With most confidential information transferred online these days, it has become crucial to keep data and devices secure. Although several methods are present today, which can help to protect both data and electronic devices, selecting the ideal user-authentication method among them, is the real question. Read on to find out which approach can duly guarantee you optimum security of your device and your data.
Method #1 – Password
One of the most commonly used methods for data protection is the Password. A passcode-based authentication seems similar to the PIN method. passwords are usually longer, preferably more than eight characters, and may often include a multitude of symbols and numbers to make the security code stronger. It is a common misconception that passcodes are generally considered safer than a PIN. However, they are not. There are several reasons to elucidate this. Firstly, people customarily create generic passcodes, which may be easy for them to remember. After all, nobody wants to have a password that is difficult to memorize.
Such generic passwords are often made up of common public info or dictionary words, which can lead to unsolicited access. Similarly, there is the threat to keylogger occurrences or physical outbreaks that should be counted as well. Unfortunately, nine times out of ten, such passwords are easy targets and can easily be guessed. Not to forget, as it has routinely been observed by digital security specialists, that people use one password or a maximum of two for their various social media accounts.
This online practice can often compromise their digital security and make them vulnerable. Passwords can also be compromised if there is an unexpected outage in the area. Because this means that users have to enter their security key when the service is unstable. Although top ISPs such as Wave Internet always inform their customers if any such service activity is about to take place, it’s always better to avoid inputting passwords when the internet is glitchy at worse or sluggish in general.
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Pros of Using Passwords
Definitely a safer option than a PIN, one that ensures better user security in the digital realm.
Cons of Using Passwords
Can easily be guessed, which leads to a slower and harder recovery process.
Method #2 – PIN
The personal identification number, commonly known as PIN consists of specific digits that are often utilized in countless electronic transactions, mostly financial ones. The PIN is required when a person has to complete a financial transaction, either via their credit card or via debit card. In comparison to the password, a PIN usually consists of numerical characters, usually up to six characters, although, the requirement is usually of about four characters. Since it is not as lengthy as the password and is easy to memorize, it is usually preferred by users.
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On the other hand, users often use their birth date or some significant date for their PIN code, which may be easy to remember but may also put them to risk. In that case, one should always create a PIN code, that’s not made of student IDs, special dates, or phone numbers and should be a collection of numbers put together in such a manner that it’s difficult to make a guess. What makes PIN codes a far more feasible option than a password is that they can be recovered quite easily.
Pros of Using PIN
A short yet simple method that can easily be recovered.
Cons of Using PIN
Made of only numeric characters, which makes it difficult to remember.
Method #3 – Facial Recognition/Face Scan
Another method to secure your data online is via facial recognition or the face scan method, in which a user uses his face to unlock their online accounts. Several Apple devices hold this feature, named as Face ID on Apple. The user simply has to scan their face via the camera on their iPhone. Apple is so confident about this feature that it has claimed it to be one of the safest methods to protect user identity and confidential data. Whereas, the face scan is available on Android 4.0 OS or better known as Android Ice Cream Sandwich Version as well. For a user to use the face scan to encrypt data on their smartphone, all they have to do is follow the steps for incorporating facial recognition via their front camera for locking and unlocking their device.
One major drawback with the face scan method is that facial features are prone to changes and may alter with age. Hence, that can deeply affect the camera’s readability factor. What’s more, are the lighting conditions in which the facial recognition took place. If the user doesn’t match the light features of the original one, they may not be able to unlock their device, even with legitimate means. On the other hand, crooks and thieves can hack and steal a system, even by using photos for face scans as the sensors can be fooled.
Pros of Using Facial Recognition/Face Scan
Doesn’t require any passwords or numeric codes, so relatively easier to unlock.
Cons of Using Facial Recognition/Face Scan
The camera/face scanner can be fooled if basic features such as facial features, distance, or light don’t match.
Method #4 – Fingerprint Recognition/Fingerprint Scan
Fingerprint recognition is another method for securing a device that is similar to a face scan. However, in this case, the user has to use his fingerprint to perform a scan. All devices today come with a built-in sensor that can immediately set a fingerprint scan for the user. The best part is that when it comes to security, a fingerprint scan is a much better option than a PIN or a password. Since scanning tech has massively improved over the past few years. However, room for error is still present.
On the downside, thieves and crooks have developed innumerable ways to get past the fingerprint scan. But there are not the only issues that plague this certain authentication method. Regular marks, dirt, scratches, change in fingerprint, and many others may cause recognition problems. The worst part is once your fingerprint scan is compromised; it cannot be reverted and changed, unlike PINs or passwords.
Pros of Using Fingerprint Recognition/Fingerprint Scan
Safer and far more convenient than other authentication methods such as passwords or PINs.
Cons of Using Fingerprint Recognition/Fingerprint Scan
Fingerprint(s) can be distorted or replicated.
So there you have some methods for securing your device and important data. You can choose one of them or incorporate them all and upgrade your digital security from present and future cyber risks and threats.
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