15 Android Secret Security Codes You Need to Know | #android | #security | #education | #technology | #infosec

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Almost all Android smartphones released by Samsung and other giant handset makers are integrated with advanced security features. Some of them are already automatically activated by the installed Android system. There are also these so-called USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) codes or secret codes that allow you to access your smartphone’s features, especially the security functions, without the need of going through your settings.

What Are USSD Codes?

USSD codes are also referred to as feature codes, secret codes, or quick codes. These codes let you access smartphone features using combinations of numbers and symbols.

Android’s quick codes are used by GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) smartphones, allowing them to communicate with your mobile network operator. They are specifically programmed into your SIM card or mobile number so that you can use your Android smartphone easier and more efficiently.

However, some USSD codes may not always work on some devices. For instance, dual SIM phones usually receive these errors. You may also have trouble getting them to run on various carriers, regions, and phone apps. It’s also possible that you have issues with your SIM card. Nonetheless, the only way to know whether they work is by trying these codes.

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How to Use USSD Codes

Using USSD codes is simpler than you think. You no longer have to visit your Android settings and look for the specific sections or features you want to access. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Android smartphone’s phone app. This is usually located on your handset’s main screen.
  1. From there, all you need to do is type the USSD code you want to use. It may start with an asterisk (*) or a hashtag (#). 
  1. Press the Call button, and the USSD code will start to load.

Android Secret Security Codes You Should Try

Below you’ll find a list of some of the most useful security codes you should know and use on your Android device.

1. GPS System Test

USSD code: *#*#1472365#*#*

If you want to check the strength or efficiency of your Android GPS (Global Positioning System), use this common USSD code.

Knowing if the GPS of your smartphone is on or off can save you in various unexpected situations, such as losing your phone or getting your device stolen. If it is active, you can use its GPS to locate where your phone is.

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2. Calendar Storage Data

USSD Code: *#*#225#*#*

Your smartphone sometimes stores your calendar data. This means your device’s storage contains the events you’ve saved to your digital calendar. 

These details include your country’s holidays. On the other hand, you will also know if you have birthdays saved on your device. If you have important upcoming appointments, the Calendar Info section will inform you about them.

3. SAR Level

USSD Code: *#07#

Knowing the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) level of your device allows you to learn the electromagnetic energy your body absorbs while using the Android device in question.

As of the moment, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) requires smartphones to have a limit of 1.6 watts per kilogram when it comes to SAR level. 

Using this code you will know if your Android smartphone already exceeds this limit. If so, then perhaps it’s time to consider upgrading to a new phone.

4. Smartphone Battery, WLAN, and Other Info

USSD Code: *#*#4636#*#*

Battery, WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network), and other additional phone information can be viewed using this code.

Aside from WLAN and battery status, you can also use this common USSD code to know who accesses your apps, thanks to the displayed usage statistics and Wi-Fi information.

This simply means that this code can also act as a security feature.

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5. Firmware Information

USSD Code: *#*#4986*2650468#*#*

Firmware information offers various benefits for Android users, such as allowing you to know if your device’s firmware was changed, which could potentially lead to system damages.

This secret security code will allow you to bring the key information connected to your initial Android firmware back. These details include PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), RF (Radio Frequency) call date, smartphone model, hardware, and the manufacturing date.

6. Turning Off Caller ID

USSD Code: *31#

Android users can view who is calling them thanks to Caller ID, which gets displayed on the device’s screen when someone is trying to reach them. However, there are some instances when other people may want to disable this identification feature.

If you are one of them, then you can use this USSD code to turn off your own Caller ID. On the other hand, if you ever change your mind, you can reactivate this identification feature by using the same USSD code.

7. Running a Factory Reset

USSD Code: *#*#7780#*#*

There are times your handset will have bugs and other Internal problems that affect your Android smartphone performance. Sometimes the best thing you can do is do a factory reset.

Factory resetting is different from a hard reset, as it can retain the firmware of your device. It will, however, delete all your data from your Android device as well as installed apps.

Since your logins and other information will be deleted, you need to make a data backup before using this USSD code. Once done, you can enjoy your smartphone just like the first time you purchased it.

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8. Viewing Camera Information

USSD Code: *#*#34971539#*#*

The camera firmware is one of your handset’s features that can affect your system security. Actually, many malicious campaigns involve accessing smartphone cameras.

Knowing your Android camera firmware’s details will allow you to identify possible tampering activities by cybercriminals. Thanks to this code, you no longer have to visit the settings.

