Research finds Android lock patterns are easy to predict
Android has a locking system that features 'nodes' which are a set of dots that can be connected in a pattern to form a passcode. According to recent research, this locking method is very easy to predict, as the majority of users taking advantage of the system have strikingly similar lock patterns. There are almost 400,000 possible combinations, but a huge number passcodes used are nearly identical.
Martie Løge of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology studied these passcode patterns found that of the ones studied, 44% of them began in the upper left corner of the screen, and 77% began in one of the four corners. The research also concluded that passcodes are generally very simple, such as a swipe from left to right or top to bottom. To add strength, the research suggests that users should make sure they use many different nodes and change directions often.
The easy locks of the Android node system give protection akin to passwords like 'password' and '12345' which everyone should avoid. As many smartphones are beginning to take advantage of fingerprint scanning to unlock devices, this may become less of an issue. For now, however, users should ensure their passcodes are complex or switch to the more traditional number system.