- Samsung Galaxy phones in South Korea are getting a new Repair Mode feature via a software update.
- The new mode will help lock down personal data on the device, giving technicians enough access to fix it.
- Security experts welcomed the feature but asked Samsung to share more details about its implementation before rolling it out more broadly.
Samsung is rolling out a new update to help people get over the jitters we feel every time we hand over our phones for repairs.
The company is launching a new Galaxy phone feature in South Korea. Called Repair Mode, it hides the user’s data to prevent theft if the device is refurbished.according to a Translated version of the Korean press releaseAccess to photos, messages and account information will be blocked when repair mode is activated.
“This feature allows users to protect data, photos, attachments, contacts and other data so that snoopers cannot access the information while the device is being repaired,” Stephanie KurtzHead Teacher, School of Information Systems and Technology University of Phoenix, told Lifewire about email. “This is a great new feature for users who don’t have other options to lock down the data they store on their device.”
In an email discussion, Dimitri ShellestFounder and CEO a representativeAn online privacy company that helps people remove sensitive information from the internet told Lifewire that the feature makes a lot of sense because many people store personal and often very sensitive data on their devices, from passwords and PIN codes to financial account and credit card details.
The press release mentions scan details about the new feature, saying it’s rolling out via a software update, will reboot the device when activated, and can only be turned off using the owner’s pattern or biometrics.
That’s why Shelest, while welcoming the feature, stressed that in order to build trust, Samsung must be absolutely transparent about these protection details and how they’re being delivered to ensure that consumer information isn’t leaked.
“Consumers should be more curious about how the devices and apps installed on them handle their data and take a privacy-first approach to help avoid breaches, identity theft and other privacy concerns that can lead to financial loss and other aspects. – Impact Far-reaching consequences,” Shelest said.
be your own watchdog
While the feature sounds useful, Kurtz said it doesn’t absolve people of the responsibility for managing, storing and sending content on their personal devices. She cautioned against long-term storage of personally identifiable information (PII) on mobile devices.
“In addition to repair incidents, data can be leaked from mobile devices through unsecured apps, and as mobile payments become more commonplace, this data is being targeted by bad actors,” Kurtz said. Make sure to set up security, passwords, virus scans, and uninstall data you no longer use.”
Kurtz praised Samsung for promoting end-user security, but cautioned that repair mode shouldn’t be used as an excuse to avoid backing up data on a device before sending it in for repair.
But know that the safety of the end user is your responsibility.
“Remember, just because a device is locked doesn’t mean the device may be [not] A reset is required due to failures,” Kurtz said. “Before allowing any repair work, avoid potential data loss by backing up if you can. ”
Repair mode is rolling out on the Galaxy S21 series in South Korea. Samsung noted in the press release that the feature will be added to more models over time, but did not mention if and when the feature would be available in other countries.
However, experts believe the feature should definitely be more generally available. “So many things come into our lives that seem absolutely necessary to the point that we wonder how we used to function,” Shelest said.
He believes that repair mode has the potential to become one of those essential features that makes us wonder how we can live without it. The bigger takeaway for him, however, is that privacy and data protection are becoming a focus for many people and companies. He believes this will lead to a range of new products and features centered around data security.
“I like that Samsung thinks about the security of the end user. But know that the security of the end user is your responsibility,” Kurtz said. “Be sure to consider what you store, manage and maintain on your device, and how you protect your device.” Personal information. ”
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