Touch ID and Face ID do not make you more secure

Touch ID and Face ID sound great. We like them and we use them. But they are possibilities that offer us convenience, not security possibilities when you use them.

When necessary, you should turn them off temporarily.

This also applies to Android phones with fingerprint sensors, iris scans or other biometric features.

Face ID

With Face ID, just by looking at your phone (and making eye contact) you will unlock it. Someone can pick up your phone from a table and when you look at it, you will unlock it for that person.

It is easier to use your finger or face than your PIN…

The problem is not limited to legal issues from an Authority that wants to unlock your device. It is easy to imagine situations where fingerprinting or unlocking with Face ID can cause problems:

  • A child or partner picks up your phone and gently presses it on your finger while you sleep to unlock it. A child once used this method to Buy $ 250 Pokémon Goods on a Parent Phone
  • Someone picks up your phone and holds it in front of you, you look and unlock it.


Again, even a strong password is not necessarily extremely secure if you use it consistently. A study found that the average American checks their phone 80 times a day. Now, if you unlock your phone several times a day with a PIN, and do it often in public are you sure no one will see you enter your PIN?

Someone who wants your PIN could probably literally stick it on your shoulder to see what you are pressing.

How to protect yourself

You do not have to turn off Touch ID or Face ID completely. They are features of convenience and that's okay. They are useful and we use them.

However, there are ways to temporarily disable Touch ID, Face ID or Android. For example, you may want to temporarily disable Touch ID or Face ID if you do not trust your environment. There are several ways to do this:

  • SOS Emergency Operation (iPhone) : From iPhone 8 onwards, press and hold the side button (also known as the power button) and one of the volume buttons. On iPhone 7 or an earlier version, quickly press the power button five times. The text "SOS Emergency" will be displayed on the screen so that you can make an emergency call if necessary. Touch ID or Face ID will also be temporarily disabled and you will need to re-enter your PIN to unlock your phone.
  • Lock function (Android) : If you are using an Android 9 phone or later, you can enable the "Show Lock Option" setting. This gives you a new "Lock" shortcut that you can access from your phone lock screen. Turn it on and your phone's fingerprint reader, and any Smart Lock features will be turned off until you unlock your phone with your PIN.
  • Turn off your phone: You can also just turn off your phone. To enable it, you will need to provide your PIN or password.

Know the dangers

We believe that you can use Face ID or Touch ID, but you should be aware of the risks. If you are in a situation where Face ID or Touch ID seems a bit risky, it is a good idea to turn off and use a PIN temporarily.

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