Pin, Password, Fingerprint, Face ID or Iris Scanning, which one is better?

Pin, Password, Fingerprint, Face ID or Iris Scanning, which one is better?

With the continuation of the security improvement on devices, hackers also find methods and ways to hack those security methods. Up until now the most common methods that users can use on their phone are pin, password, fingerprint, face ID, and iris scanning. The question is which one is better, which one you have to use. Well, apparently each one of these security methods has its own flaws and advantages. I’m not a security expert thus I have written this article based on research and pointed out their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, you can decide which one to use.

Pin, Password, Fingerprint, Face ID, or Iris Scanning, which one is better?

As you know, there are many ways to authenticate and log in to mobile phones. The purpose of user authentication is to prevent various people from accessing the phone’s resources and information. Here are some ways in which fingerprint authentication, face recognition, password, or PIN can be used for mobile phones.

1. Pin

A PIN is the most common security option on most devices, combining numeric characters and often four to six digits long, depending on the phone’s operating system. Many users prefer a PIN password because it is short and can be entered quickly using the keyboard.

Perhaps a major drawback to using PINs is that these codes are very simple and easy to remember. This is why most people use PIN codes. Security research on Pins shows that most users choose pins that represent a date, student ID, phone number, national code, or duplicate digits that are not difficult to guess.

Advantages of using pins:

  1. Short and easy authentication
  2. Better user experience

Disadvantages of using pins:

  1. Requires users to memorize numbers.
  2. If you forget the PIN, it may be difficult to retrieve it.
  3. Often predictable.

2. Password

Password-based authentication is another common option for unlocking the device. The password is longer than the PIN and can contain letters, numbers, and symbols. But like pins, people often create a guessable password, which is mostly related to personal information. In addition, 61% of users use the same password on multiple websites, so a single duplicate password can hack multiple accounts.

While many people think that passwords are more secure than PINs, this is not the case. The difficulty of entering long strings of numeric and alphabetic characters through a small keyboard can lead users to simplify passwords. This makes their accounts vulnerable to keylogger attacks, dictionary attacks, brute force attacks, and more.

Advantages of using passwords:

  1. Safer than pins
  2. Improved user experience

Disadvantages of using passwords:

  1. Guessable
  2. Unlock for longer
  3. Password recovery can also be difficult to recover

3. Fingerprint

Fingerprint recognition is a secure authentication method that provides quick access to the device. This sensor keeps special features of your fingerprint in your memory, such as bumps and lines. The performance of the sensor depends on the quality and its location on the phone. The quality also depends on the speed and accuracy with which the sensor reads your finger.

In terms of security, the fingerprint sensor is superior to PIN and password-based authentication methods. Hacking a fingerprint scanner is not easy, and recent advances in scanning technology have improved its security.

But this technology is not yet complete and may be somewhat flawed. The higher the margin, the easier it is to fool the system. Hackers have created several ways to bypass fingerprint security, including fake or leftover fingerprints that users leave on the scanner or otherwise. A few years ago, a hacker managed to forge his fingerprint using a photo of a German minister’s hands.

Another drawback of this authentication method is the problem of malfunction. Scratches, dirt marks, sometimes finger wetting, and heat marks on the screen can cause sensor problems and ultimately errors in detection.

Advantages of using a fingerprint sensor:

  • Quick and easy authentication method
  • Safer than PIN and password

Disadvantages of using a fingerprint sensor:

  • The fingerprint can be repeated.
  • The fingerprint sensor may be damaged.
  • Detection problems compared to PIN and password-based authentication.

4. Face Recognition

Face recognition was released in Android version 4.0, which used the front camera of the phone to take a photo of you and it was used as a base to unlock the phone.

Apple devices use a similar authentication feature called Face ID, though the technology behind it works a little differently. Face ID works with 3D scanning of your face and makes the device more secure. One of the main problems with face recognition is that different lighting conditions and facial changes, such as aging, can affect the readability of the scanner.

Advantages of face recognition:

  • Quickly unlock device
  • No need to memorize codes and passwords.

Disadvantages of using face recognition:

  • Light effects and facial changes can cause damage.
  • Camera angle and distance from the camera can affect readability.
  • Face recognition sensors can be fooled by using photos or sometimes family similarities.

5. Iris Scanning

When using iris detection, the sensor scans the unique features of the eyes and encrypts them for search and matching. This type is different from retina scanning because it only scans the surface of the eye. Iris detection is performed using a specialized camera that uses infrared light to measure the unique features of the iris that are invisible to the human eye.

Iris detection does not require physical contact with the sensor, which makes penetration more difficult than other biometric methods. Because it uses infrared light, the scanners can work in any lighting situation. In addition, the iris does not change with age, so its error rate is lower compared to face recognition.

Advantages of iris detection method:

  • Safer than other authentication methods
  • The error rate is the lowest.
  • The iris scanner can work in any environment.

Disadvantages of using the iris detection method:

  • Iris scanners are more expensive than other biometric devices.
  • Distance from the scanner can affect readability.
  • Scanning the eye in a particular situation can cause problems.


Thanks to the thieves and hackers smartphone companies have created many security methods that you can use on your phone and other devices. Now each one has its own advantages and flaws, but even creating a pin password saves stolen phones’ data from common thieves who are not hackers. Biometric security such as fingerprint, facial recognition, and iris detection is the other level of password protection that companies with their phones offer these days. Based on the description of each security method you can decide which one is better for you, however, if you ask me I prefer iris scanning over other security methods.

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