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Why Your Fingerprint Login May Not Be Safe

Fingerprint scanning might be the next big thing, but it may not be the most secure login method. See why your fingerprint scan isn't as safe as you thought.

TouchID is a very exciting concept. To think: you can access your Android cell phone without having to deal with passwords, passcodes, picture matches, or trivia responses. Instead, you simply swipe your fingertip over the phone and log on in.

Unfortunately, fingerprint scanning may not be so safe and secure. When your biometric information is compromised, there is nothing you can do to change it. In fact, using fingerprint logins could put users at risk for identity theft. The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) revealed how Apple’s Touch ID could be easily tricked by very simple means. While this may not seem like a big deal, the application trickles down into other security issues.

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If fingerprint scanning is the next big thing, what’s to stop someone from lifting your fingerprint and using it on far more than your cell phone? The CCC showed ways to work around the fingerprints — and that was back in 2004. Fast forward to 2016, and everything from tanning salons to the neighborhood gym are requiring fingerprint identification. While it’s great to think that you don’t need to worry if you forget your wallet or membership card, there’s a hidden danger.

When Yahoo had thousands of compromised email accounts, what did it do? Yahoo advised its users to change their passwords immediately. If you lose your wallet, what do you do? You call your bank, cancel your old card, and request a new one. But what happens when your biometric identity, in the form of your fingerprint, is stolen? What can you do then? Not much.

Studies (and hacker groups making a point) have repeatedly shown how these scanners can be fooled with something as simple as Play Doh. The best way to install biometrics for any company would be to include two-factor authentication. Users would need to provide more than a biometric scan. Rather, the scan would bring up a user ID that would then have to be verified with a second form of authentication. A masked user ID would help ensure a higher level of protection.

Until fingerprint login is more secure, keep your important apps away from snoops with PSafe Total. Its Applock feature provides password protection so no one can browse through your apps without your permission. What’s more — you can even protect your Facebook page, so your private messages stay that way.