6 minSmartphoneSecure folder and security updates are Samsung’s strengths against a wave of scams

6 minSmartphoneSecure folder and security updates are Samsung's strengths against a wave of scams

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It is undeniable that with each passing day we become more dependent on the smartphone to carry out important actions, whether they are bank transfers, purchases in some e-commerce or simply accessing corporate email when we are away from home. With this, the number of scams also grows, ranging from exploiting device flaws to WhatsApp messages to steal your data or even cell phone thefts. In a chat with Renato Citrini, product marketing manager at Samsung Brazil, I sought to understand a little more about how Samsung has been working to help its users avoid these and other problems.

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Secure folder replaces “PIX cell phone”

Secure Folder lets you hide apps, contacts, files and more (Image: Playback/Samsung)

One of Samsung’s great assets to help users protect their sensitive data is Secure Folder. The function was part of the Knox suite of solutions aimed at corporate users, but it has been reformulated to make it more attractive to everyone who wants to ensure that their photos, videos, contacts, appointments or files in general are safe from third party eyes.

According to Citrini, the Secure Folder is a great solution for those who are afraid that their banking applications will be used by third parties, since in addition to being able to include all of them in a protected zone within the system, it is also possible to hide the Secure Folder itself from the list of apps, making it even more difficult to access by making the attacker think that your apps are on the “PIX phone” at home.

What stands out the most for us is the Safe Folder. Every time I tell someone about her, they’re like, “Wow, I want this now.” You can even hide the Secure Folder itself. Put your banking apps there, put food order apps, Uber, that don’t ask for a password to use your credit card, people are often not so attentive to that.
— Renato Citrini, Product Marketing Manager at Samsung Brazil

The executive also recalls that many applications used for password recovery of other services normally do not ask for a password to be accessed, such as messaging apps, e-mail or even the browser where the user could already be automatically logged in to several sensitive sites. . Therefore, adding them to a secure zone inside the cell phone that can only be accessed through a password or biometric authentication is essential.

Security updates against cyber attacks

Samsung offers up to five years of mobile security updates (Image: Playback/Samsung)

Another point seen as of paramount importance by Samsung is security updates, where the South Korean has been noted for delivering greater support even than Google itself. With monthly, quarterly or semi-annual regimes – depending on the model – Samsung promises five years of Android security updates even for cheaper models like the Galaxy A33, while even simpler ones can count on up to four years of updates.

We always see news of cyber attacks that leak data and affect millions of users, but if you have a cell phone with up-to-date security updates, the chances are much lower, at least when it comes to the data stored on your smartphone.

While operating system updates focus much more on cosmetics, design or some functionality, security updates are made to fix flaws or vulnerabilities found. We give five years of security updates for the main products, starting with the Galaxy A33, and four years for other products. More and more the user is looking for this and cares to know that he will receive these updates.
— Renato Citrini, Product Marketing Manager at Samsung Brazil

Samsung Knox monitors and punishes unauthorized access

Samsung Knox monitors firmware-level access (Image: Reproduction/Samsung)

In addition to providing users with means to protect their files and provide updates for critical security fixes, Samsung has also invested for years in Knox, a solution that monitors the entire system at the deepest levels to ensure that no modifications have been made. This is especially important when your device is stolen/stolen, as the offender may try to “break in” to get past the lock screen and gain access to your data.

In short, Knox monitors this type of unauthorized access and makes “markings” if something is detected, disabling access to services like Samsung Pay and even erasing entire memory partitions to prevent data from being accessed. This is something that has been commented on for years in communities specializing in system customizations on the brand’s cell phones, as even a software update performed without proper authorization can trigger the trigger that permanently invalidates areas of the device.

Samsung Knox is our most robust protection. It starts there from the hardware, you have separate memory “containers” to store, for example, your credit card within Samsung Pay. Samsung Knox checks if, at boot, when you turn on the device, if you had any unauthorized access to the kernel, to the system core. He goes so far as to physically kill that memory to prevent access, depending on the severity of the case. It’s like setting fire to the house so whoever breaks in the door has nothing to steal.
— Renato Citrini, Product Marketing Manager at Samsung Brazil

Exclusive page for safety tips

Locking your cell phone with biometrics and hiding notifications are among Samsung’s tips (Image: Ivo Meneghel Jr/FreeGameGuide)

To guide — or even educate — users on simple security practices that can help protect their data, Samsung has created a dedicated page for the subject, where in addition to learning more about features like Secure Folder, Samsung Pass and o Find my Phone, the user also has access to direct channels to speak with the brand’s technicians, whether to ask questions or find assistance to take their device.

The main tips reinforced by Renato Citrini are: lock your cell phone with biometrics and password, hide notifications on the lock screen, and enable Find My Phone.

The first point is extremely important and simple to do, and it is recommended to avoid using the “pattern” (drawing) as it is something easy to learn by third parties, always opting for a form of biometrics (fingerprint or facial reader) and password. /PIN. If you choose the PIN, it is always good to avoid easy codes such as commemorative dates or equal/sequential numbers.

In addition to preventing someone without authorization from having easy access to your apps and personal data, keeping your phone always locked also prevents the device from being turned off (since the battery is not removable). This allows the find the phone function to be used, through which you can remotely erase the data of the device, see its location, emit an audible alert or even lock it if you haven’t had time to do so before your cell phone being stolen.

It is worth remembering that Find My Phone works offline, if enabled, so it will be possible to at least know where your device is even if the Internet connection has been disabled.

With the device locked, it is also important to ensure that notifications are not displayed, as it is through them that the thief can gain access to recovery codes for your services. Citrini reinforces that it is possible to choose between three modes of notifications on the lock screen, including completely hiding any information, showing only the icon of the applications that sent an alert or showing everything.

Other differentials designed by Samsung to ensure security are Samsung Pass (where you store your passwords for login facilitated by biometrics on websites, services and applications) and Samsung Pay (where you store card data for purchases with your cell phone). Both have extra layers of security in Knox so that any unauthorized access is properly blocked.

Samsung Kids brings security to parents and children

Samsung Kids is a dedicated space for children (Image: Reproduction/Samsung)

Finally, Renato Citrini commented on Samsung’s concern to create a safe space for parents and children inside the smartphone with Samsung Kids. The “child profile” works as a user profile where only admin-approved apps and services can run, preventing the child from buying 50 Happy McLanche kits on iFood for lunch or spending all the mother’s salary on Free diamonds Fire, for example.

Other interesting uses of the tool are controlling the time of use, choosing the age range of the content accessed or even restricting the permission given to certain applications (such as camera, microphone or location), being possible to link another cell phone as an administrator to receive alerts and allow or not the execution or installation of a service that has not been previously approved.

Samsung Kids also has its own educational content, ranging from games that sharpen children’s creativity, memory and logical thinking to videos, interactive arts and much more. As with the safety tips, Samsung has created a dedicated page to introduce users to Samsung Kids.

It’s a restricted environment, so you can leave the tablet or cell phone in the child’s hands, knowing that it’s limited to the applications you’ve defined, without worrying about them accessing a browser or other type of application that you don’t want.
— Renato Citrini, Product Marketing Manager at Samsung Brazil