01/19/2017

Ditch the deuces: That peace sign could get you into more trouble than you think

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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.

Finger Heart

This is currently used as an alternative to the conventional Taylor Swift heart pose. Korean celebrities commonly use it to send love to their fans. To do it, cross your thumb and index finger to make a heart. Yup, it’s that simple. If done correctly, your index finger will hide your thumbprint. Cute and identity theft-proof. Take that, hackers.

Pogi pose

You’ve definitely sported this one in past photos. Looking back at it now, you probably shook your head in regret. But it’s time to bring it back and reclaim the swag that came with it. It was a trademark of 90s pop culture. Hey, don’t be ashamed; even Jericho Rosales and Piolo Pascual flaunted it once upon a time.

M for McDo

We’re informally coining the word for this as the “McDonald’s” pose. It could be the M to YMCA, another version of the Korean heart or Mo Farah’s signature pose after a triumphant run. The versatility of the peace sign to function as horns was great, but you can still achieve something similar with the McDonald’s pose.

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