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How predicted is your lock screen pattern?

Do you use lock screen pattern? Scientists from Norwegian University of Technology (NTNU) claim that people use only 4000 different (i.e. unique) patterns! So, it looks that this very innovative protection method introduced by Google in 2008 is not so safe.


Let’s see the most popular habits. Maybe some of them apply to your patterns:

  • 77% of us start the unique pattern from one of corners, 44% people start from left up or down corner.
  • Almost 70% of patterns consist of not more than 5 dots. 
  • We like patterns with have something in common with us, for example the first name letter – our own or someone close to us (10%); graphic version of PIN (dots replace keyboard); simple geometric figures etc.
  • People like symmetry, hence half of routed by us symbols are mapped in the second half, e.g.: hourglass, “four”, acute angle, “U”, etc.


So, when we think about this then most of lock patterns can be easily hacked. We all know simple hints how to create complex password. If you want to have complex lock screen pattern then follow this rules:

  • Never use letters of the alphabet – specially connected with you. You might as well set e-mail password as qwerty or 123456789. Let’s be serious.
  • Cross lines – thanks to this your pattern will be more complex so it will be harder to remember by 3rd persons.
  • Use available dots! You do not have to finish on four or five dots. What will you say about 8 or 9 dots?
  • Start unconventionally – you should not start from corner! Think about symbol with do not have any common with you. Weirder pattern is safer!

Let’s analyze pattern with looks to be safe. However, the pattern is symmetric, contains only acute angle and is started from down-left angle. So, it is not so complicated. In the newest CyanogenMod the 6×6 matrix for lock screen pattern is introduced. It also provides additional room to maneuver 🙂