Microsoft have started to send out an OTA update 8.0.10328.78 to selected Lumia devices. Let us take a look at three new features relevant to security and privacy which landed on my Nokia Lumia 920 earlier today. I used this device as the test bed for evaluating the new features. Nothing technical here, just high-level information.
Call and SMS filtering (blocking)
First up we have call+SMS filter. Microsoft doesn’t have this call and SMS blocking feature baked into Windows Phone 8, but thanks to Nokia you can now find this feature in > Settings. NOTE: This isn’t available for all Lumia handsets I gather, so please check in > Settings to see if its there.
How to setup call+SMS filter
- Tap on call+SMS filter
- Slide the feature > On
- You have the option to block incoming calls and SMS from your blocked list
- Blocking numbers – add number directly from > call history or > messaging with long tap on the item. You will also see number of blocked calls
- Blocking SMS – adds blocked numbers from above
- Click > Advanced – you can block withheld numbers; create an App Live Tile (this places a shield icon on your home screen) and also notifications about blocked calls and SMS
Data Sense – avoid bill shock
The second new feature is called Data Sense, but this feature unfortunately is carrier dependent and therefore might not be available on your Lumia. This feature allows you to manage the amount of cellular and WiFi data you use on your Nokia Lumia device. You can set a limit based on your contract and when the limit is reset (normally month end). Check your contract if you don’t know. If you use PAYG, then this app is even more important. I suggest you set a monthly data usage that is affordable (i.e lower) than the amount of data the PAYG is providing you.
After updating to 8.0.10328.78 a Data Sense tile will appear on the home screen. Tap the tile and you can go through setting up your monthly data usage and limit. This data is measured by the device rather than the carrier, so might not be 100% accurate. Once you have set this up you have two screens – overview and usage. Usage provides a pie chart graphic splitting both mobile and WiFi data usages along with App usage. Tap the > Settings icon in Data Sense and you can also ‘Restrict background data when you are near your limit. Worth doing. You will see a heart icon appear on the Data Sense tile when you reach this limit.
map nearby WiFi
Lastly, not a security feature but nevertheless important as it opens up a security threat with WiFi hotspots. The really cool feature is called “map nearby WiFi”. Tap … (bottom right) inside Data Sense and tap “map nearby WiFi”. This will map your device location using the baked Bing maps. The map will also show you WiFi hotspots highlighted as flags. Tap a flag once and you will see basic information, tap it again and you will see more information.
Remember, WiFi hotspots should be connected with caution. Some hotspots may well be rogue and look to sniff your data connection, so be extra careful.
Safe surfing folks!
Bootnote: For further information I suggest you read: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/how-to/wp8/basics/windows-phone-8-update-history