Passwords are often unreliable as people don’t tend to use secure ones since they can be difficult to remember. So many alternatives have been created in order to make people's lives easier but also make it more secure. Things like biometrics, facial recognition, security keys, and password managers are all designed to alleviate the stress of remembering your passwords every time you log in. There are also authentication apps that will send you a push notification to verify your login for a fast and seamless entry into your account. These authentication apps have a lot of benefits and are super easy to use so they have been quickly gaining popularity and even have big providers like Google and Microsoft.
Microsoft’s authentication app allows for multiple profiles so if you have a work and personal account, you’ll be able to log in to both using the app. The app is very easy to set up and use, once you have your profile set up and configure into your settings to allow for the app to log you in the login process becomes a breeze. You just need to type in your email and wait for the prompt from the app to select the corresponding number that will appear on the browser login and app.
App authentication is even a lot more secure than getting a text message code, since cybercriminals have found ways to spoof sim cards to get your text messages on a secondary phone. Google has a similar authentication process where they will ask you to confirm that you are the one trying to get access to your account before allowing you to sign in.
Easy to use
You can create a complex password and not worry about remembering it every time
Saves time (for push notifications, you need to type in a code for authentication apps)
Doesn’t require a password so it can’t be stolen by keystroke malware
Very secure depending on the provider since it’s tied to your device not SMS
Can alert you if someone is trying to log into your account without your permission/knowledge
You need to be connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or data network
Tokens on authentication apps have a short lifespan so you have to type them in within 60 or less seconds
Some apps can be hacked
You could accidentally confirm a login while trying to get rid of a notification allowing someone into your account
Limited integrations depending on the app
As cybercriminals evolve so will software meant to protect us and make our lives easier. Choosing which password alternative really comes down to individual preferences and needs. But one thing that is certain is that just a simple password can’t cut it regarding keeping your accounts and information safe. You should always enable multi factor authentication when you get the chance because it adds a layer of security beyond your password. Having a good password would also be beneficial but if you don’t have the confidence that you can come up with a good one, something like a password manager might be of great value to you.
Likewise, if you are worried about your passwords being compromised by a device security keys can provide you with peace of mind. There are a lot of different options and tools to keep your accounts safe. Which is why it’s important to stay up to date of this technology as well as cybercriminal activity in order to make sure you are staying protected.