Could Multiple Profiles On Android Protect You From Malware?

I believe that the title is pretty straightforward. Could having multiple profiles on android for different topics/uses protect you from malware/spyware?

From everything I’ve come across, the whole purpose of having multiple profiles is so that you can compartmentalize your phone and have the ability to loan your phone to strangers without worry. So if you had a profile for school, work, and communication, everything in those profiles should be isolated right?

As for the malware, assume it has gained everything but root access (because the phone is not jailbreaked) on the admin account. So if there was a breach on the main account, only the data on the main account should be exposed right?

My threat model is on the upper middle part of the spectrum.

How would having multiple profiles affect USB data transfers?

In theory, yes. Profiles are very isolated from one another, and are even independently encrypted with their own keys depending on the lock screen method.

Only the currently active profile’s files are exposed over USB.

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Aren’t apps already sandboxed though? Surely that already significantly reduces what malware can do

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I was going to add something to that effect as well, but I wasn’t quite sure how to phrase it… I find it hard to imagine there’s an exploit malware could use that compromises all the apps in a profile without gaining root and compromising the system, so it does seem unlikely. Android’s standard app sandboxing protections are far more likely to stop malware than using multiple profiles.

That being said, profiles using different encryption keys is important. Theoretically malware could compromise your entire phone and still not be able to access other profiles if those profiles haven’t been unlocked.


What is the lock screen method that gives you an encryption key for each profile?

Any lock screen method, the profiles are encrypted with the PIN/Passcode/Pattern, and you can have different lock screen methods per profile.

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Just don’t use this. Please.