As you probably noticed, Apple’s recent release of the iPhone 5s has met with mixed reviews, and even some debate. Whatever your opinion of the device, there is one new feature on it that is unquestionably controversial: the fingerprint scanner.

That’s right: once the fantasy of 1950′s sci-fi, fingerprint readers have arrived in the mainstream. Instead of entering a tedious passcode, users can now access the contents of their smartphones with a simple touch of a thumb. A fun and futuristic sales tactic, to be sure. But what are the real implications of this innovation?

Some people are going so far as to hail this as the end of conventional passwords altogether. But while certainly convenient, fingerprint readers bring many of their own risks to the table. For one thing, your fingerprint never changes. Once hacked, the user is irreversibly compromised. And hacking a fingerprint is not as hard as it sounds. If you think about it, it’s something you leave everywhere: tables, railings, your car….oh yeah, and all over your phone itself. And, once read, the fingerprint’s “image” is stored in the phone for future recognition as none other than encrypted text. Remind us how this is different than a regular password?

So, while we may continue to see this technology cropping up as an attempted solution to the common password, it is nowhere close to replacing them altogether. For the time being, we’re all going to have to rely on strong passwords, heavy encryption, and two-factor authentication. And for that, Keeper’s got you covered. Keep on Keeping!

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