Google unveils slurry of new security features in Android 5.0 Lollipop

‘A sweet Lollipop, with a kevlar wrapping: New security features in Android 5.0‘

Google today outlined a host of security features for its new Android mobile operating system, the Android 5.0 lollipop.  In a blogpost aptly titled ‘A sweet Lollipop, with a kevlar wrapping: New security features in Android 5.0‘, it unveiled the features that will be incorporated into Android 5.0 lollipop

Android 5.0 lollipop

The entire blogpost on the Official Android can be surmised in three features which will enhance the security of the Android 5.0 users in future.

Many Screen Locks

It is a well known fact that most Android users dont user the screen lock facility despite it being available on all Android OS generations.  The reason for that is mostly, many users normally want to attend to their phones as quickly as possible and the screen lock is seen as minor irritant in that process.  The Android 5.0 lollipop will come with variety of Screen lock options to encourage Android users to lock their screens to deter thieves.  Google’s new operating system will have a NFC openable, Bluetooth pairing or “simply your smile” lock screen in addition to the already available features. The update will also allow more notifications to be visible when the device is locked, giving the phone’s owner quick access to important info without compromising their security. Google hopes that this will make users more security conscious and lock their smartphones and tablets much more easily.

End to end encryption

The Android 5.0 lollipop will come with data encryption by default. Google writes that “full device encryption occurs at first boot, using a unique key that never leaves the device”, boasting that it’s “the safest way to encrypt your device.” But this feature will have to be enabled in older smartphones upgrading to Android 5.0 lollipop.  Tech website CNET stated that “users who upgrade older Android devices to Lollipop still must activate device encryption on their own,”

Security Enhanced Linux

Google is making the  Security Enhanced Linux mandatory in all the future generations of Android starting with Android 5.0 lollipop.  The Security Enhanced Linux will mean that the Apps will be safer and secure and less likely to carry malicious payload. The blog post claims that this enhancement was assisted by the ‘broader security community’, with the open nature of Android allowing crowdsourced security wisdom.

Factory Reset Protection

Though this is not a security feature, it is a first for Android.  Android 5.0 lollipop will be the first version of the OS to include the Factory Reset Protection.  As of now anybody who can access your Android can wipe data with a single tap on the Factory Reset button.  Android 5.0 lollipop gives a feature for input of the owners Google password to wipe the phone’s data.  This will ensure that only a certified Android smartphone owner can Factory Reset the device.

This may help in reducing theft of smartphones but Android 5.0 lollipop users will have to opt-in for this service.

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