I know quite a number of you have already migrated to fingerprint unlocking of smartphones after every other Android OEMs now has a fingerprint scanner.
But pattern unlock is probably the most popular way of securing your phone. Research has it that it’s not the best, and humans have this tendency of being able to redo your pattern after seeing it once from a close distance.
This is made easier when your pattern unlock also has visible trails when inputting pattern.
A joint study published by researchers at the US Naval Academy and the University of Maryland Baltimore County offers further proof that using a unlock pattern is an incredibly dumb way to secure a mobile device.
The reason is fairly obvious; human brains are specifically wired to recognize and recall patterns. In fact, our proclivity for patterns is one of the neat things that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. It is inherent to our unique intelligence. Accordingly, a secret passphrase should not be something a stranger on a train can memorize after seeing you input it once from six seats away.
According to study, 1,173 subjects took part in the tests. Each was exposed to controlled videos depicting people unlocking their phones from a variety of angles. They were then asked to try and guess PINs and unlock patterns. After two viewings, around 80 percent of the subjects could reproduce the pattern; 64 percent could do it after one viewing. Even after watching someone enter a six-digit PIN twice, only 27 percent of the subjects could reproduce it correctly.