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Here’s Lookin’ at Your Password

Passwords are just as painful for companies that require them as they are for you. And, they’re expensive as well as subject to theft. What are we looking at in the near future? The eyes have it.

Microsoft and Apple are moving ahead with facial recognition to replace passwords. The technology is getting better and better, and, let’s face it, once their systems can recognize you and match you up with other records, you won’t have to remember some arcane, complex password – which you could mistype…

Going “password-less” would create a huge economic benefit for the business world. At our recent Microsoft IT conference in Orlando, the company said lost passwords are their biggest IT cost. In the month of July, they spent $686,000 in IT-related costs for restoring forgotten passwords. Annually, the cost is roughly $12 million.

The way systems work, it’s always to your benefit to say you’ve forgotten your password if you risk being locked out of website or application, such as your Office 365 account or a bank account. While their security needs dictate making a password reset more difficult, the complexities raise costs.

Also, in today’s world, all of these systems and interactions can be hacked, and dark-web operatives can change your letters, numbers and special characters once they’ve cracked your code. Your face is another matter. And while someone at some point in the future will figure out a way to defeat facial recognition, I believe this gets us ahead of the curve – for now.

Microsoft has facial recognition tools available for computers that have Windows 10 with Hello installed, and Apple has it for iPhones and iPads. While you can use them now for their own websites and online apps, it will take some time for the rest of the online world to get there. Your bank or credit card company, for example, will need to develop tools that work with all platforms and operating systems, and they will need to make sure online performance doesn’t suffer.

One online security app that some banks encourage their customers to use is Trusteer. While it can be effective as form of two-factor verification, it can slow down a user’s computer. We’ve had numerous incidents of clients calling us about slow computers, and Trusteer has been the problem. Once it’s uninstalled, performance levels return to what they should be.

There are other two-factor authentication methods you can use, but you’ll be up against that issue of whether you want more convenience or more security.

If you have any questions about facial recognition tools or two-factor authentication, call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us. New technologies can be scary, mostly because you can worry about making a mistake somewhere that can lock you out of the info and apps you need for work and life. We can help you navigate the brave new world with confidence.