The peace sign has become a go-to when taking cute photos. It covers the pimple we hate, makes us look cool in music festivals, and our trusty fallback when we can’t think of any other wacky sign in family photos. Sorry to burst your bubble, but put those fingers down; you might risk your identity being stolen.
Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Informatics (NII) have proven that anyone can copy your fingerprints through a photograph. It just needs to be taken at least three meters away from the subject with relatively good lighting. With today’s advanced camera releases and 4K smartphones, anyone can easily zoom in, copy, and paste your fingerprints to access and steal your information.
If, for some magical reason, you have never flashed a peace sign on camera, you aren’t really safe either. Other simple gestures such as waving or a thumbs up put you at risk too. Back in 2014, German hackers were able to fake the German Minister’s fingerprints using photos of her hands. Criminal Minds, much?
With the music festival season creeping in, group selfies won’t be the same without our go-to pose. Here are some recommendations to make you look cute but still keep you safe from identity theft.