Why it could be time to say farewell to passwords for good

Data Breach
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Passwords have been a part of our everyday lives for years. Often annoying, sometimes frustrating, but always a central and vital part of keeping our online accounts secure.

Cyberattacks targeting our online credentials or personal information have always been a threat, so having the right protection is vital. Previously, that meant using unique, hard-to-guess passwords for each of your online accounts and devices. But technology is always changing, and a new era of authentication is dawning - one that might do away with passwords entirely.

Passwordless security, which refers to any login process that doesn’t require you to enter a password, offers a different approach. But what does it actually mean? 

Put simply, this approach does away with traditional passwords in favour of other systems or technological solutions. For a long time, passwords were enough to keep many of us safe online, but a long line of data breaches in recent years have shown that passwords can be exposed, meaning you need an extra layer of protection. 

You might already be familiar with multi-factor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication (2FA), which offers an extra level of security by requiring several pieces of information, such as a code sent via SMS, along with a password. Biometric security has also grown hugely in popularity in recent years, with systems such as Microsoft Hello providing a truly unique way to verify your identity. 

But these processes  often add extra time, and friction to logging in to your online accounts, and this ends up annoying some users so much that they stop using it.

There must be a better way. But if passwords are no longer the most secure option, then what should we replace them with? 

The most promising and logical choice is passkeys. They’re made up of two parts - a private key and a public key - which makes them stronger than a single-part password. The public key is given to the website or app you need to sign in to, while the private key is kept secure on your device, before combining to prove you really are who you say you are.

Passkeys are strong by default. They make it much harder for hackers to access your accounts because they need both parts of your passkey. That means they would require access to the website or app’s server and your personal device that contains the private part of your passkey.

According to recent research from 1Password, nearly two thirds of us are desperate to simplify our digital lives, and open to using any new technology that can do this. The company is so sure that passkeys are the future of online security that it will soon offer customers the option to secure their 1Password account with a passkey, rather than a password. It will also let you create, store, share, and autofill passkeys for all of your online accounts.

If they can make such a bold move, you can too. Passwordless technology such as passkeys appear to be the future of staying safe online, so start the next stage of your cybersecurity journey today.