Passwords made of people


Passwords can be a high-risk mess – forgotten, guessed or hacked. Yet these days are numbered. A slew of recent announcements from Yahoo, Windows, Halifax Bank and Fujitsu illustrate a rise in new security tech that will make passwords obsolete.

Yahoo announced a new ‘on demand’ system where a one time password is sent to your phone when you need to log in (similar to the two-step verifications offered by Google, without the first step). Still, some criticise the approach as flawed – basically don’t lose your phone.

In a series of biometric security developments that also replace passwords, Halifax Bank announced the Nymi Band. The band measures your heart rate, which is apparently unique, to verify your identity. Halifax’s vision of the future is one where Nymi can log in for you.

Meanwhile, Fujitsu unveiled the development of its iris authentication technology. When you look at the screen of your phone, it recognises your iris and instantaneously unlocks itself. Although biometric security isn’t new, its inclusion in mobile is relatively recent.

Finally, Windows announced that its next operating system, Windows 10, will allow you to log into your Windows devices using your eyes, fingerprint, or face. This tech could also be used to log you into services and apps.

Finding a way to prevent anyone with the right sequence of letters and numbers from accessing your information will become increasingly important, as tech such as smart payments become commonplace. In the meantime, here is how to be smart about your password. Start by not setting it as ‘password’.