While Material Design and its related UI tweaks are the most obvious changes heading to Android 5.0 Lollipop, there’s plenty of new features under the hood, and the same goes for security. In a new blog post from Google, the search giant highlights some of the security advantages that Lollipop offers.
Probably one of the most important ways to prevent your data from falling into the wrong hands is using a lockscreen, but Google notes that many people don’t secure the screen with a pin or password because of the added inconvenience. That’s where Smart Lock comes into play, which lets you use Bluetooth pairing or NFC.This means you can pair your smartwatch, your Android TV (for when you’re at home) or really any compatible device in order to skip the pin/password process. There’s also a new and improved Face Unlock experience that Google says is much more advanced and secure than previous face-detection screen unlock methods.
From the moment you turn on a device running Android 5.0, you’ll have a wealth of new security features protecting you
Moving beyond the lockscreen, Android 5.0 also turns on device encryption by default during first boot, instead of having it as merely an option as it was in past versions of Android. Google’s full device encryption provides a unique key that never leaves the device and therefore is extremely hard to hack. Last but not least, Google’s blog also mentions how it is using Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) to improve app security. Basically, Android 5.0 requires SELinux enforcing mode for all applications on your devices, and this means less wiggle room for a malware attack.
It’s great to see Google making improvements to security in Android, even if the malware/security threat isn’t as big as some would have you believe. According to Google’s own research, less than 1 in 1000 Android users are affected by a malicious local software attack — that’s really pretty low, all things considered. As for the threat of theft? There’s really not much Google can do to prevent theft, but at least they can continue to improve the OS so that would-be thieves can’t get their hands on vital information.
For more details on Android 5.0’s security improvements be sure to check out Google’s official blog post.