FAQs

Below is a list of frequently asked questions to help you to learn about FaceCrypt Data Vault App.

Why Face Recognition?

Because your iPhone and/or iPad have exceptional camera ideally suited to high quality picture taking. That makes it zero cost for any additional hardware. Facial recognition is a very user friendly form of biometric and offers exceptionally high security identification results for this type of data vault application.

But you could use voice recognition?

Voice recognition is not suitable for this type of application because ambient (surrounding) noise can interfere and give false rejection.
As a user experience it is not as friendly as taking a picture that can be done in complete silence. All biometrics have particular areas
in which they are more suited and one of the main applications for voice recognition is where you need to verify a person at a remote
location such as a call centre.

What about fingerprint recognition as on iPhone 5s?

Fingerprint technology is quite a secure identification method and it is a standard feature of the iPhone 5s. It is only possible to use fingerprint to access the iPhone but it does not secure or protect any private information held on the device as is possible with FaceCrypt.

How is a picture of my enrolled face stored?

Only your processed data is cryptically stored – something like this ‘809A87HJF789ADS’ – meaningless to anyone or any other system except your own FaceCrypt App.

Where is the picture of my face stored?

It isn’t. FaceCrypt does not store any image of you – only the encrypted data, which has been processed from a snapshot of your face through a unique algorithm that cannot be de-encrypted anywhere else.

How does the Face Recognition work?

FaceCrypt takes measurements of your face and processes them transparently and quickly into a unique data set. On enrolment, the same measurement process happens again and compared against the original enrolled encrypted face. Of course this will not be 100% like for like since facial position, expression and lighting conditions will have differed. Even with variances, FaceCrypt has built in intelligence to still detect if you are the same person and authorised owner of the vault.

Could someone use a picture of me to fool the recognition?

Short answer is yes. The picture would have to be very clear and full-face but if you were concerned about this being an issue, then set Liveness Detection to on to prevent anyone using a photograph.

How does liveness detection work?

FaceCrypt checks for blink. If you blink, we assume you are a living person in front of the camera and not a picture of you. You do not have to blink much or often and FaceCrypt only asks you to blink if it has not detected any. Disadvantage is that you become quite conscious now of blinking and it could be deemed to be slightly irritating but this is a small inconvenience for the added security and so is a deemed a good compromise. You can turn off the liveness detection at any stage and counter measure by using Face Recognition with a password and / or pattern match but then again – this becomes another thing to remember.

What if someone has a video if me?

Well you really are asking a highly paranoid question – what ARE you hiding? Fair question though. Theoretically if someone has your face on video they could fool the system. If this is a concern, then you need to enhance your security measures by setting your Face Recognition threshold to high and use pattern match and password to access your data.

Will Face Recognition work every time?

Yes it will but you have to be responsible for one main condition – lighting. If you were to look at somebody’s face in a dark or dimly lit room, you would have difficulty recognising them. Well a camera is the same. Give it a poor or partially lit face then it will not be able to capture and process the facial features for taking measurements and making identification decisions. If you have poor lighting, the camera will work as best it can to make the subject brighter but is not guaranteed to do so and therefore recognition may or may not work. With good even spread lighting over the whole face then you will get 100% identification every time. Please refer to the FaceCrypt Face Recognition guide for suitable and unsuitable conditions.

What if it will not recognise me?

The only reasons it will not work if 1) it is not you and 2) the lighting and conditions are not sufficient enough to define facial features and make an identification decision.

Why is it so important to get a good enrolment?

A good enrolment means extracting as much definition and facial information as possible. This is done by automatically setting a high threshold as a default without user intervention. With as much information as possible to work on, gives more flexibility to verify with less information at the verification stage. The advantage in setting a high enrolment threshold is that it enforces you to be in the best and most suitable lighting conditions and if they do not reach a high enough level, then FaceCrypt will not enrol you. The advantage is that later on lighting conditions can be more tolerant.

What if I can’t enroll?

A FaceCrypt message will inform you about light conditions why there may be a problem. You may need to re-enrol under different conditions – most cases being just changing the direction of where you are looking at the camera. For example, if there is a window behind you, the camera will try and adjust for the whole picture but this can make your face too dark in which case, and most situations, just correct by facing the window to re-enrol. If in doubt just refer to the FaceCrypt Face Recognition guide which is always available during the capture routine and from the menu. Remember, the same rules normally apply when you are verifying also.

Why is lighting so important?

This question has been answered in previous questions – but again, good illumination over the whole face guarantees enrolment and verifications. Some basic understanding of photography helps – for example if you are taking a picture of a subject and most or much of the background is bright daylight, the camera thinks that the background is the subject and therefore closes the aperture more to let in less light – hence the actual subject, in this case the face becomes too dark. The same can happen in other circumstances like a window being in the background. We do not expect you to become an expert on lighting, but if you follow the same basic rules as demonstrated in the Face Recognition guide, you will be able to verify every time.

