Suleiman posted an update 1 week, 4 days ago
Why Pattern Locks Are Not Secure On Android And The Best Alternatives
Still using pattern lock for your
Android phone? Here is why pattern lock is not secure and how you can protect you by using an alternative locking method.
Smartphones have become a
device where you keep a lot of
personal data. You may have
information such as your credit
card numbers, address or scanned
personal documents. Because you have such sensitive data, you add a
security method to prevent others
from accessing it.
A popular security method around
40% of Android users choose is a
pattern lock. A pattern lock may
sound more appealing because it’s easier to enter. Also, no one can
see you tap on particular letters and
But, are pattern locks
really that secure?
The Risks of Pattern Locks
According to new security research
from Lancaster University,
Northwest University in China, and
the University of Bath, 95% of Android patterns can easily be
guessed in 5 attempts or less.
study discovered that hackers could easily guess your pattern lock by
filming you as you enter your
The hacker can easily be up to two
and a half meters away and only
use their smartphone’s camera to
record you entering your pattern
lock. If they were to use a digital
SLR camera, they could even be as
nine meters away regardless of the
size of the phone’s display.
Once they have the video footage,
they use a computer vision
algorithm to process your finger
movements. Within seconds, the
algorithm will then give the hacker
some possible pattern lock combinations to try out.
There is also no need to record
your phone’s display since the
algorithm can give possible
combination by only focusing on
your finger movements.
Is it safer to use a more complex pattern?
No, since the more
complex they are, the easier they
are to guess. This is true because
they help the algorithm narrow
down the possible combinations.
Dr. Zhheng Wang, principle
investigator and co-author of the
paper said that people have a
tendency to use more intricate
patterns when trying to protect
important financial information.
If you don’t want to change your
pattern lock method to a password
or pin, try using a shorter one since
they are not as easy to crack. The
researchers also advise that users
cover the display while entering their pattern lock, just like when
you enter your pin at the ATM.
Keeping your smartphone’s display
clean is also a good idea because
someone can guess your pattern
by the smudges on the phone
Pattern Lock Alternatives
If you’re ready to leave your
pattern lock behind, a pin, face
recognition access or a fingerprint
(if available) are also great options.
Traditional passwords are also a
great option but the longer they
are, the better. Adding some
special characters to your password
will secure your information even
When creating your password,
never use personal and obvious
information. For example, never
use your kids or spouse’s birthday
or your wedding anniversary.
Locking your Android device with a
pattern lock is definitely more convenient, but it’s not the safest method to choose from. Passwords
do take longer to enter but will do a
better job of keeping your data
What security method do you
use? Drop a comment and let us