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The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 follows on from the S8 model in having enhanced security built in with facial recognition software. This allows your face to unlock your phone rather than a PIN code or thumb print, and is widely expected to be the future of security for devices.
Both phones have three-part unlocking security in place: an iris scanner, facial recognition software and finger print scanning, alongside a ‘Secure Folder’ for private material.
An iris scanner scans and maps out the unique patterns across your irises. These patterns are different for every person and almost impossible to replicate. Coloured contact lenses just won’t cut it! This means that relying on iris pattern scanning makes for one of the most secure measures possible, as only the user should be able to gain access. With both the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the S8, you hold up your phone’s front-facing camera and align your eyes with twin circles on the screen. The camera software then focuses in on these and scans across them to identify the eye patterns present.
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Facial recognition works in a similar way, but with slightly less detailed focus. Holding up the phone as though to take a selfie, the specialist software maps the face for elements that can’t be easily changed – such as jawline, nose and eye spacing. The user should ensure hair is out of their face and any glasses are removed, so that the software can map it as quickly as possible. If the face shape matches, the phone will unlock. However, this method of security has proved quite controversial as there is evidence online of it being fooled by selfies of the original user.
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Finger print scanning is more common, and has been found on several smartphones previously. On the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, however, the finger naturally moves onto the fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone and unlocks it in one move without having to wake the phone first.
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All of these three options rely on the phone having a stock file for the user, to compare against when scanning. This original file can be added to the device during its initial set-up.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 includes an additional level of security for files which need extra privacy. A ‘Secure Folder’ is available within the phone and is protected by the Samsung Knox system, allowing it to be only visible to the original user of the phone during usage. Samsung Knox has been approved for use by 29 governments worldwide, with chip-levels security working through layers of both software and hardware. The newest version, Knox 2.8, is built into the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 as standard and is the most comprehensive encryption security system of its type yet.