9. Storage and System Details

USSD Code: *#3282*727336*#

Using this code will allow you to get accurate internal system and storage information on your device. One of the details you will see is your regular data consumption. If you see that there’s an unusual data usage happening on your device, then someone might be using your smartphone remotely.

10. Device Shutdown

USSD Code: *#*#7594#*#*

If, for whatever reason, you can’t perform a device shutdown the typical way, this secret security code is your best option. 

Once you use it, it will automatically turn off your handset. When you are ready to turn it back on, you will need to enter your security passcode, preventing other individuals from accessing your device’s data. 

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11. General Test Mode Activation

USSD Code: *#0*#

The best way to check if your Android phone is working properly is by accessing or activating the “General Test Mode” features.

Once you enter this code, you will be able to access various testing features such as grip sensor, RGB testing, subkey, barcode emulator test, LED, front cam, touch testing, and device version information.

If one or two of them have some issues, then there’s a high chance someone is tampering with your handset.

12. Call Forwarding

USSD Code: *#67#

This USSD code allows you to check whether your call forwarding feature is active. If some of your important calls are forwarded to other mobile numbers, the call forwarding function will inform you about it. 

Once it is active, you will be notified, even when your line is busy, when an essential call is being sent to other numbers. You also receive a notification when rejecting a call.

13. MAC address

USSD Code: *#*#232338#*#*

Another way to identify malicious activity is by knowing if your smartphone’s MAC (Media Access Control) address was changed. A MAC address is a unique identifier assigned to a network interface controller (NIC).

It is an essential component required for network protocols, such as TCP (Transmission Control Protocol). Without your MAC address, TCP will not work. This secret security code will provide you with the MAC address information.

You can check if it still matches your network. If it doesn’t, then it’s better to check for some possible breaches. 

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14. IMEI Information

USSD Code: *#06#

Your device’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is another essential unique identifier since it acts as your smartphone’s digital fingerprint.

Most of the time, IMEI codes are already printed at the back of your smartphone. However, you will need to remove the back casing if you want to see it.

If you don’t know how to remove the back part of your device or simply can’t, use this code, and it will show your IMEI information. 

15. Hard reset

USSD Code: *2767*3855#

There are some smartphone issues that can only be fixed by wiping out everything on your device. This means you may need to do a hard reset on your Android phone. Again, create a data backup before using this code. 

Once you are sure that all your essential details are stored safely, you can use this USSD code to delete all your data, wiping your smartphone clean.

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Other Essential Codes You Can Use

Aside from USSD codes, there are also so-called MMI (Man Machine Interface) codes. Identifying the difference between USSD codes and MMI codes is quite difficult, since both types usually start with a hashtag or asterisk. 

What’s more, MMI codes are used exactly like USSD codes. All you need to do is use the dialer to type them the codes into your phone app. Another similarity between the two is the way they function. There are also some features that both of them can access, such as IMEI. Both are also updated regularly as new forks of Android are launched by smartphone manufacturers.

Although they are very similar, USSD codes and MMI codes still have their differences. One of these is their availability. USSD codes are typically provided by smartphone carriers. This means USSDs differ from one wireless service provider to another (carrier-specific). 

Meanwhile, MMI codes are model-specific. These codes will depend on the smartphone brand you are using, such as Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, Oppo, and other models from giant manufacturers. MMIs are also regularly used by repair services and smartphone engineers. 

When it comes to coverage, there are fewer MMI codes compared to USSD codes. 

Here are MMI code samples you can try:

  • *#*#1234#*#* (personal Digital Assistant software version information) 
  • *#*#2222#*#* (smartphone’s hardware version) 
  • *#*#44336#*#* (your current smartphone software version and system update information) 
  • *#7465625# (Android device’s lock status) 
  • *#*#2663#*#* (touch screen version)

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Wrapping Up

USSD codes can be a time-saver since they allow you to access various features and security functions, like disabling caller ID, in just a few seconds. Why not learn how to block a number or change the default account on Android and iOS?

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Princess Angolluan
Princess Angolluan

Princess is a freelance writer based in Croatia. She used to work as an English teacher in Hokkaido, Japan before she finally changed careers and focused on content writing & copywriting, while running their own digital marketing company in Europe. For 5 years, she has written many articles and web pages on various niches like technology, finance, digital marketing, etc. Princess loves playing FPS games, watching anime, and singing.

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