Alternatives to the Password

Most of us know how difficult it can be to remember all of the passwords for all of the different web sites, operating systems, programs, etc. There are programs that will store your usernames and passwords for you so that you don’t have to write them down or memorize them. Currently, I have 90 entries in my password keeper on my phone. But how secure is this program? What if someone hacks into this app? Then they have ALL of my passwords. It’s scary to think about what would happen if someone got hold of my phone and hacked it.
The next wave in computer security will be biometric authentication. We all know that the fingerprint is being used for security (e.g. the iPhone 5S). But there are more biometric authentication identifiers on the way. For one, your heartbeat has electrical signals that are hard to duplicate. Devices like the Fitbit are already on the market, and they detect a person’s heart rhythm. Other personal identifiers include ear shape, the way you walk, and face recognition.
While biometric security seems to be more convenient than memorizing a slew of passwords, there are some negative known, and unknown, consequences. For example, if you use a fingerprint to access some information, you run the risk of someone obtaining this print by means that are not necessarily just invasive to your privacy. According to Wikipedia, “in 2005, Malaysian car thieves cut off the finger of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class owner when attempting to steal the car.”
With any new technology, we need to be prepared for the consequences that we are aware of as well as those that are unanticipated.

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