April 22, 2024

It’s hard to believe that it’s been six years since facial recognition technology was available on smartphones. No code required. All you have to do is simply look at the camera and your phone will unlock. The ultimate in 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 think.In fact, a recent test conducted by a nonprofit consumer organization which? Many major brands of smartphones, including Samsung, Nokia, and Motorola, have been found to have flaws that criminals can use to unlock your 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 likely to be unlocked by low-res photos?

british group says which It said it tested the quality of facial recognition on 48 different phones and found that 19 of them failed. Some of the brands included in these tests include Samsung, Motorola, Oppo, Nokia, Xiaomi and Vivo phones.

Below is a list of the 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
  • Opel A57
  • OPPO A57s
  • Samsung Galaxy A23 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy M53 5G
  • Vivo Y76 5G
  • Xiaomi POCO M5
  • Xiaomi POCO M5s
  • Mi X5 Pro
  • Mi 12T
  • Mi 12T Pro
  • Mi 12 Youth Edition
  • Mi 13

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The Samsung Galaxy A23 is one of many phones that failed the UK organization Which’s camera test. (

Image credit: Samsung

In testing, the team was which Use the phone owner’s photo to see if they can unlock the phone without using the owner’s real face. Shockingly, some of the photos are even low-res 2D photos, but they still unlock the mods listed above.This is very different from Apple phones, which are which? Because Apple’s Face ID uses a combination of infrared sensors and machine learning algorithms to create a depth map of the user’s face.

MORE: How to unlock your phone with facial recognition, even if you’re wearing glasses

What does this mean for these phone models?

Unfortunately, there are currently no meaningful laws requiring phone manufacturers to implement stricter biometric security measures for their devices. However, some apps, such as banking apps, can impose additional requirements for verifying a person’s identity so that it doesn’t rely solely on using facial recognition.


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Photo of a woman holding up her phone.

A low-resolution photo can be used to open a smartphone lock screen. (

returnwhich Indicates that these phones will belong to the Class 1 biometric group. This means that some manufacturers, such as Android, will not allow third-party apps to log in or confirm important actions with such phones. While their lack of vital facial recognition technology is a bit concerning, there are still certain protections in place.

MORE: How to stop Google from using you for facial recognition in creepy ways

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

Choose a Safe Alternative

If you own any of the models above, it’s a good idea to turn off facial recognition technology. If your phone has a fingerprint sensor, you’re better off with a secure password, PIN, or even a fingerprint sensor. While facial recognition is often recommended, these other alternatives are better suited for these models.

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Man staring at his phone.

If someone owns a phone from Which’s list, facial recognition should be turned off. (

Be careful with app permissions

Review the permissions requested by apps on your phone. Limit the permissions granted to apps to ensure they only have access to necessary functionality and data. For example, be cautious about granting camera access to apps unless necessary.

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)

Enable 2FA whenever possible, especially for important accounts like email, banking, or social media. Two-factor authentication requires an extra step of verification, usually through a unique code sent to your phone to add an extra layer of security.

Check 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 may compromise your privacy or security.

Use strong and unique passwords

Make sure you have a strong and unique password for your account. Avoid using easy-to-guess or common passwords. Consider using a password manager to securely store and generate strong passwords for you. It will help you create unique and hard-to-crack passwords that hackers will never guess. Second, it also keeps track of all your passwords in one place and fills them in for you when you log into your 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 qualities should I look for in a password manager?

Here are some of my top tips when it comes to choosing the best password manager for you.

  • deploy safe
  • work seamlessly on all your devices
  • create unique complex password every account is different
  • autofill Login and password fields for apps and websites you revisit
  • there is one browser extension Automatically insert passwords for you for all browsers you use
  • allow one failsafe In case the master password is lost or forgotten
  • Check that your existing password is secure and remind you if ever compromised
  • use two-factor authentication Safety

Check out my best expert-reviewed password managers for 2023 by going to

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Kurt’s Essentials

It’s great when facial recognition technology works 100%.However, some models of phones, including those from Samsung, Motorola, Oppo, Nokia, Xiaomi, and Vivo, were found to be less secure in recent tests by a consumer nonprofit which. The group found that some smartphones could be unlocked using a low-resolution photo of the owner. These disturbing findings highlight the need for stricter biometric security measures, however, in the meantime, if you own one of these phones, I recommend disabling facial recognition and opting for a more secure alternative like a passcode or Fingerprint sensor.

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