Multi-Factor Authentication: Tech Giants Unite to Eliminate Passwords

Passwords are one of the most common ways a hacker will get access to your accounts. With so many things to sign in to, keeping track of long, complicated passwords can be a chore. That’s where multi-factor authentication can help.

Microsoft, Apple, and Google have given their support to The FIDO Alliance, a group dedicated to standardizing authentication methods for online users. So, later this year you’ll be able to sign in across various web accounts without the need for a password (in all major browsers).

But, why?

Not All Passwords
Are Created Equally

There are plenty of password best practices out there that, if followed correctly, will make your accounts more secure. However, each time you need to create unique, long, and complex passwords, you’re probably less likely to do it again, and again (and again).

Hackers use phishing, malware, and all sorts of other methods to steal passwords and crack accounts. One method, called a Brute Force Attack, can run through password combinations at a staggering rate of around 350 billion guesses a second. Weak passwords don’t stand a chance.

These are the ten most common passwords in the world:

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. Qwerty
  4. Password
  5. 12345
  6. Qwerty123
  7. 1q2w3e
  8. 1234 5678
  9. 111111
  10. 1234567890

Passwords like these are laughably unsecure and can be breached in a matter of seconds. 

Multiple Accounts,
Same Password

While those are extreme examples (but hey, someone’s using them), the main problem with complicated passwords is that it’s nearly impossible to remember them all. This leads to two things:

  • You write all your passwords down somewhere
  • Or you use the same password for every account

Storing passwords somewhere, whether that’s a physical location or using a password manager, can be safe, but that’s not always the case.

As for reusing the same password across multiple accounts, nothing could be worse for your security. Even if you use a strong password, this means that a single breach turns into a massive headache across all your accounts. This isn’t rare either with most studies claiming around 50% of people use the same password for all logins.

There’s A Better Way

Multi-factor authentication is quickly becoming the new norm. It helps eliminate nearly all security issues by adding two-step verification using a combination of passwords, biometrics, text message codes, and more.

The chances somebody cracks a strong password are slim, but their chances are harmed even further if they also need access to a separate email address or the phone you always have on your person.

If a service offers it, we recommend always utilizing two-factor authentication. However, you should still be creating strong passwords as part of this enhanced security measure. After all, if you’re protecting an account with a weak password and you use that same password for the email required to verify it, it’s not exactly doing much.

While there will certainly be some pushback and late adopters (people like sticking with what’s comfortable), seeing the big three tech companies making a push for multi-factor authentication is good news for a more secure future.

Do you know what else makes for a more secure future? Partnering with Livelinx.

Livelinx offers tech solutions that adapt as well as you do, whether it’s a new phone system, network cabling, or full Managed IT Services. We’re here to help.

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