Body Language Biometrics Replaces Passwords for Online Classes

biometrics and student identification

More educational institutions around the world are replacing passwords with body language biometrics for accurate online class student identification. (Image courtesy of Pixabay: http://bit.ly/1RCTQib)

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As reports of stolen ID codes like social security and credit card numbers show, relying on combinations of letters and numbers to secure online accounts is not entirely foolproof. The situation is no different when it comes to online education. With this form of schooling, stronger online identity verification is needed to counteract academic deception and hamper the added problem of financial fraud. To meet these demands, biometric technology is being increasingly deployed to thwart the threats.

Personal Recognition

Biometric technology basically relies on various characteristics unique to each individual to confirm their identity. Although fingerprint and iris recognition are available, the mouse, keyboard, microphone, or built-in webcam that are normally part of the personal computer are all that’s required for successful biometric identification in an online educational setting. Biometrics can be divided into either passive or dynamic verification. A passive approach depends on a person’s physical features to make a positive online identity verification. Dynamic biometrics, though, rely on actions like handwriting or speaking to make distinctions.

Seeing and Hearing

Unprecedented Usability and Iris Image Quality in a Compact DesignWebcams are already heavily used for online schooling through a passive method called proctoring. This simply refers to the online course instructor having visual access to the students to positively ID them. A human witness is still better than visual recognition software, but this approach is cumbersome and time consuming. It also forces the teacher to restrict the classes to specific times. Recently, Facebook and other companies have announced testing facial recognition software that’s nearly as accurate as human judgement. Because the face offers complexity with three-dimensional depth, it would be nearly impossible to deceive a facial recognition ID verifier. Voice identification is used in other settings, and the microphone on a computer make this dynamic biometric technology that examines a person’s vocal tones and speech patterns when reciting a predetermined phrase a possibility in online education.

Unique Movements

The computer keyboard and mouse have lately proved effective for dynamic biometrics. The strategy is to have a student enter a password or their name through either device while software observes their individual idiosyncrasies in the process. With the mouse, this is basically the technique used by autograph experts to determine the legitimacy of a signature by studying movements and pressure points. As touchscreens become more ubiquitous, this technology can be applied to them as well. Likewise, keyboards also reveal individual differences in typing behavior. The downside, though, is that muscle cramps, perspiration, and varying keyboard and mouse sizes can throw things off.

Use FingerVein Biometrics to avoid fingerprint issues

The Right Student

Studies conducted on the accuracy of these different verification technologies indicate that combining two or more techniques produces the best results. This could be as simple as using a mouse to write a secret password. Since biometric identifiers are much harder to copy than passcodes while being easy to repeatedly collect, they provide a powerful safeguard against test cheating while also preventing financial aid fraud like when one person pretends to be several students in order to apply for multiple loans.

John Trader (359 Posts)

John Trader is the Public Relations and Marketing Manager with M2SYS Technology, a recognized industry leader in biometric identity management technology. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA M2SYS Technology's mission is to pioneer the high-tech industry by delivering long-term value to customers, employees and partners through continued innovation and excellence in all aspects of our business. M2SYS continues to innovate, build and bring to market leading-edge biometrics solutions that revolutionize the industry and expand the applicability of biometrics technology in our marketplace. You can view their Web site at www.m2sys.com or contact them via e-mail at info@m2sys.com