The password is often regarded as being the weakest link in security defenses. This is largely due to the fact people reuse passwords, signing up to multiple different services, using the same email address and password combination.
Obviously, some sites and services are more trustworthy and have higher security protocols than others. Therefore, by reusing your password you are potentially putting all of your accounts at risk of being hacked.
Because of this, there has been some drive and excitement in the tech industry to find innovative alternatives to the long-standing password. Biometrics is one example of a password alternative that has gained traction in recent years, many flagship phones are implementing facial recognition unlocking and fingerprint technology.
Many sites also skip past the creating a new account involving email and password by allowing users to log in via their Google account or Facebook account.
In terms of other ways to boycott the password, there are a few more. Yahoo now has a “temporary password” option With this option users can select a temporary password and have a password sent to them by SMS, every time they want to access their email.
Of course, 2 step authentication is another alternative you are probably familiar with since most banks now use it.
A less well-known option is another form of biometric login, using heart rate. Your heart rate, similar to your fingerprint is unique to you, in this sense it doesn’t have an advantage over a fingerprint. However, a company called Nymi has invented a wearable tech band that could potentially use your heart rate to authentication anything you interact with without you having to touch anything or look into the camera.
Bill Gates said in 2004 that passwords would die out because they
cannot meet the challenge of keeping critical information secure.
However 14 years on, they’re still here. Why? the main reason is familiarity, everyone knows how to use passwords. These new options also aren’t replacing the password, they are just alternatives.
It seems like for now, passwords aren’t going anywhere, companies are reluctant to force users into learning something new when it could mean they instead walk away.