While there are 389,112 possible patterns you could draw using four to nine nodes, when researcher Marte Løge analyzed 3400 user-selected patterns, she found that the most commonly selected patterns used just four. To make it even worse, most people do swipes in predictable patterns: they go from left to right, top to bottom, typically starting in a corner, often create patterns in the shape of a letter, and rarely backtrack over the space their fingers have already traversed.
The best approach to securing your device is to use the longest PIN it will allow and the shortest lock out time you can stand. But is it feasible? As it is, exhausted users are increasingly just rolling over and playing dead, numbed by alarm fatigue at all the security protocols/security warnings/data getting crowbarred out of companies that can’t seem to figure out how to keep their data safe. After all, patterns are better than no protection at all.