With the average user dealing with at least 40 separate online accounts, it’s no wonder many Americans are feeling password fatigue. To try to make things less complicated, some users have chosen to use the same password and username for every account, but this can pose a security danger to both consumers and businesses. Another alternative is to make a list and keep it locked away somewhere, but there’s no guarantee that list won’t become compromised someday.
Technology is offering several different solutions to the problem, making it easy for users to maintain dozens of passwords without risking a data breach or hacking attempt. Here are a few current technologies that could make password management easy.
Smartphone via NFC
With 74 percent of consumers now owning a smartphone, these devices could provide the answer to the world’s password woes. Using Near Field Communication or SMS messaging, a device owner’s smartphone can communicate with a nearby PC using Google’s tap-to-unlock.
Smartphone via Token
With services like Ping Identity, users are authenticated through a one-time token that is sent to a device. A swipe of the finger unlocks the token and lets the user log into any service or system. The technology is targeted to the enterprise environment.
Using fingerprints or iris scans to authenticate users sounds very sci-fi, but the technology is already in use in some places. Fingerprint technology has taken off, appearing in mobile devices and laptops already, but iris scanners are still slow to take off. Both technologies haven’t been proven to be 100 percent foolproof, but consumers love the ease-of-use of both methods.
In the future, a tattoo could be something more than a way to show your personal taste. A digital tattoo is a sticker that lasts a limited number of days and communicates directly with your mobile device. Motorola’s Digital Tattoo costs $1 and lasts up to five days, but experts wonder if consumers will be willing to wear a sticker all day for the luxury of avoiding passwords.
With the password pill, you actually swallow an electronic device that can send signals through your skin. While the pill can make authentication effortless, it’s unlikely most consumers will be comfortable ingesting a device that communicates with their electronics.
Through voice recognition, a user can simply speak a passcode and unlock a system. VoiceKeyID from Porticus is available for mobile devices and embedded platforms.
Imagine being logged in by merely thinking your password. That is exactly what brainwave authentication aims to do. The technology was demonstrated at the University of California Berkeley School of Information, but the user has to wear a headset for it to work.