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What to keep your phone secure? Here’s how to use Android 9.0 Pie’s Lockdown Mode

Google’s Android 9.0 Pie is finally here, bringing a host of great new features to Android phones, along with a few sleek design updates and more. One of the most overlooked new features, however, has nothing to do with design. Lockdown Mode is more security focused — and while it may not be a feature that you use on a daily basis, it’s probably still important to know how to activate it.

Before we dive into how to use Lockdown Mode, we should go over what it actually is. The feature is aimed at people who want to protect their private data from the prying eyes of phone thieves, law enforcement officials, and anyone else who might try and break into your phone without your permission. It blocks things like the fingerprint sensor, facial-recognition, and voice-recognition features from being used. That can be pretty important — it’s already illegal for law enforcement to make you enter your PIN code or a phone pattern, and with Lockdown Mode, they can’t force you to use your fingerprint sensor or facial-recognition tech either.

Thankfully, enabling Lockdown Mode is actually very easy. Here’s how to do it.

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Select the Security & Location option.
  • Scroll down and select Lock screen preferences.
  • Toggle on Show lockdown option.

Now, the option to turn on lockdown mode will show up when you need it to. To turn on Lockdown Mode, hold down the power button. You’ll now see a Lockdown option under the power and restart options. Once Lockdown mode is activated and you try to use the fingerprint sensor, you’ll be prompted to use your PIN code, password, or pattern. After entering the code, Lockdown mode will be automatically deactivated — so you’ll need to manually activate it again if you want it to stay on.

To be clear, you will need Android 9.0 Pie to make use of this feature — so if you don’t have the new operating system just yet, check for a software update on your device. Many phones don’t yet support Android 9.0 Pie — though hopefully your phone will get the operating system at some point in the near future.

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