Android Face Unlock

How Secure is Android’s Face Unlock Feature?

Android Face Unlock

Sometime during the end of2011, Google had launched Android 4.0. This OS was popularly known as ICS or Ice Cream Sandwich and just like all the other Android OSs, it came with a number of features. However, the one particular feature that got much attention was the “face unlock” function. This feature could literally unlock your phone by a function that recognized your face. Although it was initially thought to be very cool, the excitement died down a bit when people realized that the phone could be tricked with something as simple as the photo of the phone’s owner. Google immediately rectified this in its Android 4.1, the Jelly Bean by ensuring that the face that is used to unlock the phone was that of a living human that actually breathes.

According to some bootleg reports, this new version in the Jelly Bean has a feature called “Liveness Check” that first identifies the face/ identity and then waits for the user to blink before unlocking. The face recognition is fast and asks the user to blink once it identifies the user. This ensures that no photographs or pictures can be used to unlock a phone, without the user’s knowledge. Although this does improves the security levels considerably, there have been reports that a desperate hacker can still break into a user’s phone by using a video or an animated picture of the user through another smartphone screen.

Face Unlock in the Ice Cream Sandwich

The face unlock feature was arguably one of the main features of the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). It functions with the help of the phone’s front camera and the face identification software. You simply unlock the button on the screen and then line up your face so that its fits into the outline and the phone will then unlock. There is also the option of using this method with other features such as a PIN number or a code that would provide that extra amount of security. Although this is a great feature on the ICS, simple security issues crop up. Suppose you decide to grow a beard or your hair or change your hairstyle, then it could have problems recognizing your face. Although, they claim that such a problem would not arise as the ICS can store multiple pictures of the users face. You can also include a friend to the visually verified user names so that you can seek their help in unlocking the phone. You can also do away with the face unlock function in the ICS, if you want to. Of course, this may make your phone a bit less secure but it would give you instant access at any point in time. All you got to do is to go to the security section and tap “none” after selecting screen lock. You can then turn on the phone by instantly pressing the power button. Whatever said, it is advised that you use a complex lengthy password as a form of security so that your data is safe.

Wait for a few more years and I am sure that Google will come up with a DNA linked OS and then you can be sure that no one will get into your system. Until then, it’s safer to go for the password.

Author Author Bio: Jena Branch of Buycox.com, a site that offers savings and current information on cox cable packages.