How to Protect Your Aadhaar Details from Getting Hacked
There is no doubt that many people have complained about Aadhaar being prone to hacking attempts, given that the database is accessible to private
agencies, there are still ways one can protect the biometric information of their Aadhaar without relying on the government for do something.
If you visit the Aadhaar website, there is a facility by which one can actually lock the biometric details to prevent unauthorised access or hacking
of your details. Once the details are locked, no one will be able to unlock and hack it. And only when you unlock the biometric details it will be
available for anyone to access.
The ultimate key
Registration of Aadhaar entailed people giving their biometrics to UIDAI. No doubt that the government has found many uses for these—it is being
used for PDS, registrations, eKYC and most recently payments – many people has complained about the data being unsafe as private agencies who has
the access of data handled many services. But there is a solution for this.
You can easily lock or unlock your details by registering on the UIDAI website. But to be able to do so you first need to register your mobile
number with UIDAI and link it with Aadhaar (if not already done). Once the mobile number is linked with Aadhaar (this can only be done from UIDAI
enrollment centre) one needs to go to the UIDAI website (uidai.gov.in) and login using Aadhaar number.
Upon receiving the one-time password to your mobile, as is customary with most payments, which will allow access to your Aadhaar details. Upon
accessing those details you can use the tab for locking and unlocking Aadhaar information.
A click on the checkbox ‘Enable Aadhaar Lock’ will lock Aadhaar information.
Locked for good
The locking feature doesn’t allow any of the service centres to use your biometric details, thus locking you out of the entire UIDAI network.
Further this you will not be able to use any of the services and even your biometric details will not be accepted at any of the service centres,
unless you unlock it by your own.
Once in the unlock mode, you can access it only for 20 minutes after which the service would be locked again keeping everybody out of the system.
Basically, the feature reduces the time and opportunity for hackers to just 20 minutes.
Although Aadhaar locking provides an option to secure your data, there are some drawbacks to the service related to efficiency of the system. The
OTP feature, at times, is not as fast as you would expect it to be, for you to enable or disable the service using the uidai.gov.in website. Also,
such a utility would be more meaningful if there was a mobile app connected to the system, with a shorter window of unlocking the details.
However the government has not promoted this feature well enough like many of its offerings, allowing people to criticise the safety aspect. A major
step which would gain some appreciation to the government could be to promote the merits and feature of this service.