The proliferation of Touch ID and Face ID technology on iPhone (and similar tech on Android devices) has opened up an entire world of biometric apps designed specifically to increase your mobile security.
But there are also a slew of apps not centered specifically on security that are using the technology in quieter ways, seamlessly integrating the increased security potential into their otherwise unrelated offerings. Many of these apps may already be in your regular rotation.
Pay-to-payment applications have in particular seized upon the security opportunities Face and Touch ID provide. Square Cash has integrated the technology into the application to help protect unauthorized transfers of funds. With the application, you can use Touch ID or Face ID in the process of authorizing a financial transaction, requiring an appropriate finger or facial match before any money is moved.
This is especially key with apps of this variety, as without this added layer of protection, someone who gains unauthorized access to your mobile device could alter your financial security with a quick touch of a button.
In the same category is Venmo, which has incorporated biometric security options to limit access to the app itself. To use this feature, all you need to do is enable the Touch ID and Pin Settings. Before you begin, make sure Touch ID is generally enabled on your mobile device. Then you can turn it on specifically for Venmo.
For iPhone users, open the Venmo app and click the three-line icon in the top left corner. Then head to Settings. Scroll down to the Security section where you’ll see a line titled Touch ID & Pin. Toggle this setting to On. You’ll be prompted to enter a four-letter passcode (the aforementioned PIN) and then confirm it. Once confirmed, the toggle button should be green, indicating the new security layer has been added.
When you next go to open the Venmo app, you’ll be prompted to use your fingerprint before you can get in.
[Check out our guide to facial recognition security apps on iPhone.]
PayPal also uses Touch ID as a way to limit initial access to the account, and who can authorize monetary transactions from your connected financial information. To use the security precaution, open the app, click the gear icon, and head to Login and Security. You’ll see the option to toggle on Touch ID. Once you do so, you’ll be prompted to confirm your fingerprint. The setting is then enabled.
The next time you want to open the app, you’ll be asked to enter your fingerprint before gaining access.
Financial information isn’t the only thing you may want to keep private. Sometimes, it’s information itself. Apple’s Notes app — which you may use to jot down a grocery list, a prized creative idea, or your most private thoughts — has biometric options that allow your to keep your notes under lock and key.
These are attached to the application’s Note Locking feature. To create a locked note, open your Notes app and create a note. Then, tap the square with a protruding arrow icon in the top right corner. You’ll see the option Lock note. Tap the icon. You’ll then have the opportunity enter a passcode you can use to unlock the note. Once you’ve done so, you can return to the note and officially hit Lock.
When you next want to gain access to the note, you’ll be prompted to use Touch ID (if you have the iPhone X, Face ID is also available) to unlock the note. Or, you can enter the aforementioned code.
Dropbox has revolutionized file-sharing — but it has also potentially increased the amount of sensitive files accessible through a mobile device should it fall into the wrong hands. The app has, however, utilized Touch ID to increase security potential.
To enable the feature on iPhone, open the Dropbox app and then click the Account button in the lower left hand corner. From that page, click the cog button in the top right. Go to the Passcode Lock section and and click Turn passcode on. You’ll be prompted to enter a four-digit passcode. Once that is turned on, you’ll see a Touch ID option below. Toggle it to on.
Then next time you open the app, you’ll be asked to use your Touch ID to gain entrance.
The Amazon app incorporates biometric security features as an option for users who’d prefer not to re-type their password every time the app needs identity confirmation.
To enable this feature from an iPhone, head to your general phone settings and scroll to your app list. Open Amazon. At the bottom, you’ll see a section called “Sign in” and an option to Toggle on Biometric authentication. Once enabled, the toggle will turn green.