Passwords play a crucial role in helping us to protect our privacy, but … are they as secure as they should be? And are there other ways for reinforced security ?
In our society, based on property, privacy and confidentiality , it is crucial to be able to identify oneself safely . The key you use to open your home or your car for instance are also mechanisms to identify yourself, as the PIN works for your mobile phone.
In IT, identification is essential and has appeared at the time of some simultaneous use of a system by multiple users. And if our passwords merely contain text, it is because for a long time, the computer systems could only accept the text typed on a keyboard.
But it is also a method that involves risks, as for the sake of being able to remember the passwords, some people use very basic passwords such as Daddy or 12345.
It thus becomes very easy to identify your passwords, for example through specialized programs and people can and grab your identity on the Internet by accessing your Facebook or Twitter account. It is even much more easy for cybercriminals to capture all of your passwords that most people reproduce the same password – same sequence of letters, numbers and special characters – for all their internet passwords. For fun, just try the website www.howsecureismypassword.com to know the time that can be needed to decrypt your password.
Problems with passwords were soon discovered and alternative identification systems were fast to emerge. There are different alternatives or supplements to passwords, that can be grouped into four categories: things you know (face, pictures) , things you have ( tokens or numbers to reproduce ), who you are ( biometrics for example using your fingerprints ) and what you do , i.e. where you are or where your business is.
For maximum safety, it is recommended to combine two or three categories, since if the keys are multiplied, there are fewer risks. Even if none offer optimum safety, this way, you get a much better protection, because if an attack is successful, it will affect only part of the key.
To date, only the large software companies and best-known websites can afford to adopt such system combinations. And more users continue to find it easier to manage one system so far. Although several signs may announce the fewer use of passwords as two stages identification system verification systems are increasing being used, as is the case for Google, Facebook and Twitter. In parallel, biometrics seems increasingly favored by Apple. In the near future, the multi-factor systems may continue to proliferate.
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