What are threshold levels for?

Threshold levels in verification can be changed to suit your preferred level of security. Basically a low threshold works on a lower amount of information to make a verification match and high threshold works on a much larger amount of information to make it verify a match. The default is set midway.

I wear glasses - is this a problem?

Wearing glasses generally does not give any biometric enrolment or verification problems but light can reflect on the lenses which can make identification sometimes difficult. If identification is problematic the option is to re-enrol and identify without glasses. Sunglasses however, should be avoided.

Can it detect blink through glasses?

It can but sometimes you may get reflection on the lens making you have to blink quite a few more times than you would normally need to when verifying without glasses. Verifying with liveness detection through very dark lenses or sunglasses is a no no.

Can I enrol with glasses and verify without or visa versa?

Generally yes – this should not cause a problem although for continuity, consistency and fewer false reject rates we would always recommend staying the same with how you enrolled.

What if I grow a beard or my facial features change?

We can only say that generally you should be OK – but if a facial feature such as growing a thickset beard changes, or you shave it off – then we would always recommend that you re-enrol with the fresher face. Don’t forget you should access FaceCrypt and turn off facial recognition before you shave – and then re-enrol afterwards.

Can someone with a similar looking face access my FaceCrypt?

Even on low threshold setting FaceCrypt has enough processing power to reject another person as you. However, to be sure – increasing the threshold will reduce possibilities further.

What about my twin?

A twin who is similar but not identical may possible be verified as you on low threshold but generally not mid to high threshold. However, a truly identical twin would even on high threshold and in which case if he was untrusted, you would need additional methods such as pattern match and / or password measures which are available to use in FaceCrypt.

Why can’t I be verified?

Lighting is probably unsuitable. Ensure you check through the Face Recognition Guide which is accessible during enrolment, verification and the menu system and which will inform you how to get recognised everytime.

What does FRR mean?

False Reject Rate – the amount of times any biometric (system) will not verify or identify you – even though it is you. This is generally because the sampling (number of points or identification parts) cannot be matched or there are not enough to be able to match against the enrolled data.

What does FAR mean?

False Accept Rate – the amount of times any biometric (system) will verify or identify another person as you.

What is 1:1?

This is comparing a person against an individual record. That record would typically be recalled by an identifier like a PIN, car code, chip, record number and once that record is displayed then a comparison is made on a one to one basis. FaceCrypt uses this method where the record is the owner of the phone so no record actually has to be recalled.

What is 1:N?

This is an identification process where a biometric searches and compares a database for a single match or close matches dependent on the type of biometric used. Typically, for example, fingerprint, iris or infra red vein produces 1 in millions positive identification so can in many cases be used extremely accurately as a sole identifier (extremely low FAR). Facial recognition can have a high FAR and is more useful for recalling close matches, such as identification of individuals in a crowd, where a person can compare the matches visually on a screen and make human identification decisions. FaceCrypt uses 1:1 and not 1:N.

What if I can’t access FaceCrypt?

FaceCrypt is an extremely secure method of accessing your private data vault. When using access methods like pattern match and / or passwords they have no variables and can only be right or wrong. Because facial recognition works on a set number of conditions, such as lighting, the variances can sometimes make it more difficult to access the application – or give a FRR. If this happens just follow our guide to get better lighting and FaceCrypt will eventually allow you in. FaceCrypt errs on the side of failure as it is a security system to offer better protection.

Why can’t I find FaceCrypt on AppStore on my iPad?

You need to set iPad to search for iPhone Apps.

Why do I need to take backups when FaceCrypt is so secure?

Taking backups is standard practice with any saved data. There are three ways data can be lost and when the whole vault might need to be restored: -

  1. Hardware – phones and tablets can be lost, stolen or damaged;
  2. Software – data can be affected by other factors such as new releases of operating systems or updates;
  3. Users – can delete or edit data in error.

Taking backups is the same as having insurance. It’s wonderful when you need it as it provides security, peace of mind and is a replacement service. If you lose your valuable data and you have no backups, it would be the last time you forget to take them in the future- it is a very painful and time consuming experience to find all the source information, re-enter and re-create your vault.

Backup & Restore Methods Advantages / Disadvantages

Backup 365

Advantages
  • Free trial period;
  • Simple one-button press automatic operation;
  • Worldwide anywhere Backup and Restore;
  • No dependency on being tied to a same source for Backup / Restore;
  • Backed-up files visible for auditing;
  • Fully secure cloud-based FaceCrypt endorsed service;
  • Low-cost economical subscription – what price security?
  • Extendable storage plans.
Disadvantages
  • WiFi or data connectivity needed.

iTunes

Disadvantages
  • Needs manual copying of files;
  • Prone to user errors;
  • Requires a restore normally from same computer unless files copied to Cloud Storage in which case a computer with iTunes is still required for file copying.
Advantages
  • No subscription is needed.

