What you need to know about the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro security
Google’s “smartest, most secure, and personal phones ever” arrive with a huge emphasis on the built-in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning (ML) that goes well beyond allowing anyone to snap a photo and seem like a pro.
Google has been obsessed with shifting a lot of the smart processing AI computation out of the cloud and moving these onto the device itself and that also means a huge focus on device security.
What does that actually mean?
Hardware dedicated to making your phone more secure
Google designed the Pixel 6’s software and hardware with privacy and security in mind. There’s been extensive reporting about Google Tensor, the new proprietary System-on-a-Chip deep-learning that the company has been working on for years.
But there is more.
Google also built the custom-developed Titan M2 chip to help you protect your most sensitive data from unwelcome strangers. It handles your most sensitive info, passwords, and transactions and has its pedigree from the same chip Google uses to protect Google Cloud data centers.
There is no user interaction or configuration needed in order to take advantage of this security. This is built right into the chip and is seamlessly handled without any interaction from the Pixel user.
An easy glance at your Privacy and Security
Android 12 is the latest iteration of Google’s mobile OS and it boasts a new set of privacy settings.
Whenever an app has access to your microphone or camera, you will be alerted as such with an icon on the screen.
There is a new Privacy Dashboard that shows precisely the apps’ usage of the location, camera, and microphone over the past 24 hours. Tapping on each of the categories reveals the app name and the time when the app used your location, your camera and/ your microphone.
To access this screen, go to your phone’s Settings menu, then scroll to “Privacy” and tap. Then choose “Privacy Dashboard” at the very top, and you’ll see the pie chart.
Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro also include the Security Hub, an overview of your security settings that detects apps that pose any threat to your device or security. This has a very close tie-in with your device settings and your Gmail account so that you can ensure you have overall security.
Another place where you can easily see and manage security on your device is in the Permission Manager.
This shows you the apps that have access to very specific areas of your phone. Everything from Body Sensors data to Contacts and even files are listed. With a simple tap on the app, you can remove permission from apps that don’t require such access.
It is especially important to check for those apps that you may have installed years ago which may be still accessing this data.
So, in summary:
More and more services are going to be completely mobile-driven. We are already seeing that with the likes of mobile NFC wallets and now vaccine cards, airport security clearance, driver’s licenses to name a few. As we rely on our phones more than ever, we need them to not only perform very complicated tasks on the device (such as language translating without going out to the web) but we also need them to keep our more personal info secure.
Google developing its own chip with such a heavy focus on security and AI is an amazing step for mobile computing.
Read this next: Check out how to secure your account with Google Titan Keys