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The Future of Passwords

Sunday, January 25th, 2009 by | Filed Under: Security Help
 
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Who out there has way too many passwords? I know I do! In my average day, I log in to about 15 different areas with different passwords and usernames for all of them. Now, I know that may be higher than what most people do, but it still shows that passwords are everywhere in our lives.

The issue with passwords is they can be stolen, figured out or even forgotten. Now, be honest: how many times do you simply reuse the same password over and over again? If someone got ahold of your one password, would they be able to log in to all of your private places?

Luckily, the idea of a simple character based password is slowly going away. There are a lot of new (and older) technologies out there that allow for secure access to places, without the need to remember a bunch of passwords. I thought I would share a few of those with you today!

1.) Fingerprint Scanners
I’m sure almost all of you have seen a fingerprint based access device before. We here at WorldStart have even sold little flash drives that have fingerprint scanners. Those little devices have been around for a long time, but just recently, they have started to become standard parts of laptop computers and desktops. Having a fingerprint scanner can help alleviate password issues. Essentially, your computer remembers your passwords and when you scan your fingerprint, it enters the password for you. That way, you don’t have to remember as many passwords.

2.) Key Based Password Devices
Key based password devices don’t completely remove the need for a password, but they do make it less possible for someone to use your password. Usually, a key based password device is just a regular flash drive with a special code stored on it. When a program asks for your password, you have to plug in the flash drive with the code and also type in the password. That way, you have to provide two different authentication methods. Someone who knows your password, but doesn’t have the key will not be given access. On the other hand, if someone steals your key, they won’t know your password and they’ll be out of luck as well!

3.) Graphical Passwords
Another type of password option removes the need for words altogether. Some new cell phones use this type of password. The way it works is by presenting a screen. The user then draws a pattern or image on the screen with their finger. If the pattern matches the saved one, the user is granted access.

This just gives you an idea of what we may be seeing in the future. There are many different ways we can replace the need for several passwords, but they do require more than just a keyboard. Someday, new computers will all use one of these password types and passwords will finally be a thing of the past. Until next time, stay safe out there, my friends!

~Gary

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