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Managing Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Security and the Lock Screen

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 contains a number of security options you can change in the Settings screen. Eric Butow, author of My Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, shows you how to change remote access, administer the device, change credentials, and determine what happens when you swipe on the Lock screen.
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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 contains a number of security features that you can set and change so you can keep the data on your Tab 3 secure in case you misplace the device. You can access these security features from the Settings screen; access the Settings screen by tapping the Settings icon on the Home screen.

Within the Settings screen, swipe down the settings list on the left side of the screen and then tap Security. The Security settings list shown in Figure 1 contains five setting sections.

Figure 1 The Security settings list appears on the right side of the Settings screen

The Encryption section appears at the top of the list; you can learn how to encrypt your Tab 3 in the online article Encrypting Your Galaxy Tab 3 on the Que Publishing website. Underneath the Encryption section are two settings in the Find My Mobile section: Remote Controls and Find My Mobile Web Page.

Remotely Control Your Tab 3

The Remote Controls setting allows you to set up the Samsung Find My Mobile service so you can lock your Tab 3, erase the data on the device, and find your misplaced Tab 3 remotely from the Samsung Find My Mobile website.

Set up the Remote Controls service by tapping Remote Controls in the list. In the Confirm Password page that appears, type your Samsung account password and then tap the Done button on the keyboard. You see the Introduction to Remote Controls screen as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 The introductory text for lock and erase your data remotely using the Samsung Find My Mobile service

Begin the setup process by tapping the OK button at the bottom of the screen. Next, you see the Remote Controls setup screen shown in Figure 3 that displays your Samsung account information, and indicates if you use Wi-Fi networks to find your wayward Tab 3.

Figure 3 The location is determined by Wi-Fi by default

If you don’t want to use wireless networks to find your Tab 3 and would rather use a data carrier’s connection instead, tap the Use Wireless Networks checkbox to clear it. You can also turn off Remote Controls by sliding the On button in the blue menu bar at the top of the screen to Off. Otherwise, return to the Security settings list by pressing the Back button.

You can also view the Find My Mobile website on the Tab 3 by tapping Find My Mobile Web Page in the Security settings list. You’ll see the Complete Action Using window so you can view the website with either the Internet or Chrome browser, and to use this option always or just this one time. For this example, I’ll view the website in the Internet browser, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 The Samsung Find My Mobile website

You need to sign in using your Samsung account to use this service. Once you log in, you can use the service to locate your misplaced Tab 3, lock your Tab 3 so no one else can access it, and cause your Tab 3 to ring so you’ll be able to hear the device if it’s nearby.

Make Passwords Visible (or Not)

In some cases, you have the option to view your password on your screen as you enter it, such as when you enter your Samsung account password when you set up Remote Controls as you learned about in the previous section.

However, if you don’t want to see any password you enter on your screen to help protect yourself from prying eyes, tap the Make Passwords Visible checkbox in the Security settings list to clear the checkbox.

Device Administration

Within the Device Administration section in the Security settings list, you can activate the Android Device Manager so you can lock or erase your Tab 3 from the Android Device Manager on the Google Play website.

You can set up Android Device Manager on the Tab 3 by tapping Device Administrators in the Security settings list and then tapping the Android Device Manager checkbox shown in Figure 5. After you tap the checkbox, tap the Activate button in the Activate Device Administrator window that appears on the screen.

Figure 5 Make Android Device Manager lock or erase your Tab 3 by tapping the checkbox

Here’s how to access the Android Device Manager from the Google Play website: After you log in to the website, click or tap the Settings button in the upper-right corner of the screen (it has a black gear icon), and then click or tap Android Device Manager from the drop-down menu.

Within the Device Administration section, you also see two other settings. Tap the Unknown Sources checkbox to allow installation of apps from sources other than the Google Play Store. After you tap the checkbox, the Unknown Sources window appears and reminds you that by tapping the OK button in the window, you’re responsible for any damage to your device including loss of data.

By default, the Verify Apps checkbox is checked so the Tab 3 will warn you about apps it thinks is harmful before you install them. If the Tab 3 thinks the app you want to install is so harmful that it will damage your device, the Tab 3 won’t install the app at all. If you don’t want to verify apps and take your chances, tap the Verify Apps checkbox to clear it.

