When Bill Gates identified the threat of password security breach in 2004 with his statement ‘Password is dead’, not many of us would have taken it much seriously but now we do. As internet users warm up to the idea of completing most of their tasks from the comforts of their home like paying bills, banking etc. , there is always a fear of internet theft in their minds. The fear is not baseless, given the rising number of incidents of password hacks leading to thefts.
Users share so much information on the net- which is highly personal on social media platforms, banking sites and ecommerce websites. With millions of websites, users get confused which ones are trustworthy & which are fraud. With most of the websites requiring registration, users tend to create profiles and for the sake of simplicity keep same password for all i.e. password fatigue (term used for the same). Hackers use this to access their personal information like credit card details, bank accounts etc. This has also led to many companies in the area of digital security like Trulioo, Launch Key etc. but none of them have come up with fool proof solution.
There are multiple ways for authenticating online and different websites are using mix of those so as to find best fit like voice authentication, sending unique codes as SMS, bio metrics etc. One of the most popular and latest one being leveraging information from social media to ask specific questions like Facebook does -when logging in from new device, it asks you to identify picture of people from your friends list something which only can do. The idea is to use dynamic information like places last visited, identify friends’ faces rather than static information like place of birth, maiden name of your mother etc. which are traditionally used in phone banking. The information which is difficult for the hacker to guess as it is highly personal but is all there on your social media platform. Bio metrics is also highly secure way but it is too risky as well since repercussions of releasing the same on net could be ghastly.
Thus in the absence of one stop solution, websites are using mix of these techniques to try and give hackers a hard time in posing as a user. As a user at least we can try to avoid this by choosing hard to guess and varied passwords and not be a victim of password fatigue.
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