The Unique Identification Authority of India issues the 12-digit Aadhaar Number to all the residents of India which acts as the proof of identity and proof of address for availing government subsidies and benefits. The Aadhaar Number, however, is not a citizenship certificate but it is imperative to protect the security of Aadhaar and prevent the misuse of it.
In order to protect and safeguard the personal data of the citizens, the Government of India has opted for various measures, and locking and unlocking of an Aadhaar Card is one such feature. The lock/unlock Aadhaar Biometrics is a feature introduced by the UIDAI as once you lock your Aadhaar number you cannot do any authentication using your Aadhaar number and you can use the Virtual ID to do the same. Whereas, once you unlock your Aadhaar Biometrics it means that your Aadhaar Number is again active and you can do the authentication.
Let us now discuss in detail about how to prevent misuse of your Aadhaar Card.
How to Lock your Aadhar Card Biometrics Online?
You can temporarily lock your Aadhaar Card biometrics to protect the privacy and confidentiality of your biometrics data ( i.e. fingerprint and IRIS). Once your Aadhaar Biometrics are locked, you will be able to use your biometric for the purpose of authentication.
Follow the steps mentioned below to lock your Aadhar Card Biometrics:
Step 1: Visit the official website of UIDAI i.e. https://resident.uidai.gov.in/bio-lock
Step 2: Tick mark the declaration and click on the ‘Lock/Unlock Biometrics’ button
Step 3: Now, enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number
Step 4: Enter the captcha code for verification
Step 5: Select either ‘Send OTP’ button or ‘Enter TOTP’ button
Step 6: An OTP will be sent to your registered mobile number which is valid for only 10 mins
Step 7: Once the OTP is entered, you need to click on the ‘enable locking feature’ button
Step 8: You biometrics will be locked successfully
Note: A registered Mobile Number is essential to avail of this online service
How to Unlock your Aadhar Card Biometrics Online?
In case you have temporarily locked your Aadhaar Card biometrics, you can unlock at any time to use your biometric for the purpose of authentication. Follow the steps mentioned below to unlock your Aadhar Card Biometrics:
Step 1: Go to the official website of UIDAI to unlock your Aadhaar biometrics i.e. https://resident.uidai.gov.in/bio-lock
Step 2: You need to tick mark the declaration and click on the ‘Lock/Unlock Biometrics’ button
Step 3: Enter the 12-digit Aadhaar number
Step 4: Enter the captcha code for verification
Step 5: Select ‘Send OTP/Enter TOTP’ button
Step 6: You will receive an OTP on your registered mobile number
Step 7: Enter the OTP and click on the ‘unlock biometrics’ button
Step 8: Click on the ‘disable locking feature’ button
Step 9: You biometrics will be unlocked successfully
How to Lock/Unlock Aadhaar Number through SMS service?
To lock the Aadhar Card biometrics through an SMS you need to send an OTP request i.e. ‘Get OTP Last 4 or 8 Digit’ of Aadhaar Number and then send a request to lock your Aadhaar i.e. ‘Lock UID Last 4 or 8 Digit of Aadhaar Number 6 Digit OTP’.
To unlock the Aadhar Card biometrics through SMS service you need to have your latest virtual ID (latest) and send an OTP request with ‘last 6 or 10 Digit of Virtual ID number as i.e. Get OTP Last 6 or 10 Digit Virtual ID’ and later send the request to unlock your Aadhaar i.e. ‘Unlock Last 6 or 10 Digit Virtual ID 6 Digit OTP’.
Mobile and Email Registration for OTP
Due to Aadhaar Card authentication, online transactions have now become quite simple and easy. To avail various online services through an Aadhaar Card, a one-time password is sent to your registered mobile number and email address which makes it mandatory for you to link your Aadhaar Card with mobile number.
Moreover, to reduce the fraudulent activities of people/agencies asking for OTP, a new feature has been introduced i.e. TOTP (time-based OTP) through which you can generate the code in your In for the authentication process of the Aadhaar Card.
Also Read: How to link Aadhaar with Mobile Number
Using Virtual ID instead of Aadhaar Number
Aadhaar Virtual ID is a 16-digit temporary code that is generated against an Aadhaar number through the UIDAI portal and is valid until the user generates another virtual ID again. You can use the virtual ID in place of Aadhaar everywhere as it also helps in providing security to your Aadhaar Card.
This virtual ID can be generated and shared with any agency for the purpose of KYC and for authenticating your details. Moreover, once your details are verified, you can once again generate a new virtual ID in order to protect your details from someone else trying to access your personal details.
Hence, it is advised to use the virtual ID instead of your original Aadhaar number.
Know more about Aadhaar Virtual ID by clicking here.
Things to keep in mind to Prevent your Aadhar from getting Misused
- You will not be able to use Aadhaar biometrics as a primary authenticator once it is locked
- There’s a probability that some of your bank transactions may fail since the bank will be unable to access your biometric details
- Aadhaar biometrics can only be unlocked through a One Time Password sent to your phone
- This online service is offered by UIDAI free of cost
- The generated virtual ID can be tracked online through your Aadhaar number, but you cannot track your Aadhaar number from the virtual ID
- You must always know the reason why and where the details for your Aadhaar Card are required to avoid getting it misused
- Do not share your OTP received on your registered mobile number with Aadhaar Card for authentication
At times, a few queries and questions also come to mind regarding the safety of an Aadhaar. Take a look at some of them along with the answers:
Q.Is it compulsory to do biometric authentication for Aadhaar Card?
Yes, as per the Aadhaar Act 2016, it is mandatory to verify your Aadhaar Card through biometric authentication which is done through fingerprint or IRIS scan.
Q. Can I update my biometric in Aadhaar online?
For biometric updates, you need to visit the nearest permanent Aadhaar Enrolment Centre.
Q. Can I share my Aadhaar Number with anyone else?
Yes, Aadhaar number can be shared with others but you should be aware of the purpose for which your Aadhaar Card is required.
Q. What is the difference between Aadhaar ID and Aadhaar Virtual ID?
Aadhaar number has an alternative i.e. Virtual ID which is a 16-digit numerical ID generated against an Aadhaar Card. You can use the virtual ID to retrieve your original Aadhaar Card, locking and unlocking biometrics, etc.
Q. What are the charges for locking and unlocking of Aadhaar Biometrics?
The online facility of locking and unlocking Aadhaar Biometrics is absolutely free of cost.