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Hackers now getting your fingerprints

Hackers now getting your fingerprints
photo courtesy of shutterstock

So you have a fancy new iPhone 6 or 5s. It comes with a cool fingerprint scanner to unlock your phone. It's faster than a passcode, but is it more secure? After all, instead of guessing or hacking your four digit passcode, a cybercriminal instead has to somehow duplicate your fingerprint, right?

That may be true, but it's a lot less difficult than you might imagine. On top of that, it's not like you can change your fingerprints like you could a password once it's stolen. I wrote about a hacker who proved he could bypass Apple TouchID using nothing but a regular photograph taken candidly of someone's thumb. I know, this sounds like crazy stuff that only happens in a spy movie.

Take a moment and watch this CBS News video. It discusses the vulnerabilities of fingerprints, or so-called "biometric identification."

More and more cybersecurity experts agree that biometric scanners - whether they're on your phone, your laptop, your home security system or other security gadgets - are more useful as a second security measure. That means you would use a fingerprint scan in addition to a secure password.

Even though passwords have proven vulnerabilities, there are ways to make them much, much more secure. There are several common mistakes that most people make when picking passwords. Find out what they are and how to avoid them.

On top of that, you might want to try a password manager. These can create and remember highly complex and unique passwords so you don't have to. Try this one for free on your smartphone or tablet.

If you're still having trouble coming up with tough passwords, I've found a cool, free download to generate great passwords from your desktop computer. Click here to get it.

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