Without no doubt, we would all agree that fingerprint scanning technologies are wonderful convenient additions to our smartphones. They enable easy mobile payments and quick device unlocking. It is understandable when people prefer using fingerprint and iris scanners because it just feels futuristic and cool. I am certainly guilty of this thought too.
Most smartphone makers nowadays are replacing traditional passwords with fingerprint scanners, face scanners, iris scanners, and just about every other type of body scanner you can think of. Biometrics is the basis of all the frenzy but there’s a problem; most popular biometric scanners are scraps. It is a better and safer idea to use an alphanumeric password (i.e. letters and numbers) to lock your phone instead. Nonetheless, below are three reasons why you should dump the idea of fingerprint locks for the old-fashioned passwords;
People can hack your fingerprints
Fingerprints are left behind everywhere we go; on doorknobs, railings, glass cups, keypads, screens etc. They are likely all over your phone. You do hold it with your hands, right? Have you ever thought how easy it would be for criminals who steal the phone to lift your prints and unlock the phone? No, I guess. An average thief looking to make quick cash might worriless but if someone wants the data on your phone for whatever reason it certainly is within possibility. Bear in mind, it took only about one day for hackers to defeat the iPhone fingerprint authentication that was also supposed to be strongest.
Worse yet, fingerprints can also be hacked virtually. A couple of security experts have demonstrated a number of hacks for fingerprint locks. They built an app that mimicked a phone’s unlock screen; when used by the victim, it could approve a financial transaction. They showed it was relatively easy to rebuild a fingerprint from the file used to store it and they hacked the scanner itself allowing them to grab fingerprint images whenever used.
Alphanumeric Passwords are hard to guess, easy to change, and legally protected
The security and peace of mind you get from using alphanumeric passwords is well worth the 2 seconds it takes to enter it. Think about this for a while!
Fingerprints are forever. Once in the wrong hands, they can keep using them to please their selfish reasons. This is particularly very disturbing when you consider how many organizations collect fingerprints for authentications.
Contrarily, most phones support multi-digit passwords. They are hard to guess and very easy to change. Each digit gives you an order of magnitude of extra security. Also, a court of law cannot force you to give up your password because it exists in your head and yours alone. It is the strong-arm access to your data unless you voluntarily give it up.
Malwares poses a great threat
It is no longer news that there are powerful malwares designed to infect and destroy smartphones. What happens if your phone gets infected and malware captures your fingerprints? All hopes of resetting them are gone – forever!!! Theoretically, it is impossible for malware to capture fingerprints because of how its readers are designed and this may be true on some models – but are you positive that the reader on your new smartphone was designed and implemented perfectly with no possible bugs that could challenge your privacy and security?
Of course, I don’t expect people to give up using fingerprint locks. They are just too convenient. However, with passwords one is guaranteed top-notch protection from prying eyes. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comment box.