What is the difference between iTunes and Backup365?

Backup365 is a one-button press from virtually anywhere, which is fully automated and requires no other intervention. Vault backups are held on a remote, secure FaceCrypt service available with 365/24/7 restore facilities. With iTunes you need connectivity to a computer which has iTunes installed and a cabled connection to the device to be backed-up or to be restored. It also requires some manual copying of files to desktop so is a manual procedure which requires careful checking to make sure the correct file(s) are copied to the right locations.

Why do you charge a subscription for Backup365?

This is a secure cloud-based service with the associated maintenance costs to ensure total and continued integrity.

Could anyone else access my Backup365 backed-up vault?

No. Strict security controls mean that data is held securely and privately to your account only. Not only that but it is also stored in unbreakable 256-bit encrypted format together with the enrolled access methods.

Do you guarantee the safe storage of backup files?

Backup365 is a highly online secure service to ensure integrity and safe storage of user data as much as possible. Ultimately though, and the same with your vault data, the safety of your data remains with you – the vault licensee and data owner. FaceCrypt provides you with the tools and processes to manage the data yourself. Although the backed-up vault data files are held remotely, no warranties accompany this and it is the responsibility of the user to make periodic checks that the backed-up files are intact.

Is my data from FaceCrypt app automatically backed up by regular iCloud backup?

No – regular iCloud only backs up the app with enrolment data but without personal vault data inside it. Vault data must be backed up separately from the FaceCrypt menu options.

What is the difference between verification and identification?

Verification uses 1:1 and identification uses 1:N methods.

Do I have to use Face Recognition?

No. You can use a pattern or a password or a combination of both for your preferred access method. You are offered a choice when you launch FaceCrypt the first time.

Can I add other security beyond Face Recognition?

FaceCrypt offers you a number of different options how you access the vault, including Pattern Match and Password. You do not even have to use Facial Recognition.

What’s the failsafe to get to my data?

FaceCrypt includes backup options. Backups can be held on your device or devices. A 3rd party backup service is available too and the advantage is that if your device or devices are lost or stolen, you will always be able to retrieve your information.

What if I accidentally delete FaceCrypt App?

This will also delete your data in which case you will need to restore from a backup.

Can I back up secured files but remain secure? I.e. copy to PC via iTunes… is it still secure?

All backed up files remain encrypted.

Can the application and the secured files be backed up so if I restore to a new device; will everything still be protected in the same way?

Yes.

If I restored to another device (iPad from iPhone), will the secure files be unlocked and visible or locked and inaccessible?

They will be locked in the vault and accessed by the access methods selected on that device.

What if access to my data or vault becomes corrupted or lost?

There are two methods for failsafe. One is PPVR explained in other sections of FAQ and the other is backing up your vault regularly.

How much of my iPhone can I secure via FaceCrypt?

Everything that is held within the FaceCrypt vault is encrypted and secured.

Can I secure specific applications?

You can only secure FaceCrypt application. This way your data is held securely and encrypted through one portal. Like a safety deposit box – you normally only keep this in one bank for simplicity and conformity and is much simpler to remember where everything is in one place.

Can I secure specific files/pictures/docs or only the whole application?

You can store all this types of data in the FaceCrypt vault. You can save directly or import files in and / or export out of the FaceCrypt vault. Individual files may have further protection on them.

Can I amend a file once I have secured it?

Yes – this is a feature within FaceCrypt in that you can work with secure files once inside the vault.

Does the FaceCrypt encryption comply with any government security standard?

Yes – it conforms to AES: Federal Information Processing Standard FIPS PUB 197 (Advanced Encryption Standard)

Surely iPhone is secure enough without needing any further protection?

Not really. Just Google search security flaws on these devices and you will be treated to a host of articles of security breaches, hacks and stolen identities. One example less widely known is that even after deleting or even viewing data on your device, that information can remain on SSD (Solid State Device – or referred to just as memory). Even the latest fingerprint recognition on the iPhone5s has been fooled and bypassed. With discussions how biometric systems can be bypassed, FaceCrypt offers user additional enhanced security methods to the vault to add the even more access control.

Can I set different options if access is not granted?

