Samsung has introduced some enhanced security features for it flagship Galaxy S9 phones. The Samsung Galaxy S9 has several biometric and traditional security systems to keep your phone safe from hackers.
Smartphones are like high tech buckets that collect our personal information through constant use. This has some obvious benefits, like getting a more personalized experience with our devices. On the other hand, this data is a tempting target for bad actors looking to make destruction at the expense of your privacy. There are numerous threats to watch out for when it comes to your privacy and security on your Galaxy S9.
As you know hackers are ever-present and will exploit any holes in your armor to steal your private data. Even a friend looking over your shoulder and seeing private information can have serious consequences.
How to provide Security on Your Galaxy S9?
Thankfully, your Galaxy S9 has your back for your security. It comes laden with settings and features specifically developed to keep your valuable personal data as private as possible. So don’t worry about your Galaxy S9 security. You may have some of these settings adjusted properly already. But they’re still worth a good look-over to be safe. Below are all of the settings you need to check out to protect your device from unwanted access.
Using your fingerprint scanner is the most reliable way of unlocking your Galaxy S9. Also, it provides more security for your phone. Actually, the sensor is located below the camera lenses at the back of the phone.
If you want to enable it for having more security follow the easy steps below:
Go to Settings >> Tap on Lock Screen >> Choose Screen Lock Type >> Now you’ll be prompted to input your PIN >> Find the Add Fingerprint option and tap it >> Then follow the onscreen instructions.
Fingerprint verification can be used for Samsung Pay, and an option for it is found under the same menu.
2. Face Recognition & Iris Scanner
Apart from Intelligent Scan, the S9 lets you use Face Recognition and Iris Scanner separately. Unfortunately, using these features on their own makes your device more susceptible to unauthorized access due to spoofing with photos either of your face or your eyes. You can disable these features in the exact the same way as turning off Intelligent Scan. Follow the steps below to either enable or disable it:
Settings >> Biometrics and security >> Face recognition or Iris.
3. Malware Scanning
Luckily, your S9 has a built-in virus scanner to help you perform this vital task with relative ease. It’s always a good idea to routinely scan your phone for malware and viruses. Best of all, the feature has the ability to run scans in the background. So you can continue on with what you were doing without missing a beat.
Go to your Settings >> Select Device care >> Tap Security
Open the above menu and tap on “Scan Phone” to start scanning for malicious software. The security scanner will then proceed to comb through each third-party and system app to look for anything out of the ordinary. And it either gives you a “Secure” signal if no viruses are found, or provides you a report detailing issues it spotted, along with steps you can follow to resolve them.
4. Find My Mobile
Just like Google’s Find My Device, Samsung’s Find My Mobile feature gives you a slew of options to protect your privacy and security when your S9 is lost or stolen. Besides helping you locate your phone, the security feature lets you remotely lock your phone’s screen, power button, and Samsung Pay. Beyond that, it also lets you sign out of your accounts and completely wipe its storage if your phone can’t be recovered. So it’s time to follow the steps below:
Go to your Settings >> Choose Biometrics and Security >> Select Find My Mobile
Now you need to make sure the toggle at the top of the screen is turned on. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to access Find My Mobile by visiting its website and entering the login for your Samsung account.
5. Lock Screen Notification
Notification previews that appear on your lock screen can also be cause for some concern. If not properly set, these lock screen previews can easily be seen by others if you’re not paying attention. So it may potentially lead to privacy and security concerns about your Galaxy S9. You have several ways to proceed in order to disable lock screen notifications.
You need to go to Settings >> Lock Screen >> Notifications. Now, you can disable it altogether by toggling the switch at the top of the screen. You can also hide the content of notifications (the actual message) by enabling the switch next to “Hide content”. Or you can take things a step further by enabling the “Notification icons only” setting.
6. Using Intelligent Scan
Using Intelligent Scan may sound as simple as holding your phone up to your face, and it is. But there are a few things to know about using Intelligent Scan effectively. First, you should wake the phone to the lock screen using the sleep/wake key on the side of the phone. Look out for the red LED, which lights up when Intelligent Scan is active. Provided you’re in decent lighting, and aren’t too close to the phone’s screen, it should work on a consistent basis. If it’s not working, go back and re-register your face and iris again. Varying lighting conditions, especially during this stage, really do affect Intelligent Scan’s performance.
