Mobile device security is an important thing to consider, perhaps now more than ever, and it’s because mobile device security is so important these days that more and more companies are coming up with ways to help their consumers stay as secure as they possibly can. While companies like Google have been applying two-factor authentication for users with Google accounts for a while now, hardware companies like LG and other top-name brands have been implementing what is currently the latest security measure to be used on a fairly wide scale. Fingerprint sensors. Phone’s like LG’s V10 have a fingerprint sensor embedded, allowing users add their fingerprints as a method of unlocking the device as well as making mobile payments.
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While this could be a little more secure than a password or PIN, especially if you’re particularly bad at formulating secure passwords or PIN codes, fingerprint sensors themselves are not exempt from attacks or flaws. As demonstrated by one consumer on YouTube, it’s apparently possible to bypass the fingerprint sensor on the LG V10 which could result in unauthorized users having the ability to add in their own fingerprints to your device, you potentially being none the wiser. Having said that, there are a few key factors that have to be in place before this is possible, namely that any unauthorized users would need access to your device in the first place as the process would need to happen on the smartphone.
YouTube user “Matt OnYourScreen” goes through the steps of how one could bypass the fingerprint sensor on the LG V10 so users can take the necessary steps to protect themselves from this possibly happening to them with their own devices. The requirement for this is that users need to have Nova Launcher installed on their device, so if you use another launcher or have stuck with LG’s stock launcher, then you shouldn’t have to worry, but it never hurts to be well versed on how something like this is possible so you can still be better prepared. For this to work, a user would need to add the Nova Launcher “Activities” widget to the homescreen, tap on it, and scroll to find the com.lg.fingerprintsettings. When this is tapped, a dropdown of options appears with the first option being “add a fingerprint.” If this is tapped, it adds a shortcut to the add a fingerprint activity on the homescreen, and opening this activity by way of this method allows anyone to add a fingerprint into the device without the requirement of a PIN code. While this is a bit alarming, an easy workaround is not installing Nova Launcher. If you happen to use Nova Launcher and want to keep it, the other way to prevent this bypass is to add four fingerprints into the LG V10 as four is the maximum allowed number on the device, thus stopping anyone from being able to add in their own even through the method explained above.