4 Next-Level Smartphone Security Features of 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

     Failing to update your smartphone with the latest operating system or security fix could allow hackers to more easily gain complete control of it — without you even noticing. According to NBC News, Broadpwn, a vulnerability in a Wi-Fi chipset that affects millions of Android and iOS devices, is the latest worm that can even use an infected smartphone as an access point to attack other devices in the area.

     But while this Wi-Fi vulnerability can spread quickly and take over your smartphone within mere minutes, it's also preventable with a simple patch. That should be a wake-up call for some Americans who don't update their devices, intentionally or otherwise. According to Consumer Reports, only 36 percent of smartphone owners use a four-digit screen lock of any kind, and just 31 percent routinely back up their data, including photos and contacts.

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4 Next-Level Smartphone Security Features of 2017

     Looking for ways to better safeguard your investment? Here are four next-level smartphone features you'll want to consider to protect your device — and your sanity.

1. Face Scanning Recognition

     Fingerprint scanners may have once been all the rage in smartphone security, but biometric technology is still advancing. Today, you can skip punching in a code and/or swiping your finger and instead simply look at your smartphone to unlock it. For example, the face-scanning feature inside the LG V30 and LG 6 is designed to unlock these smartphones once it recognizes your face.

2. Call Encryption Protection

     These days, the contents inside most modern Apple devices, including emails, text messages and photos, are encrypted by default with various levels of protection — and Androids are slowly catching up. Of course, it only makes sense actual phone calls eventually receive the same level of protection. But this is no easy feat, especially with the vulnerabilities of virtual and internet-based calls. That's why more companies are developing third-party apps like Telegram to encrypt calls.

     However, the true overarching goal is for developers to create smartphones with full encryption to deter hackers from gaining access to these devices altogether. Although developers are working to encrypt calls, it’s still an emerging technology with many moving parts that must sync in order to create the top-level security that consumers need and desire.

3. Ultrasonic Wave Technology

     Despite advances made in facial recognition, smartphone fingerprint sensors will continue to serve as yet another level of protection for Android and iOS devices. In fact, this technology is only getting better. According to reports, Chinese smartphone carrier Vivo is developing ultrasonic wave technology that aims to improve fingerprint recognition on today's smartphones.

     Consumers can also expect more advanced algorithms to limit spoof threats and safeguard mobile payments. Furthermore, experts say they hope these advancements will make it easier for smartphone owners to use their fingerprint for a variety of security-related purposes — but without compromising their own security.

4. Iris Scanner Detection

     These days, some smartphones can now be unlocked simply by looking at them. Like a fingerprint, each person's iris is unique and can act as a password to safeguard your device. But because fingerprint sensors are still evolving to offer the security consumers need, iris scanners make sense for savvy smartphone users looking to better protect their investment.

     The Samsung Galaxy Note7 and Microsoft Lumia 950 are just two of several smartphones featuring iris scanning capabilities. But how well does this technology work in comparison to a fingerprint sensor? According to Computerworld, smartphones can detect 225 different comparison points unique to each person's iris, compared to just 40 on someone's fingerprint. And, unlike your fingerprint, your iris can't ever get worn, calloused or dirty.

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