Hackers are finding new ways to infiltrate personal data through facial-recognition systems. Spoofing face ID doesn’t require sophisticated software, and one of the most common ways of doing so is cutting the eyes out of someone’s photo and using it as a mask.

As facial identification has become the most widely adopted applications of AI, fraudsters are tapping into it to claim unemployment benefits, access digital wallets and to get through high-security entrances at hotels, business centers or hospitals.

These Face ID biometrics are being used to verify our identities in order to gain access to money.

In 26 states including Florida which was first to notice a trend, thousands of try to trick facial IDs in order to claim fraudulent state unemployment benefits.

Here’s what’s hair-raising according to ID.me a leading identity verification firm.

ID.me logged more than 80,000 attempts to for the selfie step in government ID matchups from June 2020 to January 2021.

The way the cyber scammers are doing it is both brazen and shameful. Techniques include wearing special facemask, using deep fakes made by combining a lot of photos of one person into a 3-D image or video, and trying every way to visually for the identity systems even holding up their phones to a camera.

Facial recognition biometric security has long been considered stronger than passwords. Not so fast, these vulnerabilities are suddenly showing that criminal elements are out to impersonate in order to rob us blind.

Here’s what to look out for now.

The most clear danger is access to digital wallets on smartphones, logging into financial accounts and breaking into retirement and unemployment insurance benefits to defraud.

Google, Apple and Facebook are working on ways to strengthen biometrics from these facial recognition failures. In the meantime, use as much security on your own devices to make it harder for these new digital criminals to succeed.

That means battling these criminals with both awareness and proactively installing security software to protect all of your devices including windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

These are the top security application solutions I have tested and recommend.

 

Best Anti-Virus Software and Apps to Protect Against Malware

Bitdefender

Bitdefender Total Security
MacOS, Windows, iOS and Android device protection
Annual or monthly subscription currently $40 at the time of publishing for first year with software for up to 5 devices (slightly more for 10 devices) that include MacOS, iOS, Windows and Android. This seems to be the best solution for a family like mine with multiple devices from the list of their endless sometimes confusing Bitdefender offerings that shouldn’t steer you away.

Bitdefender is strong while being user friendly and easy to use. It’s great at protecting many evils beginning with anti-virus security that recognizes malware, ransomware, viruses and other threats like spam. What I really like is the real-time data protection to battle malware automatically with their antivirus solution that does not slowdown anything you are doing. AI improvements can identify suspicious threats on your network and block an attack fast.

Bitdefender’s Rescue Mode can clean-up threats to keep your devices safe. It has a lot of bells and whistles that I like especially the file shredder that takes deleting to a whole new level of destruction of sensitive personal info you want to erase for good. Bitdefender is popular with its users and available at multiple online stores but I find the best pricing is here directly from Bitdefender by cutting out the middleman.

Get BitDefender Total Security
 

Norton™ Official Site Antivirus VPN Security Software

Norton’s Antivirus security products offer one of the most comprehensive protections. From a password manager, dark web personal data monitoring, identity theft, parental controls, VPN and malware detection, Norton has everything you would ever need. Of their nine products, I like the Norton 360 Deluxe and Norton 360 with Lifelock Select the most. On the downside, Norton does not offer file encryption, file shredding, or secure web browser but still surpasses the rest with its commitment to maintaining a strong level of protection.

Get Norton 360 Deluxe
Get Norton 360 with Lifelock Select
 

 

Panda Security

Panda Security Antivirus from the company that has been around for 30 years is outstanding. I’ve toured their headquarters and threat center in Spain and understand their level of protection first hand. They are out front with their smart technology monitoring everything with an outstanding track record of detecting attacks before they cause extensive damage. Panda has a very good grasp of using AI for your security based on behavior intelligence and real-time threat analysis. I recommend the Panda Complete as a starting point. However if you are looking for a VPN which would provide secure, private and unlimited Internet browsing, I would recommend their Premium product.

Get Panda Complete Security
 

McAfee Total Protection 2021 Antivirus Software

McAfee Internet Security total protection starts as low as $29.99 (for 2 years) while protecting a lot of different devices for a low cost. They did a really good job with their password manager and the malware protection already at the top of the game keeps getting better and better. For moms or dads, the lack of parental controls on the middle level products are a disappointment, but not enough to knock it out of the top 3 best security tools.

Get McAfee Internet Security Total Protection
 

No matter what protection you decide to use, awareness is half the battle. Keep second and third guessing every suspicious sense you feel in your gut when engaged in technology, reading email and texts.

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