With loads of passwords to keep, it is increasingly difficult for one to not have issues remembering them all. Websites and apps oftentimes present us with password recovery options when the need arises, but this means we keep changing it as occasion demands. What if you could access your account without a password—and still have your account protected? The good news is that you may no longer require a password to access your Microsoft accounts.
The Redmond WA-based tech giant announced on Wednesday that it is officially retiring the use of passwords for consumer accounts including Outlook, OneDrive, and Family Safety.
“We know people hate passwords,” Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of security, compliance and identity, said in an emailed statement per The Washington Post. “Thirty percent of people said they just have stopped using an account or service they were trying to log into rather than deal with a password reset. I’ve even done that. Imagine the shopping carts, memberships or accounts that have been abandoned because of password issues.”
While passwords are a great way of protecting our accounts, hackers have over the years developed different techniques of breaking into our privacy. The strongest off passwords does not guarantee the safety and security of your accounts. The problem is that no matter how strong your password combinations are, using same password over several accounts online puts your private data at risk.
Once one of your online accounts is breached, the others may become vulnerable to attacks because the same password is being used across all your accounts. According to Microsoft, 579 password attacks occur every second, or 18 billion per year—that is staggering! When stolen, these passwords are offered for sale at dark web; and over the years, this has become more lucrative to criminals.
In place of password, Microsoft is encouraging users to download and install its Authenticator app. Here are the steps to getting onboard:
- Install the Microsoft Authenticator app and log into your account. [please be sure you enable notifications and touch ID for the app]. Then, proceed to account.microsoft.com and log in again.
- On microsoft.com, select Security → Advanced Security Options → Additional Security Options → Passwordless Account → Turn On.
- Once this is done, return to the Authenticator app, approve the notification, and you are almost good to go!
In 2019, Google enabled the ability to log into some Chrome services on your Android phone with juts your fingerprint.