Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority
- Samsung’s new Auto Blocker feature in One UI 6 gives users granular control over app sideloading.
- It also updates Samsung Message Guard, with protections now extending to apps like WhatsApp.
Samsung is introducing a new Auto Blocker feature on Galaxy devices eligible for the One UI 6 update. The security solution gives Galaxy owners the flexibility to enable or disable the sideloading of apps, thereby blocking unauthorized app installations.
Sideloading is one of the biggest advantages of using an Android device since it gives you the freedom to download apps from platforms other than the official Google Play Store or Galaxy Store. However, sometimes, apps from third-party sources can prove to be dangerous and ridden with malware. Auto Blocker gives users the freedom to switch off app sideloading altogether if they don’t require the feature. This in turn also protects from other social engineering attacks like voice phishing, wherein attackers could talk people into installing malicious apps.
Those who like more control will still be able to keep sideloading enabled on their devices.
Apart from the ability to disable sideloading, Auto Blocker offers several additional controls, including the ability to turn on app security checks to help detect and ward off harmful software installations via a USB cable. This can help protect users in situations where they have to use public cables, like at an airport charging station.
Moreover, Auto Blocker also updates Message Guard, Samsung’s security sandbox that prevents malicious code from accessing your phone’s files or interacting with its operating system. It checks incoming files for malware and processes them in a controlled environment before allowing them into device storage. Message Guard was initially available for Google and Samsung apps, but now third-party apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and more also come under its purview.
Auto Blocker should be available now on Galaxy S23 series devices updated to One UI 6. You’ll be able to find the feature in Settings. It will also reach other One UI 6 devices in the coming days as the update rolls out more widely.
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