Online fraud: prevention tips with biometric validation

You've probably met someone who's been a victim of online fraud. This type of scam is becoming more and more common as we use and increase data moviment.

The evolution of technology has brought means to guarantee our protection on the internet, such as:

  • Inclusion of stronger passwords;
  • Authentication in two or more factors;
  • Biometric validation using different types of biometrics.

To counter fraud, we need to understand how it works, to nip it in the bud.

The beginning of online scams

In the mid-1960s, the internet was created with the aim of improving communication between American universities and their researchers.

The Internet is essential nowadays, but initially it was nothing more than a connection between the computers of the universities that allowed the continuous exchange of information between them.

In the early days, computers were large machines that required, in addition to space, purchase, installation and maintenance costs, so few entities owned them.

Because there was knowledge of who owned computers and with what intentions they would be accessing the machines, there was no need for a security protocol.

However, with the rapid rise of technology in the 1980s, there was a drastic reduction in size and cost of these machines, allowing the use of personal computers. Consequently, security started to become a concern.

In response to this demand, several experts in security and technology were brought together to create protocols that would ensure the data protection of internet users. Thanks to these protocols, today's security problems have been minimized massively — but not yet extinct.

As technology evolves, malicious actors have created more sophisticated ways to break into our security, therefore we need constant evolution and revision of security technologies.

Due to the success of this technology, malicious agents are continually trying to create new methods to bypass this layer of protection, but there’s no reason for despair: researchers in the field are always evolving to stay ahead of hackers. 

One of the recent technologies that dominates the area of ​​online security is biometrics.

Learn about biometric validation

According to the Federal Government, biometric validation is the service that performs the biometric verification of an individual. With biometrics, it is possible to identify a person based on their unique and non-transferable physical characteristics.

This service registers the points that distinguish this person from others, such as the distance between the eyes, size of the nose and lips, among several other factors. After this registration, the system is ready to recognize the individual whenever necessary.

In this regard, it is enough to carry out a new biometric capture, which can be done on your own cell phone, with no need to purchase any special tool, and your biometric data in the photo will be compared with the first image taken at the registration, also called onboarding.

If the elements are the same in both pictures, this indicates that there was a biometric match, therefore, your identity has been validated. Otherwise, it indicates that an unauthorized person is trying to access content and the system will immediately block access.

How to protect myself from fraud?

As we now understand better how biometric validation system works, we are ready to learn how to protect ourselves from fraud.

Although it is way harder to hack a system protected by biometrics, because it is not possible to steal or guess a person's access, the same way as with conventional passwords, there are indeed frauds that are able to cross this layer when the biometric system is weak. 

Criminal agents who want to access someone’s data can try to overcome the biometric barrier of outdated systems using photos or even videos of their victims. Luckily, this technique, called facial fraud, is considered a crime and is already known, so there are already widespread ways to protect yourself from it.

Prevention tips:

The first and easiest way to protect yourself is to ensure that the biometric data is captured with high quality, such as:

  • Be in a lighted environment;
  • Use a monochromatic background in your photo;
  • Face the camera directly
  • Don’t cover your face with accessories such as caps and glasses;
  • Don’t make facial expressions such as frowning your forehead or smiling.

Although these strategies will help you to get better results in operations and increase the chance of protecting your data, the best way to ensure your security is to make sure your biometric system is performing liveness tests. 

This test uses cutting-edge algorithms to verify whether a biometric data was captured from  an actual person, or from a photo or video, thus it detects fraudulent actions.

On that wise, it is evident the importance of using secure biometric systems that protect our data with all the necessary layers of protection.

BioPass ID is a tool that allows the creation of desktop or mobile applications with biometric validation, offering all the necessary tools to build those applications in a fast and cheap way, including liveness test, through APIs and SDKs, ensuring security for those who access your system.

Learn about it for free and experience the security that these solutions provide. Get in touch with our experts!

Translation: Thalita Ferreira

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