Practical Paranoia Android 6: Multiple User Accounts PPA6UA01


Multiple user accounts are a long needed addition to Android 6. They were first added in the tablet version of Android 5 Lollipop and are now being released on all devices with Android 6 Marshmallow.

Multiple user accounts allow you to compartmentalize your data so that it isn’t exposed to those who may be using your device. You may end up doing all of the other security steps to harden your device to the core, but your data could be exposed when your friend uses your device for 5 minutes to “call their mother”. If you have the same users commonly using your device, then it is a very good idea to make them their own user account. By having a separate user account they will not have access to your specific data such as pictures, app-specific data, etc. The new user account will have their own authentication method (or none at all if they choose) completely separate from your own.

The multiple user accounts feature is of great use for parents or co-owners of a device such as spouses. Separating your workspaces allows for customization and convenience in how the device operates for them. Also, having your data only within your workspace and locked behind your authentication is critical to protect against accidental data compromise.

Lastly, creating a separate user account will allow you to make an account that has full functionality of the device without phone calls and SMS. Again, this is excellent for a parent who wants their child to be able to use their phone as a gaming or entertainment device, but not as a contact to the outside world.

Assignment: Set up a New User account

In this assignment you will set up a new user account on your device. These steps may seem very familiar as these are similar steps to when you first get your device and setup your first account.

  1. From your Home Screen, select the Apps icon.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Scroll down slightly, and then select Users.
    Android 6 Security create a new user
  4. Select Add User.
    Android 6 security add new user
  5. Select OK.
    Android 6 marshmallow create new user
  6. You can leave the user un-configured, leaving them to do it themselves. For this example, we will configure the user. Select Set up now.
    Android 6 marshmallow add new user
  7. You are now in the Set up new user screen. Select the Continue radio button, and then Next to continue.
    Android 6 Marshmallow create new user
  8. Select a Wi-Fi network to connect with.
    Android 6 security create new user
  9. Enter the email address, and then Next.
    Android 6 marshmallow security create new user
  10. Enter your password, and then select Next.
    Android 6 security create new user
  11. Select Accept to accept the terms and conditions.
  12. At the Google services screen, select Next.
    Android 6 marshmallow security create new user
  13. For this example, we won't be adding any additional emails. Select Not now, and then Next.
    Android 6 marshmallow security create new user
  14. The Get Google Now screen appears. For this example we will skip this. Select Skip, and then Next.
    Android 6 marshmallow security create new user
  15. Your new user account has just been created. Select Got it, and then pull down the notification bar from the top.
    Android 6 security create new user
  16. Select the Person icon in the upper right to switch over to your original user account.
    Android 6 security create new user
  17. Select the user account you want to switch to.Android 6 security create new user

Congratulations! You have set up a new user account on your device. No longer will you have to deal with your kids or other users of your phone going through your pictures or personal data in your apps. They can have their own private workspace to work on their Bejeweled high score.


Learn more with Practical Paranoia: Android 6 Security Essentials.

Android 6 Marshmallow Security

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