There’s a new move to get rid of the password. I think I’d rather miss them but it is a bit 11th Century, isn’t it? Halt! Who goes there? Are you fr1n3d or f03?
We have already reduced them a lot with apps like 1Password – you just remember one password, it remembers all the rest securely and also creates very strong new ones when you want – and then there are tools like Touch ID on iPhones. I don’t have an iPhone with this but I’ve used them and it is nothing short of spookily handy to be able to pick a phone up and have it already know it’s you.
Still, back to the news. Passwords are under threat and it’s about time too:
Passwords are a pain. They’re incredibly important for the security of our data, and yet they’re hard to remember and keep track of. Plus, it seems like we constantly have to change them as the result of some new hack or security breach. But the password’s days may be numbered: the FIDO Alliance—a non-profit composed of heavyweights like Microsoft, Google, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, and more—has published its final specification for a system to kill the password, hopefully for good.
The specification is a bit technical, but what it boils down to is fewer passwords, hopefully. FIDO offers two options: a password-less login method, and a two-factor login method. In the former case, when you register with a new service, app, or site that uses FIDO’s technology, you choose how you want to authenticate that account (just as you would currently specify a username and password). But instead of a password, that method can be a PIN or a biometric factor—such as a fingerprint, a spoken passphrase, or facial recognition.