FaceCrypt’s philosophy is to provide the user all choices how they manage access and vault. Included are a number of options unique to FaceCrypt in case of false reject (you are not recognised) or unauthorized access attempt. PPVR is a secondary access method which can be optionally set so you always have another measure to access the vault. This is a series of secret questions and answers only know to you. This does not have to be set, but if you are using Face Recognition and in a very dark area and you need access, PPVR is a good option to include. Another unique feature includes security wipe and automatically send messages and screen shot of user trying to gain access. All options are self explanatory when configuring FaceCrypt and explained further in FaceCrypt help.

Surely a hacker could access the secret answers set in my PPVR?

No. The secret answers are not stored. They are created by a unique method each and every time you enter the answers and this means that only a person who knows the exact answers and way they are spelt to your questions could attempt access.

What does PPVR stand for?

Pattern Password Vault Recovery. So if you using Patterns, Passwords in addition to, or instead of Face Recognition and you forget, PPVR is the secondary measure to access providing you accurately answer your questions.

Why do I need a secure data vault?

Mobile devices in themselves are not that secure. Even with fingerprint or passwords to access the device, they can still be compromised and data accessed. There are many reports on the Internet about data being able to be accessed if the device is lost, stolen or even sold on even if the device has been wiped. The only way to secure data completely is to protect access to it and encrypt all data within that protected area.

So how can data be viewed if I’ve wiped the device?

The problem remains with flash memory where data remains after even just viewing and closing the app. Viewing other information will just place data in another part of flash memory until such time it needs to overwrite an area that is used by other ‘old’ data. Wiping the device does not necessarily ‘clean’ every part of the flash memory and so can be accessed to find your data randomly stored throughout the memory. FaceCrypt addresses this issue by scrambling the information with meaningless data after viewing or deleting so that any residue data that is held in memory is undecipherable.

Why does your vault look like a safety box?

The design of FaceCrypt vault is to emulate a regular safety deposit box to emphasize how important it is to keep your valuables as safe as possible. As each data box can be made to keep different types of information separate and organised it makes it easier for a user to file and manage their data.

Why FaceCrypt against other safe apps?

No other app offers such flexible and feature rich functions in one self contained application. This is because the FaceCrypt management and development team has experience in creating high level biometric security systems and understands the limitations that other apps are restricted to versus the needs of the modern user.

Why are you trying to trick us with a free app?

What we offer you is a chance to try before you buy. We have such confidence in that we can deliver a superior security app and user experience to you that we allow you to try every single feature but we only limit you to two entries per box. This gives you the opportunity to experiment, test and use FaceCrypt and then decide if you want to purchase. At the end of the day, what price and value do you place on your own security?

Can you guarantee the integrity and safety of my data?

FaceCrypt ultimately is a tool so you use this to control how you work with your own private information. We give you usage of your own vault with all the included security measures that you set up and govern with some safety backup options. Therefore you must maintain and manage this so your own data is your responsibility.

If I run into real trouble like being unable to access my vault, can you unlock it for me?

No. FaceCrypt is an extremely high security system designed to keep everyone out but you. If we offered a backdoor, this could well compromise the security, trust and high morals that we stand by – and even if we could, we would be unable to decrypt your information. We do not have and will never have a backdoor or secret entrance to anyone’s FaceCrypt vault.

Can I stop the subscription service at any time?

Yes.

How often should I take backups?

As many times you can afford to spend re-entering data that could be lost since your last changes in the vault. FaceCrypt recommends as frequently as possible because any lost data will cause problems and wasted time. It’s so easy to take backups regularly, especially with Backup365, that the default is set to every two changes in the vault. With the convenient reminder system, you can set your reminder messages to appear according to your own preferences/usage.

Why should I be reminded when to take backups?

It is easy to forget to take regular or miss a time to take a backup. FaceCrypt backup features ensure you never forget and you can set the preference options for reminder messages.

How long do backups take on Backup365?

This really depends on available transmission speeds. In general text-only, such as passwords and notes are very quick, but attachments, pictures and videos take slightly longer.

How easy is it to restore the vault?

Really easy. Just access the Menu > Restore option and select the backed-up method and file.

Could my backups be compromised?

The backed-up vault is saved as a 256-bit encrypted data file and is virtually uncrackable. Even if the backup file is accessed by someone else they would be unable to break into it. The backed-up vault also contains the enrolment methods for the vault at the time the backup was taken. In effect this means that if the enrolled access method is changed during the period afterwards, the restored vault reverts back to the previous enrolment method. This is a safety measure that provides you with additional security control over your own vault.

What happens if the WiFi or data connection is lost during the Backup365 process?

Backup365 recognises an incomplete transmission and automatically displays a message to this effect when FaceCrypt is restarted.

FaceCrypt app got deleted - why is my vault data not there when I reinstall?

Vault data is not part of the app so does not get backed up automatically. You will have needed to have taken backups found in the Backup / Restore section of the FaceCrypt menu.

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