In this era of digitization, when everything is accessible everywhere, it becomes quite a task to maintain the privacy of your stuff. The same can be extended to our phones as well. And that’s the reason we have phone locks in the form of PIN, pattern or fingerprint locks. But even then, the safety isn’t guaranteed. Just a few months back, it was revealed that all it takes is 5 attempts to unlock your screen lock. So, if that’s the case of the main screen lock, how safe is your second-tier app locker?
Many of us have this habit of locking sensitive apps or messaging services with a pattern or PIN lock so as to keep information from prying eyes or snooping friends (friends, I tell you). While we may think that these app lockers are like the ultimate barrier between a snooper and information, then we have to say that it’s not entirely true.
Yeah, app lockers can also be broken into, and that too, quite easily. So how do you determine how safe is your app locker? Worry not, we have done the hard work and have fished out these 3 tips will make your phone more secure.
Yeah, let’s admit for a moment that your brand new app locker guards your WhatsApp like a beast and there’s no other way to gain entry past it. But did you know that an app locker only needs to be disabled from the Settings panel to gain access? After all, it’s also a third party app.
All it needs to be done is head over to Settings > Apps and tap on disable. Post which, all the locked information will be freely available.
Solution: An easy solution to the above issue is to lock Settings as well. This way, it’ll ensure that the settings app can’t be interfered with.
#Tip 2. Check for a Break-In
Now that the Settings menu is locked away, everything seems to be rosy. But alas, it’s not so. There’s another way hackers use to disable the app locker — through the Safe Mode.
If one is a casual Android user, chances are that you have never heard of the safe mode. It’s generally used by power users to run unsigned third-party apps or the ones who mess around with custom ROMs, etc.
And when one of the either behaves suspiciously, the safe mode is used to get rid of the misbehaving software.
Coming back to the topic, this same method can be used to get rid of the app locker, reboot it again and access your personal information.
Solution: To stop it from taking place, the settings for lock screen needs to be tweaked a bit. All you need to do is enable the Secure Start option. So whether you are booting into safe mode or going for a restart, only upon entering the correct PIN or pattern will the phone allow you to proceed.
So whether you are booting into safe mode or going for a normal restart, only upon entering the correct PIN or pattern will the phone allow you to proceed.
#3. Hide or Disguise Apps
This is a tip which we have covered extensively before. It is one of the safest and easiest methods. And all it requires is a launcher app to set the hiding mechanism. And if you think that the launcher can also be compromised, disguise the app with a different icon and a name.
If you take a look at the second screenshot above, it would be difficult to decipher that the blue icon which seems like a settings panel is actually my official messaging app.
That’s a Wrap
So this was how you can check whether the app lockers are really doing their job. Chances are that one usually misses the second point — Secure Startup. Not only is it useful for the second tier app locker, but it also helps in the case of a stolen phone. Without the PIN or pattern at startup, it usually takes time to go for a factory reset. Since time is essential in matters like this, it might buy you enough to hunt for it.