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Managing Galaxy S6 Security and the Lock Screen

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Eric Butow, co-author of My Samsung Galaxy S6, shows how you can change security and lock screen options on your Samsung Galaxy S6. Learn how to change remote access, administer the device, change credentials, and determine what happens when you swipe on the lock screen.
From the book

Chapter 1 of My Samsung Galaxy S6 contains a brief description of the lock screen and security settings in the Settings screen. This article dives deeper into those settings so you can secure your Samsung Galaxy S6 to your satisfaction.

Access lock screen and security settings by tapping the Apps icon on the Home screen, swiping to the second page in the Apps screen, and then tapping Settings. By default, the Quick Settings list appears on the screen shown in Figure 1. Tap the Lock Screen and Security option in the list.

Figure 1 The Lock Screen and Security option is the second setting from the bottom within the list.

Change the Screen Lock Type

In the Lock Screen and Security screen shown in Figure 2, tap Swipe in the list (under Screen Lock Type) to change what happens when you swipe on the lock screen.

Figure 2 The Swipe setting appears just below the Screen Lock Type setting in the list.

The list of screen lock types appears in the Screen Lock Type screen. You can select from one of five lock types:

  • Swipe is the default setting.
  • Pattern allows you to create a unique pattern so you can unlock the device by drawing that pattern on the lock screen.
  • PIN assigns a four-digit number you must enter to unlock the device.
  • Password protects the device with a series of characters.
  • Fingerprints requires you to place a finger on the Home button so the Galaxy S6 will match your fingerprint with the fingerprint you stored on the device.
  • None provides no locking at all.

In this article, I'll lock the Galaxy S6 with a password by tapping Password in the list as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 You can choose from five different screen lock types, or select no screen lock by tapping None at the bottom of the list.

In the Set Password screen shown in Figure 4, type at least 4 characters that will become your password. (The maximum password length is 16 characters.) One of those characters must be a letter. You can also use spaces and some symbols, including the question mark (?), ampersand (&), and asterisk (*). When you're done, tap Continue.

Figure 4 After you type four characters, the Continue link becomes active.

Type your password again in the Confirm Password field and then tap OK. Next, you can determine how (or if) you want to show notifications on the lock screen (see Figure 5).

Figure 5 The Done button appears at the bottom of the screen.

The default option is to show all the notification content on the home screen. If you want to show only the title of the notification, tap Hide Content. To hide all notifications on the lock screen, tap Do Not Show Notifications. After selecting a notification display option, tap the Done button.

Show Information in the Lock Screen

Next, the Galaxy S6 returns to the Lock Screen and Security screen, where you can change more of what you see on the lock screen by tapping Show Information (refer to Figure 2). When the Show Information screen appears (see Figure 6), you can change one of the following feature settings:

  • Dual Clock shows your local time as well as your home time zone if you're traveling outside your home time zone.
  • Weather shows or hides the Weather widget on the lock screen and also changes widget features such as the unit of measure (Fahrenheit or Celsius).
  • Owner Information allows you to type brief text that you want to place on your lock screen, such as your contact information in case someone finds your misplaced device.

Figure 6 By default, the Dual Clock setting in the list is set to ON.

Change Secure Lock Settings

What you see under the Screen Lock Type setting depends on the screen lock type in use on your Galaxy S6. With the default Swipe screen lock type, you'll see the Unlock Effect setting in the Lock Screen and Security screen (refer to Figure 2). In this example, I'm using the Password screen lock type, so Secure Lock Settings is shown in my list. Tap Secure Lock Settings in the Lock Screen and Security screen to view the Secure Lock Settings screen shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7 The Secured Lock Time setting in the list states that the Galaxy S6 securely locks the device after 10 minutes of inactivity.

Change the secured lock time by tapping Secured Lock Time and then selecting the time in the Secured Lock Time screen. You can secure the device by pressing the power button or after a specific period of inactivity. That period can be as short as 15 seconds or as long as one hour.

You can also use Smart Lock, which unlocks your Galaxy S6 automatically when the device detects that you're in a trusted location (such as your office) or if the Galaxy S6 detects other trusted devices near it. Set up Smart Lock by tapping Smart Lock in the window. Return to the Lock Screen and Security screen by tapping the Back icon at the left side of the blue menu bar at the top of the screen.

Security Category Settings

Swipe upward on the screen to view all the options within the Lock Screen and Security screen. All five settings within the Security section appear on the screen as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8 The Other Security Settings option appears at the bottom of the screen.

Tap Fingerprints to add a fingerprint and change fingerprint-verification settings. Tap Device Security to set up My KNOX and create a secure, isolated space on the Galaxy S6 where you can store important files without worrying about other users accessing them.

If you want to set up the Find My Mobile app on the Galaxy S6 so you can find your misplaced device on the Find My Mobile website, tap Find My Mobile. Within the Samsung Account screen shown in Figure 9, type your Samsung account password and then tap Confirm.

Figure 9 Tap the Show Password checkbox to show the password on the screen. (Do this only when you're sure no one else can view your screen.)

After you log in, you can change Find My Mobile settings within the Find My Mobile screen shown in Figure 10. Settings you can change include the following:

  • Determining whether you can control your Galaxy S6 remotely to perform certain tasks such as locking your device screen
  • Using the Google location service to find your wayward Galaxy S6
  • Alerting you when the SIM has changed on your Galaxy S6
  • Requiring use of your Samsung account ID and password to reactivate the device

You can also visit the Find My Mobile website to get more information about the Find My Mobile service.

