Password

It seems you need a password for absolutely everything these days. For work, home, mobiles, emails, banking...the list goes on. Security experts suggest that, to be safe, we should alter our passwords and have different ones for each account. Some even advise you change them every few months. With the huge amount of websites and devices that ask us to use passwords, surely you can’t be expected to remember that much information?

I would bet that the majority of us stick with one or two passwords, but unfortunately that means if one of your accounts is compromised your attacker has your password for several sites or systems.  With a simple password change the problem is only temporarily solved, so isn't it time we moved away from passwords and looked for newer systems?

Biometrics

Voice recognition, DNA or fingerprints are the most common forms of biometric identification. All have been around for a while and are much more secure than text passwords. Biometrics are harder to forge or copy, and while very few pieces of hardware come equipped to deal with this method, it wouldn't be too difficult to implement. Windows Server for example has been able to use Biometrics as form of authentication for domain access for quite a while and some laptops come with a finger print scanner.

Single Sign On

Single sign on (SSO) is, for the most part, a form of password management. This helps access multiple channels with just a few clicks by having a master password to access others. While this does help with memory, it also introduces a single point failure whereby just one breach opens up multiple access points.

Physical Keys

Google are reportedly experimenting with a mixture of the two. Having already designed a small physical USB 'key' which intends to log the user into all their Google accounts, they are looking to develop this into something users can use with items they already have, such as mobile phones, and maybe even pieces of jewellery. The aim is to make the system universal, rather than just for Google products. While it will be a big task to apply a system like this across the board, if any company is capable of making it happen Google must be likely candidates.

The Future of Passwords

Many have predicted the demise of the traditional password for a long time, but it still remains at the heart of how we use the Internet and our technology. What do you think? How would you prefer your details to be kept secure in the future?

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Sources: Google Proposes Alternative To Password; Computer Weekly

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