Here’s the funny thing about passwords, the harder they are, the easier they’re forgotten. And the easier they are to remember, the easier they are for others to guess. In fact, this flaw in passwords is so mind-boggling that even M. Knight Shyamalan won’t make a movie about it.
We’re not trying to give him new ideas but password protection has proven inefficient, time and again in protecting your online details and accounts from being exposed to criminal activities. This is clearly evidenced in humongous data breaches that have plagued the world wide web since the last couple of years. Although data breaches and cyber hijacking is not a new concept, our online details and data is still being poorly guarded with passwords. Microsoft Chairman, Mr. Bill Gates has already predicted that password based access will eventually meet its doom and will be replaced.
Listed below are few reasons why the trusty ‘Password Protection’ is not enough.
- Just like our politicians, password protection is outdated. Despite all the technological advancements, we’re still forced to use this primitive method that is not only easy to forget, but can be eventually hacked by cybercriminals.
- Password strength checkers on popular internet websites are mostly eye candy and are not really functional. They mostly judge a password’s strength based on the variety of characters used for complexity. But that still doesn’t mean you’ve created a strong password.
- Your passwords are eventually stored in website databases, which can be easily targeted by hackers. We’ve seen numerous examples in the past years where online networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Yahoo etc. were victimized by cybercriminals.
Thus it must be clear by now that merely protecting your sensitive details with semi-gibberish isn’t a good option if you’re looking for security. This method has certainly run its course and should be declared obsolete by now. So if you agree with us, you would also be looking for some alternatives to password protection for their online accounts. Therefore, it would be convenient to have list of all the currently available and future alternatives to this false security system we cannot seem to move on from.
Just like how using Judge Dredd’s Lawgiver pistol can blow a criminal’s arm off, your phone or device locked with your finger print cannot be accessed by anyone else. Several professional and business organizations are already using biometrics instead of access cards. This can also be seen with devices like iPhone, iPad and laptops with finger print access. Although trying to access your device with a wrong finger print won’t be as bad as in Judge Dredd, but it’s a far better security measure than using “MickeyMinniePlutoHueyLouieDeweyDonaldGoofySacramento”, thinking no one will be able to guess it. You actually be right as there’s a high chance even you won’t remember this the second time.
This might sound similar to your lover, but your heartrate is considered as an adept authentication method to differentiate you from someone else. Although this technology is still in developmental phase but researchers have already shown how each person’s heartrate is unique and can be used for authentication purposes. This might not be as accurate as biometrics but would also eliminate the requirement for any authentication every time you try to access your device.
If you’ve shopped online using your debit cards, you would already be familiar with this. Also known as Two-step verification, this isn’t really an alternative, but rather a strengthening module that eliminates the loopholes in your security. Whenever you try to access a service, you will receive a special one-time only password through SMS that you must use to login. This password cannot be used again by your or anyone, and you will be sent a new password the next time you log in.
Single Sign On
Entering just one password to access multiple services and accounts surely seems far more convenient. Although this is more of a re-tweak of older technology, it is still far better than using (and remembering) multiple passwords. Single sign on also reduce the number of accounts and user ids you have to create to access various services online. The best example of single sign on can be seen on websites that allow users to login with their Facebook, Google or Twitter accounts.
We’ve seen numerous examples in movies where your voice is used for authentication. This can also be seen in the new smart speakers that works on your voice commands. Hence there’s no doubt that your voice can be used for identification purposes. Although it is still not very reliable as the abovementioned methods as a person’s voice changes multiple time in their lives. But since face recognition is also a thing, voice recognition is a far more reliable option.
Although there are other experimental technologies in development as well, the above 5 have the strongest changes to replace passwords as the preferred method of authentication. It is only a matter of time before the whole world wakes up to this major loophole and replace it for good.
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