Which phones can be fooled and unlocked with low-res photos of you?


It’s hard to believe that it’s been six years since facial recognition technology became available on smartphones. No code typing. All you have to do is look at the camera, and first, your phone is unlocked. Ultimate convenience and ease of use, right?

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However, while facial recognition technology can provide security, not all phone models are as secure as you might be led to believe. In fact, recent tests by the non-profit consumer organization which one Several smartphones from major brands, including Samsung, Nokia, and Motorola, have been found to have a flaw that can be exploited by criminals to unlock the screen and steal your personal information. Here’s what we know and what you can do if you own one of these models.

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Which phones are most prone to being unlocked with low-resolution photos?

The UK group called which says it tested the facial recognition quality of 48 different phones and found that 19 of those devices couldn’t pass. Some of the brands included in those tests were Samsung, Motorola, Oppo, Nokia, Xiaomi and Vivo phones.

Here is a list of 19 models that failed the phone security test:

  • Honor 70
  • Motorola Razr 2022
  • Motorola Moto E13
  • Motorola Moto G13
  • Motorola Moto G23
  • Nokia G60 5G
  • Nokia X30 5G
  • Oppo A57
  • Oppo A57s
  • Samsung Galaxy A23 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy M53 5G
  • Vivo Y76 5G
  • Xiaomi POCO M5
  • Xiaomi POCO M5s
  • Xiaomi X5 Pro
  • Xiaomi 12T
  • Xiaomi 12T Pro
  • Xiaomi 12 Lite
  • Xiaomi 13

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The Samsung Galaxy A23 is one of the many phones that didn’t pass the photo test by a UK group called (CyberGuy.com)

Credit: Samsung

Team A in the test which used photos of phone owners to see if they could unlock the phone without using the owner’s actual face. Surprisingly, some of the photos were even low-resolution 2D photos, yet they could unlock the models listed above. This is in stark contrast to Apple phones, which have passed every test which one Because Apple’s Face ID uses a combination of infrared sensors and machine learning algorithms to map the depth of the user’s face.

More: How to unlock your phone with facial recognition even when you wear your glasses

What does this mean for these phone models?

Unfortunately, there are currently no meaningful laws requiring phone manufacturers to implement strict biometric security for their devices. However, some apps, such as banking apps, may impose their own additional requirements to verify a person’s identity so that it does not rely solely on the use of facial recognition.

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Photo of a woman holding her phone.

Low-resolution photos can be used to unlock the smartphone lock screen. (CyberGuy.com)

Alsowhich Said that these phones will come in class 1 biometric group. This means that some manufacturers, such as Android, for example, will not allow phones in this category to be used by third-party apps to sign in or verify important actions. While their lack of crucial facial recognition technology is a bit of a concern, there are some safeguards in place.

More: How to stop Google from its creepy way of using you for facial recognition

Is there anything else I can do if I use one of these phone models?

Choose a safe option

If you own any of the above phone models, it would be best for you to turn off your facial recognition technology. If your phone has a secure passcode, PIN or even a fingerprint sensor, you’re better off using a secure passcode. While facial recognition is generally recommended, these other options will be of better use for these models.

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Man looking at his phone.

If someone has a phone on the list, the facial recognition feature should be turned off. (CyberGuy.com)

Be careful with app permissions

Review the permissions requested by apps on your phone. Limit the permissions granted to apps to ensure they only access the required features and data. For example, be careful about giving apps access to the camera unless necessary.

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA).

Enable 2FA wherever possible, especially for sensitive accounts like email, banking, or social media. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring an extra verification step, usually via a unique code sent to your phone.

Review your device settings regularly

Take the time to review and adjust your device’s privacy and security settings. This may include disabling unnecessary features or permissions that could potentially compromise your privacy or security.

Use strong and unique passwords

Make sure you have strong and unique passwords for your accounts. Avoid using easily guessable or common passwords. Consider using a password manager to safely store and generate strong passwords for you. It will help you create unique and crack-to-crack passwords that a hacker can never guess. Second, it also keeps track of all your passwords in one place and fills them in for you when you’re logging into an account so you don’t have to remember them yourself. The fewer passwords you remember, the less likely you are to reuse them for your accounts.

What features should I look for in a password manager?

When it comes to choosing the best password manager for you, here are some of my top tips.

  • Deploys safe
  • works smooth across all your devices
  • makes Unique complex password Which are different for each account
  • Populates automatically Login and password fields for apps and sites you visit again
  • is one Browser extension For all the browsers you use to enter the password for you automatically
  • Allows a Fail safe If the primary password is ever lost or forgotten
  • Checks that your current passwords are secure and Alerts you If ever a compromise is made
  • uses Two-factor authentication safety

Check out my best expert-reviewed password managers of 2023 by visiting CyberGuy.com/Passwords

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CyberGuy.com offers an article that reviews the best password managers. (CyberGuy.com)

Kurt’s main measures

Facial recognition technology is great when it works 100% effectively. However, it was found to be less secure in a recent test by the non-profit consumer organization, on some phone models, including Samsung, Motorola, Oppo, Nokia, Xiaomi and Vivo. which The group found that some smartphones could be unlocked with low-resolution photos of the owners. These troubling findings highlight the need for stronger biometric security measures, however, in the meantime, if you own one of these phones, I recommend disabling facial recognition and opting for more secure options like a passcode or fingerprint sensor. I advise you to do it.

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