We all have been waiting for this as Google conducted rigorous beta testing for months, and finally, they released Android 11. The Android mobile operating system’s latest version is packed with numerous features and offers users greater control over their data privacy and security.
Unfortunately, security has always been at the forefront of all debates on Android OS. Google struggles to put up enough security checks on the Play Store to prevent the distribution of malicious apps, privacy leakages, and unnecessary permissions sought by apps.
On the flip side, it’s also true that the majority of users do not always prioritize their privacy. Hence, a greater part of the responsibility rests on the Android developers’ shoulders. They aim to squeeze in as many security features as possible. If users follow basic security practices and use common sense, they can prevent hacking attempts and privacy issues.
Android 11 OS has been developed to favor the security and privacy needs of users. Google announced that it had taken all the necessary measures to design a watertight operating system that maximizes data security and enhances transparency while offering greater control.
Let’s not get into all the small or large changes made to the latest Android OS. Instead, let’s summarize a few critical feature updates on security and privacy. Here’s what Android 11 is offering.
The one-time permission feature is a great way to ensure that apps get temporary access to sensitive data stored on your phone, which includes a camera, location, and microphone. Hence, you no longer need to choose between all-or-nothing, meaning that some apps do not have to retain access in the long run. Since dozens of apps promoted on the Google Play Store might not be safe, restricting their access to private features is a must.
Auto-Reset Permission for the Unused Apps
This all-new feature helps you to reset permissions for the apps that you rarely use. We tend to download apps that we seldom open. However, all these apps still have the permission to access all the sensors and phone data. It is not only a threat to your privacy. Unused apps continue using your hardware resources, which can put an extra load on the phone.
The only way to effectively tackle this issue is the permission auto-reset feature that Android 11 offers. Your mobile OS has the power to automatically reset the permission for scarcely used apps. This feature is not activated by default. Google prefers a steady transition and does not want to disrupt the functionality of older apps straight away. However, in the future, Google hopes that the permission auto-reset will be the standard.
Quick Security Patches Through Play Store Modules
Even though smartphone manufacturers must offer security updates regularly, end-users do not always update their apps. Android 11 has increased apps’ integration with Google Play Store, which helps to download and install all the critical security patches in the form of modules. Similar to an app, you will have to download the quick security patches instantly in the form of modules.
Thus, the Android 11 users will be able to receive all bug patches and security updates on a real-time basis instead of relying on the OEMs to release updates.
Data Protection via Scoped Storage Enforcement
This feature was introduced with the release of Android Q. The scoped storage enforcement is included in Android 11, with just a few minor changes. Scoped storage provides isolated spaces to each app so that the data stored by one app can’t be accessed by other apps on the same device.
This feature is enabled by default for all the apps, and they won’t require permissions to either save or access their files on the external storage.
Restricting Unnecessary Access to Background Location
Android 11 restricts apps’ access to the background location of your device. Whenever an app requests permission for such access, it only shares the foreground location of your device. Background location access requests have to be made separately by the apps, which adds an extra layer of security. Besides all these latest features, users can also install a VPN, which can safeguard critical data when the device is connected to the internet. VPN on Android offers end-to-end data encryption, which creates a secure tunnel between your device and the server. Therefore, it effectively fights off attempts to intercept your connections. A VPN combined with Android 11 is the ultimate security cover you can adopt for securing your device from malicious entities.
Phoneia.com (November 26, 2020). Android 11: Higher Priority to Security and Privacy. Recovered from https://phoneia.com/en/android-11-higher-priority-to-security-and-privacy/