Tech Made Simple

Hot Topics: How to Fix Bluetooth Pairing Problems | Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy | How to Block Spam Calls | Snapchat Symbol Meaning

We may earn commissions when you buy from links on our site. Why you can trust us.

author photo

Some Screen Protectors Make Samsung Galaxy S10 and Note 10 Phones Unlock for Anyone

by Elizabeth Harper on October 21, 2019

Samsung’s latest phones — the Galaxy S10 and S10+ as well as the Note 10 and 10+ — were designed with an extra secure ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. These phones use ultrasonic sound to make a 3D image of your fingerprint, which is more accurate than traditional fingerprint scanners on most phones. Instead of pressing your finger to a typical capacitive fingerprint scanner, you can tap your finger anywhere on the screen to easily unlock it.

Samsung says this tech provides “invisible yet vault-like security,” but there’s one major hole in that vault: with the wrong kind of screen protector, any fingerprint can unlock your phone.

Some silicon screen covers are preventing the ultrasonic sensor from correctly reading fingerprints, letting anyone tap the phone’s screen to unlock it. The ease of unlocking the phone — no hacking skills required — can be a serious problem. It makes it simple for strangers to access any personal information and financial data on your phone, including payments with Samsung Pay if it’s set up to activate with a fingerprint.

Samsung is working on a software update to adjust the scanner, which is due out as early this week. But while we wait, there’s a simple fix: take off your silicon screen protector and delete all of your registered fingerprints. Re-register your fingerprints on the clean screen and everything should be perfectly secure again.

The patch should make screen protectors okay again, but you’ll still want to be careful about the screen protectors you use with these ultrasonic fingerprint sensors. According to Samsung, the fingerprint scanner may not work with “unofficial, scratched or dirty screen protectors,” regardless of type. If you feel like you need a screen protector, the best idea is to buy them directly from Samsung — or just take extra care to avoid drops.

Owners of the Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Note 10, and note 10+ should be on the lookout for a patch coming soon. When the patch is released, you should be good to reapply your screen protector — just remember that scuffed and dirty screen protectors can still cause problems.

[Image credit: Samsung]


News, Phones and Mobile, Cell Phones, Blog

Discussion loading

Home | About | Meet the Team | Contact Us
Media Kit | Newsletter Sponsorships | Licensing & Permissions
Accessibility Statement
Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookie Policy

Techlicious participates in affiliate programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provide a small commission from some, but not all, of the "click-thru to buy" links contained in our articles. These click-thru links are determined after the article has been written, based on price and product availability — the commissions do not impact our choice of recommended product, nor the price you pay. When you use these links, you help support our ongoing editorial mission to provide you with the best product recommendations.

© Techlicious LLC.