What’s the Best Way to Unlock an Android Phone?

There are several ways to unlock your Android smartphone or tablet. In fact, you probably have a favorite one that you use the entire time you own your device. We are all people of habit, but you might want to consider other unlocking methods that may be safer, more convenient, or advisable.

Here’s a quick rundown of all the different ways you can unlock your Android smartphone – or at least all the ways we could do it on the Google Pixel 2, which may be slightly (or vastly) different from your personal Android device. YMMV.

Choosing an unlocking method

On the Pixel 2, changing the unlock method is as simple as opening the app drawer, tapping Settings, scrolling down to Security & Location, and tapping Screen Lock under Device Security. Don’t tap the gear icon to the right of the Screen Lock option, unless you want to set specific options for whatever method you choose.

Option 1: No

Convenience: Astronomical safety: ???

You like living on the edge. Or you keep your device at home one hundred percent of the time and are not afraid that someone can physically touch it, press the power button and do whatever you want. This method is the fastest way to get into your device. It is also the least secure, which should be obvious, since none means you are not using any security or protection at all. Good luck.

Option 2. Swipe your finger across the screen

Convenience: Notifications and quick access to the device Security: ?

Swipe, unlike No, places one screen between you and the unlocked device — the lock screen, although it doesn’t actually produce much “lock”. I find the Swipe option is more convenient than None because you can press the smartphone’s power button to see all notifications instead of swiping down when your device opens to the last screen you used.

Option 3: pattern

Convenience: how fast can you draw? Security: harder to associate with personal data than other methods

To me, “Template” seems to be more secure than a regular PIN, as it is much more difficult to associate familiarity with it. By that, I mean that a friend trying to log into your device can try any combination of numbers they think you like: your pet’s birthday, your own birthday, the old “1234” or “0000”, and so on. …

The pattern targets nine separate dots in a specific order, and who knows which fun Tetris shape you like best, or how you changed your favorite shape by adding an extra component (or two) to get rid of potential device unlockers. trail. That being said, a complex drawing takes longer to pull out than a PIN, so the more secure you make your device, the harder it will be for you to unlock, too.

Option 4: PIN

Convenience: how long do you have a PIN? Security: How strange is your PIN?

Ah, the correct PIN. I think a PIN is a sensible security measure that balances convenience and security. It’s faster to type in a longer PIN than to draw a pattern, and much faster if you’re fiddling with a simpler keyboard than typing the letters and symbols of a regular password. The strength of your PIN depends on your laziness: obviously, a fast “1111” will be much easier for someone to guess (or spot over their shoulder) than a more complex seven-digit PIN, unless you use something obvious, such as phone number. Do not do this.

Option 5: Password

Convenience: Not very convenient at all Security: Incredibly high, depending on how much you want to print

If you are a masochist, you can always enter letters, numbers and symbols of a complex password into your device to unlock it. While this can be much safer than a PIN or pattern, it can be incredibly annoying even if it doesn’t happen often (more on that in a moment). You’re more likely to cheat by using a shorter, more easily guessed password because you don’t want to enter a 25+ character passphrase on your device whenever prompted. (It’s much easier to type large passwords or use a password manager to log into websites that you rarely visit from your desktop or laptop, compared to a smartphone that you probably use all the time.)

Bonus Option: Pixel Imprint

Convenience: Nothing is easier than this one. Security: Do you know any super spies?

I bet you are probably using your finger to log into your device. This option is not listed in the Screen Lock section of Android’s Device Security section, but rather in a separate Pixel Imprint option. If your device has a built-in fingerprint reader – and I hope so, you can hold your smartphone as usual and authenticate by simply pressing a number in the right place.

There is a big bold warning on my Pixel 2 that “your fingerprint may be less secure than a strong PIN, pattern, or password,” but I have yet to find one of my friends dusting my laptop for printing or usedtape and glue to recreate my fingerprint and authenticate with my device. You know, people have lives.

You will still have to set up a fallback authentication method – pattern, PIN, or password – when using your fingerprint to log in. As Google points out , Android will ask for this backup method in several cases:

  • Your fingerprint is not recognized after several attempts
  • You reboot (reboot) your phone
  • You switch to another user
  • More than 48 hours have passed since the last unlock using the backup method.

Bonus Option 2: Smart Lock

Convenience: Time to ditch these stunning shades. Safety: Great if your therapist doesn’t like Chianti.

Do you feel beautiful? If you’ve set up a screen lock on your device that includes any of the aforementioned methods, including Pixel Imprint, you can then tap on the Smart Lock option under Device Security to try out a number of other fun authentication methods. This includes “body detection,” in which your device remains unlocked if it detects that you are walking (or running, for example); Trusted Places, which automatically unlocks your device in specific locations; and a “proxy” that allows you to unlock the device by looking at it.

Each method combines safety and convenience in its own way. I could create secure locations in my home, but I would be less inclined to do this in a residential complex, dorm, or work (in case you leave your phone in a shared place or are afraid that someone will ruin it if you leave it on your desk during bio-break). I’m a big fan of unlocking devices looking at them, provided you don’t havean evil twin , a friend wholoves to make masks out of your head for no reason, or loves towear Bono andwear sunglasses everywhere. you go.


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