How Far Will Thieves Go to Use Cell Phones Protected This Way
Biometric security for mobile phones and devices is a technology that is beginning to start a debate around the world. Will more mobile devices using this feature actually make them safer and more secure? Or will thieves find new (possibly grisly) ways to get around the biometric security measures?
The new iPhone 5S comes with a feature to lock your phone or mobile device. The key to unlocking it is your fingerprint, which is unique for everyone. However, this may lead to violent crimes in some parts of the world if people use the feature to protect their mobile phone.
Marc Rogers, chief researcher at mobile security firm Lookout, has told the Independent newspaper in the UK that he fears the feature will lead to more mutilations as thieves take off fingers in order to unlock the phones they steal. He told the newspaper that there have already been some cases where thieves have chopped off fingers in order to get access to phones.
While biometric security is definitely a “cool” feature, it doesn’t guarantee that your mobile device is going to be secure. Most security professionals recommend taking other steps to protect your phone and personal information. Here are some tips for keeping your phone safe or sell your iPhone wherever you go in the world.
- Use a Password – You should use a password to protect your phone – but make sure it’s one that’s not easy to guess. Keeping a password easy is convenient, but it may leave you vulnerable to hackers or thieves.
- Change the Password – In addition to using a password to lock your phone when you’re not using it, you should also change your password frequently. Changing the password once a month will give you a little added security.
- Be Aware – Being aware of where your phone is at all times is also important for security. It’s too easy to set your phone on a table and forget about it, but if you do this it can be stolen in the span of just a few minutes.
While using your fingerprint is a lot easier than typing in a pin number or password during the day, it may not be as safe as you imagine. It’s important to make sure you take multiple steps to protect your digital data at all times. The good news is that new security features are being implemented in mobile devices all the time. If you have any thoughts about biometric security for mobile devices, please leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on the issue. As more mobile phones are used around the world, security is going to become an even bigger topic in the months and years ahead.
September 23, 2013 at 9:29 am
Hard to believe anyone would carry a severed finger around with them as a smartphone accessory.
Other worries have been raised – in particular, if your fingerprint data gets stolen, then you have lost your biometric security for the rest of your life and a hacker can impersonate you forever. Contrast this with the situation where your password gets stolen. You just change your password. You can never change your fingerprint.
September 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm
This is technology ain’t where it’s cracked-up to be. I have to use fingerprinting at work and it usually takes me over a dozen tries to get logged-in or out. I prefer my password/swipe code thank you very much.
September 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm
No discussion of biometrics for securing mobile devices should overlook their innate fallibility. Every biometric commits two types of errors: False Negatives where they fail to recognise the rightful user, and False Positives where they confuse one user for another. The more secure a system, the less False Positives it will commit, but also the more False negatives it will inflict on the owner, forcing them to retry the face or fingerprint scan before a proper identification can be made.