Although the fingerprint scanner in your iPhone seems like a pretty safe way to keep your most private info secure, it’s also surprisingly easy to fool.
During last weeks Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Business Insider took part in an experiment with sensor company Vkansee to see whether a Play-Doh fingerprint could unlock an iPhone.
After resting a finger on a dental mound for five minutes, and then applying play-doh to the mound – the fingerprint was revealed and was then placed onto a scanner and put to the test.
It unlocked the phone.
In an era where your phone can store everything from bank details to sentimental photographs, this is a pretty scary realisation. However, past experiments have also proved the same.
German hacker, Jan Krissler, who also goes by the alter ego Starbug, demonstrated at Chaos Computer Club in 2013 that your iPhone can be hacked by nothing more than a photo of your thumb.
The Huffington Post reported that a commercially available software known as VeriFinger could be used to perform such a task.
Experts argue that to keep your iPhone as safe as possible all you have to do is make your security as layered as possible. One way of doing is is to use 2-step verification which means you have to enter both a password and a token.
The token is supplied to your iPhone over SMS or through an app like Google Authenticator, Authy or 1Password.
Having a token means that even if someone can get past your password but doesn’t have your current token — which constantly change — they still can’t get in.
However 2-step verification is not available on all devices.
Alternatively you should aim for the most complex password possible, preferably over 6 characters, while also making sure to remove cookies from visited sites.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.