Without a doubt, passwords are one of the main challenges of day to day life. There is a constant struggle between wanting to keep your information secure, but also creating a password that is easy to remember among the hundreds you've already created.
The good news is many people in the world realize this issue. Innovators across all fields are creating new ways to make logging in easier.
1. SemanticLock: Using Icons & Storytelling
If a picture is worth a thousand words, can it be worth a thousand characters for a password? SemanticLock uses the human's ability to remember stories and images to remember a password. Generally, the user creates a phrase and drags images into a specific order to log in.
According to the researchers behind this, benefits include:
- Avoiding Smudge Attacks - Smudge attacks happen when others are able to predict your password due to the oil from your fingers revealing the pattern or keys pressed. SemanticLock can easily change the location of each icon.
- Highest Rate for Memorability - Compared to the PIN and Pattern method, SemanticLock was proven, through research, that most users remember their password this way. PIN has the lowest error rate and Pattern as the fastest login rate.
2. Smart Fabrics: Using Your Wardrobe
There have been many innovations in the wearable tech sphere, from the Google glass to smart watches. Now, a professor and graduate student at the University of Washington are looking at placing magnetized threads into shirts and other accessories to store passwords that unlock doors.
It works by using a magnetic pen to write a password on the magnetized thread area. Later, the area can be scanned by a magnetometer (a sensor smartphones that help with navigation) to give the wearer access to the locked door. Not only do wearers not have to remember another password, but also:
- Washing, drying & ironing allowed - The smart fabric can be handled like most clothes and hold the password or data encoded into it. However, it does seem to lose magnetization overtime.
- Affordable - Because the price of magnetized thread is not too high, it means that it’s affordable. Plus, the fabric can be reprogrammed to hold another password.
3. WebAuthn: Using Biometrics & Devices You Own
WebAuthn is simply a standard that is being reviewed by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) to replace passwords with biometrics and hardware. It requires the each user to register their device to each account and give an "authentication gesture" (Phone, biometric, key,etc) for each login.
For example, you might want to sign into Twitter, LinkedIn and Gmail on a computer. WebAuthn, allows you to use your thumbprint, your phone, or a security key to login.
It’s true that this isn’t new technology, but having it applied to websites makes it infinitely easier to access all your accounts without remembering many passwords Other benefits include:
- Protection for phishing attacks - WebAunth is supposed to protect users from phishing scams since all your credentials are on you. There isn’t a password or even a username to really "steal".
The great news now is that WebAuthn is already available for some websites like Google and Facebook. Interested? Contact us at (888) 393-6565 or send an email to info@Xenwingo.com to be one of the first to try it out.
These new developments are certainly exciting for everyone, but they do come with their own set of challenges to overcome. Currently, each of these projects are still a work-in-progress with researchers working hard to make this technology safe and, eventually, available. Hopefully we'll be able to use these great innovations in the future.