Early cell phones didn’t even have a lock on the phone. When devices started offering a lock, many people didn’t see the point. Of course, early cell phones were used exclusively for phone calls. With all the capabilities of cellular devices, there is obviously a need for higher security measures. Fingerprint scanners are the one of the newest technologies for devices that aim to keep your information safe.
The Necessity of Security
Image via Flickr by Janitors
Even if you don’t do your banking on your cell phone, the potential is there for bad guys get a lot of information off your phone. If criminals stole your phone, they could easily access your maps to see where you live or visit most. They could log into your social media and get valuable information that way as well. If you do handle your banking or have your cards stored, then you have many other issues to worry about.
Although you may think that a four-digit pin will keep you safe, you might be surprised. If your screen is dirty, it’s not difficult to see where you’ve pressed in your pin. With fingerprint security, it’s almost impossible to log in to steal your information without actually having your fingerprint to unlock your phone.
The Rise of Hacking
As phones started storing more information, hackers began targeting cell phones as well as computers to steal information. Part of the issue with a PIN is that people tend to use the same PIN for their phones, bank accounts, and garage codes. Most people don’t think that they are ever going to be hacked, so they don’t take the time to set up different PINs for different things.
If you’re diligent enough to have different PIN, and you don’t use something obvious like a birthday or anniversary, using a PIN is relatively safe. However, if want to use the best means for safeguarding your phone and bank account, then your fingerprint is a better bet for keeping your information secure.
One fear people have is that their fingerprint will be accessible to different companies or even to Apple. Apple has created extra measures to make sure that fingerprints can’t be stolen or even viewed by third parties. For example, on the iPhone SE, Apple has inputted a special security enclave that holds the mathematical data associated with your fingerprint. That means that someone can’t break into your phone and steal your fingerprint information. Your phone doesn’t even store the image of your fingerprint. Therefore, you’re getting a great device on a reliable network.
Because of this security enclave, your fingerprint data isn’t stored as part of the operating system. That means that when you buy something through your phone with your fingerprint, the store doesn’t have access to any part of your print. Even Apple doesn’t store your fingerprint information, adding a level of security keeping it safe.
Feel confident that it’s not possible for someone to randomly guess the mathematical equation associated with your fingerprint. Someone would have to try 50,000 different fingerprints to possibly gain access to your phone. The iPhone only allows five attempts before it requires a password, so you know that someone isn’t going to randomly get into your phone by trying different fingerprints.
Outside of Security
Although security is, of course, important when it comes to your smartphone, it’s not the only benefit of fingerprint scanners. Fingerprint scanners offer convenience, allowing consumers to unlock their devices and make purchases in a fast and easy way. Even though a four-digit PIN isn’t terribly inconvenient, repeatedly putting in your Apple ID and password gets annoying quickly.
Even when you buy a free app through iTunes, you are required to give your password. By using your fingerprint instead, you can make purchases quickly and easily. You also don’t have to worry about anyone using your password to make purchases. That includes kids accidentally making purchases with a stored password.
People tend to be suspicious of new technology. With fingerprint scanners, you can feel good that the information in your phone is safe, and that no one could accidentally or purposefully get into your phone through the fingerprint scanner.