Smartphone Lock Screen Patterns Aren’t Secure

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Most of us use a smartphone everyday and while some are using fancy fingerprint scanners like on the iPhone 6 or a complicated alphanumeric password, many simply use a basic pattern to open their lock screen. But these patterns are not only far from secure, they’re actually highly predictable.

Research by Marte Løge from the Norweigan University of Science and Technology has revealed that humans are as predictable in their use of these patterns as they are in the use of pin numbers and passwords.

After a survey of 4000 patterns she found that a surprising number of people draw from left to right and usually start in a corner. The most popular corner is the top left and an alarming number of phone owners only use the minimum of four possible touch points.

That may seem like its difficult enough to guess but it leaves only 1,624 possible combinations to test, and using this other data makes it even easier to guess. For example – 10 percent of people draw an obvious letter as their passcode, usually one which is in their own name.

Criminals intent on stealing your phone and gaining access to it would not have to spend very long to get through this basic security so users should consider creating something more complicated so long as they can still easily remember.

These issues may soon be a thing of the past as biometric options start to become popular. Samsung, Apple and OnePlus are all now utilising fingerprint scanning tech, ensuring no one but you can use the handset, and retinal scanning is also on the rise.

For the moment, you should change your passcode and try to make sure no one can see it when you’re unlocking your phone!

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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