7. App Notifications
It’s always a great idea to set the notification settings for certain apps to private and keep prying eyes away from your device. For doing this, you’ll need to: go to Settings >> Find “Notifications” menu >> and disable the toggle switch next to each app. Now you can prevent it from showing notifications altogether.
Some apps let you receive notifications silently, so if you want an app to notify you, but in a more private manner, this is the option to choose. To do so: Tap on the app’s name to go to its menu >> From there, tap on specific notification elements for the app under the “Categories” section >> then hit “Notification style” on the following page >> now choose “Silent and minimized” from the overflow menu. That’s it!
8. Connected Apps
Many apps and services require you to enter your Google credentials, whether it be for verification purposes, instant access, or unlocking additional features. However, at a minimum, the “Sign in with Google” option gives these third-party services access to basic personal information associated with your Google account. So it’s a good idea to make a habit out of flushing this data out from time to time.
For doing this you need to go to Settings >> Google >> Connected Apps. Now carefully comb through the list. Select all of the apps, services, and websites that you’re no longer using on an individual basis. Then tap “Disconnect” on the following screen and confirm your choice on the popup. Also, be sure to play it safe and repeat the process for any entry that you don’t think should have access to your Google account and all the vital data that comes with it.
9. Location History
You may gave your phone permission to log your location history. If you’re unaware, this feature constantly tracks your movements, and can be accessed at any time. The information is only visible to you, but you’ll probably want to disable this feature if you find it a little too creepy for comfort.
In order to access this setting you should go to your Settings >> Biometrics and Security >> Location >> Google Location History. Now you can disable the feature by toggling the switch in the center of the screen. A confirmation prompt will appear once you toggle Google Location History off, so tap on “Pause” to confirm, and you’re all set.
10. Camera, Microphone & Location Access
You may newly install apps you’re opening for the fist time. Such apps will often walk you through a couple of brief introduction pages to show off their features. Then issue prompts that ask you to give them access to vital functions like your S9’s camera and microphone. If you rushed through the setup process, however, you may have given the app permission to access sensitive data it doesn’t need.
If you’re unsure of how much access you’ve given an app, you can always revisit its settings through: Settings >> Apps >> Menu button >> App permissions. From here, you’ll see a list of all of the data that third-party apps can access, with the most sensitive ones being “Camera,” “Location,” and “Microphone.” So tap each of these permission categories one-by-one. Then go through the list on the following screen.
11. Notification Access
Certain apps require access to your device’s notifications for legitimate reasons. WhatsRemoved, for instance, records WhatsApp notifications as they come in. So you can view them in the event they’re deleted by the sender. While notification access is needed by some specialized apps, most don’t need this level of access to work properly.
Follow this menu: Settings >> Apps >> Menu button >> Special Access >> Notification access. Once you reach “Notification access,” simply disable the feature for any apps you deem suspicious.
12. Install Unknown Apps
Sideloading apps from sites outside of Google Play or Galaxy Apps can expose your S9 to potential Android malware. As such, being extremely careful when installing APK files can’t be stressed enough, especially now that the “Unknown Sources” feature can no longer be found on the S9.
To help having security for your device and secure it from malware, we recommend downloading external apps through browsers such as Chrome. Browsers which require you to confirm your downloads through permission prompts. Samsung Internet is now also a viable option, as it now asks your confirmation via a prompt on the Pie-based One UI, a feature not available on its Oreo-based version.
Besides that, it’s also worth noting that some apps have the ability to install unknown apps that may potentially harm your device. If you download APKs through Chrome or Samsung Internet, it would make sense for these apps to have this permission. But other random apps on your phone probably shouldn’t.
13. Apps That Can Change System Settings
Productivity apps are usually granted certain Android permissions to access system settings on the fly. Voice assistant apps like Bixby, for instance, use this permission to turn your GPS off when you say “Turn off GPS.” Obviously, having this level of access granted for a questionable app can negatively impact the privacy and security of your Galaxy S9.
Follow this menu: Settings >> Apps >> Menu button >>
Special access >> Change system settings. Now carefully look through the list, paying close attention to third-party apps. From there, tap on the toggle next to each app you want to revoke the permission from to turn the feature off, and you’re good to go.
That’s about it for the security settings on the Samsung Galaxy S9. And all the instructions apply to the Galaxy S9 Plus as well. Providing security for your Galaxy S9 and protecting it with one or more of these methods is very essential.