All of our smartphones come with various security options. The most basic would be the PIN that has been around pretty much forever. Then there are also fingerprint sensors which have become the new standard, and depending on the phone model and brand, some might include facial recognition, iris scanning, and so on.
Some of these biometric features might be considered more “secure”, but we’ve heard stories of how some kids have sneakily unlocked their parents’ smartphones while they are asleep simply by holding their finger/thumb to the scanner, or scanning their faces without their knowledge.
This is clearly a flaw in the system, and if you’re worried about finding yourself in that situation where you might be “forced” into unlocking your device, then Google’s Lockdown mode on the Pixel smartphone might be worth exploring.
What is Lockdown mode?
Lockdown mode on the Pixel is basically a way for users to disable pretty much every other security feature except for PINs, passwords, or patterns. Presumably the idea is that biometrics like fingerprints or facial recognition can be beaten by holding the phone up against the user’s finger, thumb, or face, even if the user is unwilling or unaware (like when they’re asleep).
Hopefully most of us will never find ourselves in that kind of situation, but if you’d like to prepare yourself just to be safe, then here’s what you need to do.
Enable Lockdown mode
If you’re using a Samsung phone, you need to enable the feature first.
- Go to Settings
- Tap on Lock screen
- Tap on Secure lock settings
- Toggle on Show Lockdown Option
Once it’s been enabled:
- Press and hold the power button on your phone
- The power menu should now appear
- Tap on Lockdown or Lockdown mode
Keep in mind that once you unlock your device, Lockdown mode will be disabled and you’ll have to go through the process outlined above to re-enable it. It’s not meant to be something that’s continuously used, but it might be worth remembering the steps just in case.