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Forgot your password? Use Beethoven's Ninth instead

One day, all this will be ancient history

Hands up anyone who's ever forgotten a website password and been unable to get it back, probably because the backup security question was just as problematic? Thought so – just about everyone, in other words.

Thankfully, help is at hand from a team at Carleton University in Canada in the shape of an entirely new way to secure access to a website that dispenses with the need to remember anything at all.

Memorable choices

The prototype Object-based Password, or ObPwd, system instead relies on using a photograph, piece of music or even a video as the key to gaining access to a secure area online.

Although it sounds obscure, in practice it's a simple matter of telling ObPwd what to use as the key, after which the software generates a long string of data that becomes the actual password.

Way ahead

From then on, all that needs to be done to access the page in future is to direct ObPwd to the same key and repeat the process.

Although the days of using a snatch of Led Zep to fire up your online banking are still some way off, the Canadian application clearly suggests that traditional pa55words are living on borrowed time.