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3 Security Alternatives to the Password

3 Security Alternatives to the Password

Continued advances in technology allow consumers to receive information faster than ever. And the quicker we get it, the more we want our data yesterday. However, there is less consideration for different forms of online security nowadays, unless you consider having a stronger password. Large websites such as Twitter dealing with security breaches daily. People are using so many online accounts nowadays that they are risking a security breach by reusing their passwords. Is it time to do away with passwords for a more reliable security system or perhaps even some new Security Alternatives? Results of an online poll seemed to indicate as much.

Statistics from a Gigya survey of 4000 adults in the United States and the United Kingdom found that only 16 percent of consumers use a different password for each of their online accounts. In other words, 84 percent use passwords that are easy for hackers to guess. So if one account is hacked, the others with the same password are also at risk.

According to Digital Trends, more than 25 percent of poll responders reported a data breach over the past year. But the worst group regarding online security is millennials, who create the easiest passwords to hack. 

Poll results determined that 42 percent of Generation X respondents and 53 percent of baby boomers created secure passwords, but only 33 percent of millennials did as well. And 35 percent of millennials have also experienced a large number of security breaches in the last year.
The password dates back to the days of the earliest computers in the 1960s. So if we eliminate them, what do we do about increasing security breaches? Alternatives are slowly turning up, and we have three of them listed for you.

1.) Yahoo Account Key.
With this system, Yahoo users sign into their account after they receive a notification on their phone. The New Economy notes that users just have to confirm that they made a real login attempt. Google is trying out a similar method.

2.) Voice and fingerprint identification.
First Direct and HSBC Bank are working on fingerprint and voice recognition systems to improve their security practices. According to The Telegraph, customers using voice recognition give the bank a voice print, and the system analyzes their cadence, word pronunciation and the speed of which they speak. The customer can log into their account the next time with a short phrase like “my voice is my password.”

Fingerprint recognition can be used by HSBC customers who log into their account through their iPhone. Barclays bank even uses the blood flow in a customer’s hands to confirm their identity.

3.) Selfies.
Yes, selfies. CNBC reported that Mastercard users will soon be able to use fingerprints and a selfie to prove their identity for online transactions. The company seemed to feel that the selfie would serve the same purpose as a passport or driver’s license.

Biometric and multifactor authentications are becoming more popular every day. Biometrics can even require a retina scan, implanted chips or other options. Multifactor authentication calls for two pieces of information that only the actual user would know.

Anyway, the Gigya survey found that 52 percent of consumers prefer biometrics to traditional passwords for verification of their identity. And 80 percent who expressed a preference felt more secure with biometric authentication.

Biometric authentication may never replace the password, but they just might make completing transactions more comfortable for consumers and businesses alike.