Security is something that is always present in the minds of smartphone users, or at least it should be if they want to avoid losing private information and vital data. As handsets have evolved, so has the security technology that they use, with passcodes now being a regular feature on the majority of handsets.
Along with this, many manufacturers allow you to trace a pattern with your fingertip to unlock your phone, and remote-wiping apps and services are commonplace. These make it possible to remove all of your data from a device that has been stolen, making sure that none of your private information goes with it.
But as smartphone capabilities increase, along with the speed of the networks they connect to, more and more information is being viewed and saved on mobile devices. So what can be done to make them even more secure, ensuring that your data is kept safe at all times?
There’s no specific answer, but talk of fingerprint scanners being widely adopted by high-end handsets points towards a new direction for mobile security.
They have been seen before, with Motorola’s Atrix making use of one way back in 2011. On that handset, the scanner was mounted on the rear of the device at the very top edge, making it easy to access when holding the phone. It offered a useful and innovative way of securing the device, but failed to win consumers over in large numbers and wasn’t widely adopted. Nevertheless, fingerprint scanners do seem like a natural evolution of smartphone technology, since mobile users are used to swiping their fingers all over large touchscreen devices already.
The scanners work by using electrical currents to read the tiny indentations in a fingerprint, making use of electrical charges rather than any sort of photographic image. Sensors smaller than the ridges that cover the skin on every person’s fingers read its individual makeup and can tell one fingerprint from another. Since every fingerprint is different, it’s easy to identify the correct user and unlock a device.
Are there any potential pitfalls to the technology? Well, possibly, as scanners can be susceptible to any slight changes in their user’s fingerprints. Tiny, microscopic scratches in a person’s hands can result in their prints not being read correctly and access to a device being refused. However, it could be said that any security measure suffers from certain problems – after all, anyone can forget a passcode.
Despite this, fingerprinting scanning could well be the next step in mobile technology that becomes widely adopted, as manufacturers look to gain an edge over their competitors in the race to build more powerful smartphones.
Further to this, the use of such technology could be another step in making smartphone users more aware of just how careful they have to be with their devices. With financial details, personal data and important information all being held within your smartphone, its may well be worth having that extra level of safety.