Here’s the deal from Farrington and Company. #1 – Nothing is secure. Including executive jobs at Equifax. But if nothing is secure then how can you possibly keep your iPhone, Mac, or iPad secure? You can’t. It doesn’t work that way. It’s all about relative security; but there are ways to help avoid the tragedies that seem to come upon those who fail to heed specific advice.
This week I read an article about face, fingerprint, passwords, and PIN security, which then asked the best way to keep your smartphone secure. See #1 above.
If you want as much security on your devices as you can possibly get, then you have two basic choices.
First, go off the grid, avoid people, stay away from electricity, build a moat with alligators, and shoot at anything that moves (except the alligators).
Or, in the alternative, and second, be careful. All of Apple’s iPhones and iPads come with Touch ID fingerprint sensor built in (iPhone X is the exception, but more on that in a moment), and an option for a simple numeric password or a longer, more convoluted password.
Here’s the key consideration. When convenience meets security, something has to give. They always meet somewhere in between which means not always convenient but not always secure. Touch ID is the perfect example. Turn on your iPhone and you’re asked for a password. After that, Touch ID works very well. It’s convenient, fast, and about as secure as you can get without going off the grid.
Yes, fingerprint sensors as authentication existed on other devices before Apple introduced Touch ID. Typical Apple. They made it work. Easy to set up and use, high level of security.
Face ID on iPhone X and surely on future iPhones, iPads, and Macs takes the security level up a notch and the convenience level up a notch, too. More security. More convenience. This is the biometric authentication method that Apple’s customers love, and tells the rest of the industry which way to go.
Now for the naysayers. Leigh-Anne Galloway from Positive Technologies on Face ID and face recognition security.
To get a reliable authentication system, you have to be able to accurately measure and compare some unique physiological features. But if you get these features from a smartphone or another simple device, it means shaky-hands-quality pictures and city-noise-backgrounding voices. This kind of biometric authentication will make lots of mistakes
Uh huh. From someone who has never used Face ID on iPhone X. Touch ID did not work perfectly, either. But it worked. It works better now, and Apple is betting Face ID will be an improvement in convenience and security. Even with biometric authentication, passwords are not going away. What is happening, and we can thank Apple for moving the industry in this direction (it was not before Touch ID) is the proper balance of convenience and security.
Keep your iPhone secure with a password and make security and convenience work for you with Touch ID.
Biometrics also has another issue, in that they can’t be altered. If records of your fingerprint or face, or iris, are compromised, attackers could use it to bypass all of your accounts, and you can’t realistically reset your face or your fingerprints.
Spoken like someone who does not understand how Apple has implemented Touch ID and Face ID. Apple is not capturing a picture of your thumbprint or a picture of your face. The data captured by scanning both is kept in a secure location on each device, but it’s not a photo that someone can steal and use elsewhere. Think of it as encrypted information and you are the key.