Android’s big free phone upgrade has loads of clever tricks to prevent thieves from emptying your accounts

GOOGLE has unveiled a raft of new crime busting tools to prevent thieves from emptying your bank account.

The tech giant is introducing a clever Theft Detection Lock feature to Android phones later this year.


Phone will lock if abrupt motion is detectedCredit: Google

“Having a device stolen is unexpected and stressful and it can be hard to react quickly at the moment it happens,” said Suzanne Frey, Google’s Vice President for Product, Trust & Growth.

“That’s why we created features that can automatically recognise suspicious signals and proactively protect your data on the device.”

One problem people face is crooks physically grabbing their handset out of their hands as they innocently walk down the street, dashing off with it open to raid accounts.

The shock can also leave victims stuck on what to do next at a time critical moment, unaware that a criminal is doing much more than stealing their phone.

This new AI-powered automatic trick senses motion associated with a phone being snatched from a person’s hands followed by the rush as a thief runs, bikes or drives away with it.

Whenever this is detected, it will lock your screen so at least your data isn’t easily accessible.

Google is also making thieves lives harder by adding another protection to Android phones.

If the crook attempts to disconnect a stolen device for prolonged periods of time, Offline Device Lock automatically kicks in to lock the screen, to help guard precious data even when the device is off the grid.

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Android will also be able to detect other crucial signs that your device may be in the wrong hands, such as excessive failed authentication attempts which will also result in the phone locking.

Another major enhancement is coming to remote locking, which you’ll soon be able to activate simply by using your phone number and doing a quick security challenge using any device.

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“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,” Frey explained.

And in a bid to make your stolen phone unsellable, Google is making it more difficult to for criminals to factory reset.

If a thief forces a reset of the stolen device, they’re not able to set it up again without knowing your device or Google account credentials.

Finally, there’s a new private space to hide sensitive apps from sight, which are locked with a separate PIN.


Analysis by Jamie Harris, Senior Technology and Science Reporter at The Sun, from San Francisco

Google holds a huge event every year to talk about its big developments but the focus so far has been on the buzzword of the moment, AI.

Now Android gets some love of its own – albeit with some AI thrown in there too.

The raft is security upgrades seem pretty simple on the surface but could make a world of difference.

A mobile phone is reported stolen in London every six minutes, according to recent reports.

And these thefts don’t just lead to the phone being sold on, some crooks will dive through your apps and accounts looking for ways to get even more money out of you.

Of course, many of these options you will have to switch on once Android 15 lands later this year, so be sure to take advantage before the criminals take advantage of you.

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