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If you use technology at all, you more than likely utilize passwords. If you sign up for a new social media account, you will have to create a login name and password for yourself. This is an industry-standard practice.
You will need a password to log into your bank account through an app. You will need one if you want to go on a government website or if you want to see some test results in a telehealth portal. It often seems like there’s no escaping from passwords.
That might frustrate you sometimes. If you have a healthy online presence and use dozens of sites and apps, you will need to have a password for almost all of them unless they use a different authentication form.
We’ll talk a little more about passwords in this article. We’ll even go over passwordless authentication, which some companies like to implement in 2022.
The Main Password Problem
You need to have security measures in place to stay active online. Without them, identity theft is possible. That’s why you need to supply a password on so many apps and websites.
The issue is that if you stay online for many hours out of the day, like if you work using a computer, for instance, you’ll need to use dozens of passwords as well. If you do that, there’s no way you’ll want to create unique, strong passwords every time. You’ll probably want to use the same password since it’s easier for you to remember that way.
If you use the identical password for each account, then if a hacker gets their hands on it, they will know to use it to impersonate you on not just one website or app, but many of them. That’s when identity theft and other unfortunate results become much more likely.
If you create many unique passwords, there is no way you will remember all of them unless you are some kind of savant. You’ll need to either write them all down and keep that paper handy, or else you’ll need to keep a master password list on your phone or computer.
None of these are ideal notions. You don’t want a physical piece of paper with all your passwords on it because someone might find and steal it. Having a master list on your phone or computer and looking at it when you need a password makes more sense. That’s not a perfect solution either, though.
Are There Alternatives?
At this point, it makes sense to ask if there is another way to access apps and websites. There is, and it’s called the passwordless authentication method. It’s exactly how it sounds.
Companies that implement passwordless authentication devise a method to check a user’s identity without a password. A user can authenticate their identity by using so-called magic links or secure tokens.
If you put this system in place for your company, you might use an authenticator app. Your employees will go there if they need to access an app or website during their workday.
There, they can find the “magic link” or secure token that takes them to where they want to go. You might also have a system where your worker will receive an email that takes them to the app or website, or else you can set up email functionality. The token or magic link reaches your worker through a simple email.
What Other Password Alternatives Exist?
There are other passwordless authentication methods for a company’s workers. Biometric indicators are popular now as well. Those might include fingerprint scanners or facial recognition technology, similar to what you’ll use when you access your Android device or iPhone.
Some individuals might not like going from the password system to a biometric one. However, if you’re the company head, you dictate any changes your business makes. These workers will adjust to the new system as time passes.
If you set up authentication using either tokens or magic links, or you go with biometric indicators, that probably means your employees will have more time to complete their tasks during workdays. They will not have to supply a password every time they use another website or app, and they will not have to hunt for those passwords on a master list.
Passwordless Authentication Limitations
If you work for a company, using passwordless authentication makes sense. Of course, you can’t do that until your company sets it up. That costs money, so we’re probably talking about a larger business with more of an operating budget.
If you work from home, or you’re just passing some time online, and your activity doesn’t have anything to do with your profession, you will probably not need to bother with a passwordless model. You can create a master password list and keep it in your documents. As long as you don’t have a roommate who you think will try to use your computer to impersonate you, you should be fine.
Even if you only work from home or you use your home computer for recreation, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should have the same easy-to-remember password for every one of your accounts. Maybe you put in your ID and password when you’re out with your phone in a Starbucks one day, and someone sees you do it.
If you have the same login and password for many different accounts, this is another potential identity theft formula. This demonstrates the inherent problems that go along with passwords.
The bottom line is that you can use passwords in the digital world, but the passwordless system also has its place. Because of the reasons we’ve described, it often makes more sense to use a passwordless system if you own a business. You will have the money to set one up.
If you work at home or use your computer or phone for personal reasons, you can probably still get away with using passwords, though it makes sense to have unique ones for each website or app.