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Setting Boundaries Without Building Walls: Why Choice Means Stronger Security


One UI 6 is here. It boosts Galaxy’s customizability and the freedom to choose how your device works. With smartphones now looking after more aspects of our lives than ever, being and feeling in control is an essential part of the modern mobile experience. A device should work for you – not the other way around.

As an open ecosystem that empowers users to define their experience according to their priorities, Galaxy has always stood for choices. From a security and privacy perspective, I believe Galaxy has a duty to give users more say over how they are protected. Having options encourages you to think about what’s really right for you. That’s the philosophy behind Auto Blocker, introduced as part of One UI 6.

Dr. Seungwon Shin, EVP & Head of Security Team, Mobile eXperience Business, Samsung Electronics

Auto Blocker is a package of additional security measures and the latest to join Galaxy’s stable of security and privacy innovations. Just as there is not one single type of cyber threat, there should never be just one approach to security. That’s why Auto Blocker’s safeguards are wide-ranging; it gives users more ways to stay safe, on their terms and with minimal effort.

Let me put it another way: Galaxy lets users set their own boundaries without building a wall around them.

Boundaries, Not Walls

One of Auto Blocker’s features is the ability to enable or disable sideloading. This is the act of installing an app that’s not available on official platforms, such as Google Play or Galaxy Store. Sideloading is hugely popular as there are many benefits for users, including enhanced customization and control over their device’s functionality.

There are entire online communities full of advice and testimonials, dedicated to safe and responsible sideloading, and to new ways of using Galaxy devices that open up exciting possibilities. For those who fully intend to sideload, they won’t notice any change with One UI 6 because Auto Blocker is off by default. Then, what’s the benefit of opting in?

We constantly look out for new threats, and it is increasingly common to see social engineering attacks like voice phishing. This is when an attacker doesn’t target a device, but targets users and aims for human error. For example, if someone called your mother pretending to be from the bank, and they scam her into installing malware. With Auto Blocker activated, such an attempt would be detected and stopped.

So, for those not in the habit of extensive device customizations, turning on Auto Blocker represents additional and effortless peace of mind. And those who love to customize are entirely unaffected. Not only is Galaxy an ecosystem that empowers informed choices, but it is also one that adapts to changes in the digital landscape. Galaxy means the freedom to set your own boundaries – and move them when you wish.

A Complete Package

The option to toggle sideloading is just one part of Auto Blocker, which is packed with other safeguards and effortlessly protects users in other likely scenarios.

Imagine you’re charging your smartphone at an airport or any other public space. Maybe you’re distracted and someone takes the opportunity to grab it, attempting to break into it via the USB port while the device is physically accessible to them. Fortunately, Auto Blocker prevents commands and installations via USB cable, which makes it tough for anyone to physically override your device’s security.

Auto Blocker assures users that they can safely use their favorite apps or try new ones. It turns on app security checks, which look out for potential malware.1 It also opens up the Message Guard feature, which prevents Zero Click exploits to popular third-party messaging apps, including Messenger, Telegram, KakaoTalk and WhatsApp.

One Part of a Secure Ecosystem

Auto Blocker is just one of the many security innovations we’ve been working on. To further improve protection, we’ve updated the Security and Privacy Dashboard on Galaxy devices – so it’s easier for users to see and control what happens to their data.

We’re also bringing our strongest hardware-based security innovations to more devices with the expansion of Knox Vault to additional smartphone models and other non-mobile product categories. Looking ahead, we’ve updated Knox Matrix – our vision of a future where connected devices can protect one another. Furthermore, we’ve introduced an easier and more convenient way to log in to devices.

By offering more ways to be secure, in more places and on more devices, we’re providing users with greater convenience and greater choice in how to live their lives. Ultimately, isn’t that what everybody wants?

Click here for more on all of Samsung’s security innovations announced at SDC23.

By Dr. Seungwon Shin

1 Currently not available on US carrier models.

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