indeed use one, you might want to set a password to decrypt the SD card each time you read data from the card. Remember, if you are using the ‘Screen lock’ password option, don’t use the same password for encrypting your device.
- Find my mobile – allows to to lock your missing mobile device, and erase its data remotely. You can also find your missing mobile device by visiting http://www.samsungdive.com.
- SIM Change Alert – you can create an alert message and then enter another mobile device number (say a family member).
- SIM card lock – This stops someone else from using your SIM card. You have the option of locking the SIM card with a PIN. You can also change the PIN.
- Passwords – make passwords visible – this is allows you to see the password as you type.
- Device administration – Don’t worry about Device administrators if you are a consumer.
- Unknown Sources – Remember, NEVER uncheck this feature as this will leave you exposed to non-Market apps which might be malicious.
As you can now see Samsung and Google have made great strides with regards the security features they provide end users. Hopefully this post has helped you realize you can indeed secure your cherished Samsung Galaxy S3 and all the data that it holds at absolutely no cost to you at all.
Safe surfing folks!