Android Security: Number Track Lock

Smartphones, especially Android devices, have drastically grown in popularity throughout the last decade or so. It seems like everyone has one these days, using them to browse the web, take pictures, write notes, send messages, and much more, all from the palm of our hands. The problem with having such powerful handheld devices, though, is that they are prone to easy theft or being tampered with if left unattended. With the amount of information we access and store on them, it is critical that they remain secure.

While many phones have lock screens that require a pin number or certain swipe pattern in order to unlock, many people choose to disable it for ease of access. Needless to say, this is a bad idea. Even if these measures are enabled, it is still easy to look over a victim’s shoulder while they are unlocking their phone to quickly deduce the pattern they’re entering, or if the attacker cannot see the phone, oil from the user’s fingers can reveal where they’ve made contact with the screen. While sometimes deterring casual snoops, these locking methods aren’t very effective against better prepared attackers.

This is where apps such as Number Track Lock come in. Number Track Lock uses a standard numbered keypad and pin swipe system, but randomizes the position of the numbers each time the unlock screen is accessed. By doing this, it makes shoulder surfing attacks harder and prevents attackers from using fingerprints to deduce passcodes. This is no end-all security app, but it does allow users to take an easy, yet effective, first step in securing their Android devices.

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4 thoughts on “Android Security: Number Track Lock

  1. I’d never heard of the number tracing method being randomized like this! It’s really a great idea though!

  2. I’ve always wondered why this doesn’t come standard with every smartphone. It would take slightly longer to unlock your phone, but the added security is well worth it.
    Heck, you could even make the phone require you to change the PIN/swipe pattern every 90 days or something.

  3. This is quite a good idea in terms of security. Another option to help prevent the casual attacker would be to enable the option to not draw the path as you enter it. Instead of leaving that noticeable green path for others to see over your shoulder, they may only see a fast moving finger than an unlocked phone.

  4. I myself don’t personally own an android based phone myself, however I find this type of security feature fascinating and i wish they had it on the iphone. It gives a different option to the user other than the same old entering of a pin. However the green trail would definitely need to be disabled to better protect from people seeing the path that you draw to unlock your phone. Other than that though I feel this is a much more complex bit of security that should be on any phone.

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