Establish Your Credentials

Swipe down the Security settings list to see all the settings in the Credential Storage section, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 In the Credential Storage section, you can show trusted credentials and install certificates

You can view, add, and remove trusted credentials installed on your device by tapping Trusted Credentials. The Trusted Credentials screen appears, as shown in Figure 7, and shows you all the credentials on your system that tells your Tab 3 the apps and services that use these credentials are trusted and can operate on the device.

Figure 7 Swipe up and down in the list to view all the trusted credentials for the system

View the entire list by swiping up and down within the list. Each installed credential contains a checked checkbox to the right of the credential name, which means that the credential is currently installed. If you want to remove the credential, tap the checkbox.

Next, you see the Security Certificate window that shows you information about the certificate; you can turn off the certificate by tapping the Turn Off button at the bottom-right corner of the window. If you just want to view the certificate information without turning it off, tap the OK button at the bottom of the window.

If you want to see credentials you’ve added, tap the User tab at the top of the screen. You can install a certificate by pressing the Back button and then tapping the Install From Device Storage setting in the Security settings list. Before you do this, you need to be sure that you have a MicroSD card installed on the Tab 3 and that the card includes a certificate file. (The app developer should provide this file for you.)

After you add a certificate, it appears in the User tab within the Trusted Credentials screen. If you want to remove all user-installed certificates from the system, tap Clear Credentials in the Security settings list. You’re asked to confirm that you want to remove all user-installed credentials from the Tab 3.

Change Your Lock Screen Settings

You can change how you access the Tab 3 from the Lock screen and also add more functionality to the Lock screen by adding widgets. Start by tapping the Settings icon on the Home screen if you’re not in the Settings screen already. Within the Settings screen, swipe down the settings list on the left side of the screen and then tap Lock Screen. The Lock Screen settings list appears on the right side of the screen, as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8 The Lock Screen settings list appears on the right side of the Settings screen

In the Screen Security section at the top of the list, the Screen Lock setting shows how you dismiss the Lock screen, which is Swipe in Figure 8. You can change the way you lock the screen by tapping Screen Lock in the list and then tapping the lock method in the Select Screen Lock page. You can read more about locking the screen with a password in Chapter 4 of My Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.

You can also add widgets to your Lock screen by tapping Lock Screen Widgets. In the Lock Screen Widgets settings list that appears, the clock is what appears on your Lock screen by default, as shown in Figure 9. Clock widget settings appear in the Clock Widget Options section below the General Settings section.

Figure 9 The Clock widget setting options appear in the settings list by default

What you see in the Lock Screen Widgets screen depends on whether you have the clock or personal message selected. If you show the clock on the Lock screen, you can change the clock size, show the current date as well as the time, and type your owner information that will appear on the Lock screen.

Change to a personal message by tapping Clock or Personal Message as you saw in Figure 9; in the Clock or Personal Message window that appears, tap the Personal Message button and then tap the OK button. Then you can tap Edit Personal Information in the Lock Screen Widgets screen so you can tape your message, change the font style, and change the text color. Tap Done in the menu bar at the top of your screen when you’ve finished your message.

You can return to the Lock Screen settings list by pressing the Back button. Within the Swipe Options section, you can set and change the following options:

  • Multiple Widgets: Allows you to display multiple widgets on your Lock screen.
  • Shortcuts: Opens the Set Shortcuts screen shown in Figure 10 so you can open as many as five apps from the Lock screen. Turn shortcuts on by swiping the Off button to On in the menu bar at the top of the screen, shown in Figure 10. Then you can drag and drop the application icons to change the order of the icons or delete them by dragging the icon to the Delete bar at the bottom of the screen. You can also tap an icon to replace an existing icon or add a new one within the Select Application screen. The shortcut icons appear at the bottom of the Lock screen.
  • Figure 10 The order of shortcuts that will appear on the Lock screen appears in the Set Shortcuts screen

  • Unlock Effect: Change the unlocking effect between the default light effect, a ripple effect, or no effect.
  • Help Text: Shows the help text on the Lock screen by default. If you don’t want to view the help text on the Lock screen, tap the checkbox to clear it.
  • Wake Up in Lock Screen: Tap this checkbox to say the default wakeup command “Hi Galaxy” to unlock your Tab 3 instead of swipe on the screen.
  • Set Wake-Up Command: Allows you to set wake-up voice commands for different functions including unlocking the screen, playing music, and opening the Camera app.

Final Thoughts

That concludes our tour of the Security and Lock Screen settings, which enable you to keep your data safe and customize your Lock screen so it works the way you want.

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