Return to the Lock Screen and Security screen by tapping the Back icon at the left side of the blue menu bar.

Figure 10 The Find My Mobile website link appears near the top of the screen so you can view more information in your preferred browser app.

By default, the Galaxy S6 allows you to download apps only from trusted sources such as the Google Play store. If you want to download apps from sources such as websites that Google considers to be unknown, tap Unknown Sources in the Lock Screen and Security screen (refer to Figure 8).

At the bottom of the Lock Screen and Security screen, change more security settings by tapping Other Security Settings. The Other Security Settings screen appears, as shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11 Swipe upward on the screen to view all the other security settings.

Change Encryption, Password, and Security Updates

The first five options in the settings list allow you to set up encryption and change security settings:

  • Encrypt Device. Encrypt all the data on the Galaxy S6 so you have to type a password whenever you turn on the device. After you enter the correct password, the Galaxy S6 decrypts your data so you can use the device.
  • Set Up/Change Password. You can set up and change the factory data reset password to protect your Galaxy S6 from being purposefully or accidentally reset, losing all your data (or forcing you to restore your backed-up data).
  • Set Up SIM Card Lock. You can require anyone who uses your Galaxy S6 to enter both the screen lock type as well as the SIM card PIN. If you want to lock the SIM card, you can also change the SIM card PIN.
  • Make Passwords Visible. By default, the Galaxy S6 can show password characters for about a second after you type them. If you don't want to show the characters as you type, slide the Make Passwords Visible slider button from right (ON) to left (OFF).
  • Security Policy Updates. If you want to check for updates to the security policy and have the latest security installed on your Galaxy S6, tap Security Policy Updates and then make changes in the Security Policy Updates window. Within this window, you can update security policies automatically, turn off the requirement that security policies be checked only when your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network, and/or manually check for updates.

Manage Security Reports, Administrators, and Credentials

View more security settings by swiping upward on the Other Security Settings screen. Figure 12 shows the next few options in my settings list.

Figure 12 More security settings on my Galaxy S6 for the Security Update Service, Device Administration, and Credential Storage sections.

The options shown in Figure 12 include the following:

  • Send Security Reports. Tap this option if you want to send security reports to Samsung so they can analyze the issue that caused the report.
  • Device Administrators. Choose which apps and services have administrator access on your Galaxy S6, so you can perform tasks remotely such as locking the device. You can give or remove administrator access to the Android Device Manager, Android Pay, and/or Smart Switch apps.
  • Storage Type. Determine where you back up your security credential files. The default is to back up to hardware, which means you back up your files on the Galaxy S6.
  • View Security Certificates. Open the View Security Certificates screen and view all the trusted security certificates from certificate authorities (CAs). You can also turn security certificates on/off, but note that doing so may affect your ability to use one or more apps and/or services.
  • Install from Device Storage. If you need to install a certificate for an app or service to run, you can add the certificate from either your public folders or from a private folder on the Galaxy S6.
  • Clear Credentials. If you installed one or more certificates on your Galaxy S6 and you want to remove them all, tap Clear Credentials.

Set Advanced Security Options

Swipe upward on the screen to view all the security options in the Advanced section shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13 The settings in the Advanced section appear on the bottom half of the screen.

Tap Trust Agents to turn Google Smart Lock on/off. Google Smart Lock is on by default and will automatically unlock your Galaxy S6 without having to use one of four screen lock types: Pattern, PIN, Password, or Fingerprints. If you use the Swipe screen lock type, or you don't use a screen lock type at all, you won't see the Trust Agents setting in this part of the settings list.

Google Smart Lock unlocks your Galaxy S6 when it senses that the device is on your body, such as in your pocket, or senses a connection to another device such as a Bluetooth connection to your car's hands-free connection system.

You can "pin" a window to your screen so you're not distracted by other apps demanding your attention. Note that the pinned app may disable your ability to send and receive calls, as well as perform other functions on the Galaxy S6. By default, the Pin Windows feature is off. When you tap Pin Windows, the Pin Windows screen appears, as shown in Figure 14.

Figure 14 The Pin Windows screen gives you instructions about how to pin an app on the screen.

Turn on Pin Windows by sliding the OFF slider button to the right, so the button turns green and displays the word ON. After you turn on the Pin Windows feature, you'll be able to turn on the setting that requires you to use one of four screen lock types to unpin the window: Pattern, PIN, Password, or Fingerprints. Since I'm using a password screen lock in this example, the Pin Windows screen wants to know whether I want to ask for a password to unpin the window.

If you decide against pinning windows, return to the Other Security Settings screen by tapping the Back icon at the left side of the blue menu bar (refer to Figure 13).

Tap Usage Data Access in the list to determine which of two apps can access your usage data: Google Play Services is off by default, and the Samsung Usage Manager is on by default.

If one or more apps on your Galaxy S6 can read notifications, tap Notification Access to determine which application settings can/can't access notifications.

When you're finished viewing and changing the other security settings, return to the Lock Screen and Security screen by tapping the Back icon at the left side of the blue menu bar. Within the Lock Screen and Security screen, return to the Settings screen by tapping the Back button on that screen.

Summary

This ends our in-depth review of lock screen and security settings. Now you can change those settings and use your Galaxy S6 every day, confident that your device is secure.

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