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December 1, 2017

Biometric Verification is Slowly Replacing Your Passwords and You Probably Haven't Noticed

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Published: 1 December 2017 

“Your password is too short.”

“Your password must contain at least one upper case and one lower case letter.”

“Your password must contain a special character: !,.().”

Sound familiar? Passwords are required to be more complicated, so they are harder to decipher in encryption and protect against hackers and identity thieves. However, since you shouldn’t have the same password for everything, these complicated passwords add up and become hard to remember. An easier way is finally becoming more available, and you probably haven’t even noticed!


What is biometric verification?

Biometric verification is the means of identifying a person by their unique biological details. Fingerprinting is the oldest form of biometric verification as it has been used for years, with proof of it being used in ancient China in clay. Today, most biometric verification is done digitally. A digital scan is taken and is compared with files in a secure database. Biometrics are nearly impossible to replicate as they are entirely unique.

What types of biometric verification are there on the market?

There are many types of biometric verification available. It includes fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, hand geometry, earlobe geometry, DNA, voice waves and even signatures. For digital access verification, it is often just fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, facial recognition and voice recognition used. Retina and iris scans are some of the safest ways of biometric verification as there is no known way they can be replicated.

Many new smartphones are already using biometric verification in order to unlock it for use. They have fingerprint scanners and voice-enabled unlocking. Samsung has started to roll out iris recognition, and Apple even introduced facial recognition for their latest iPhones. Banks are also using biometric verification to ensure they are talking to the right person with voice recognition. Some hospitals are even using unique ways of identifying patients with biometrics including mapping out the unique vein patterns in their hands. Biometric verification has really been all over without many of us noticing!


What are the risks to users who use biometrics?

Biometric verification definitely reduces the threat of hacking significantly, but it is not fool-proof and is still vulnerable. Facial recognition devices have been known to fall for photographs instead of the actual person. Fingerprints have been collected on play-doh and used to unlock iPhones.

It seems while every effort is made to protect data, hackers are finding ways around it. Although biometric verification is the toughest to crack, researchers are still continuously looking for ways to stay ahead of threats. An example of this includes fingerprint scanners that can now detect a pulse.


What are the benefits that come with biometrics?

As previously mentioned, biometric verification is entirely unique to the person and offers the safest option from hackers. Some methods are nearly impossible to forge, and while others may have their more vulnerable spots, a great deal of effort needs to go into replicating.

Of course, people love using biometric verification because it means fewer passwords to have to remember! No more worrying about which password you have used for various logins. No more frustrations about being locked out because you’ve already tried three different variations of your passwords and had to opt for a password reset, where you’d have to create a whole new password because you already used the ones you usually use!

Are you concerned about keeping your information safe? Want more information on implementing biometrics? You can talk to one of our experts at Matter Solutions for some guidance on where to begin.

Ben Maden

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