Phone showing 'Protected' graphic
Unsplash | Privecstasy

Apple, Microsoft, And Google Are Working Together To Get Rid Of Passwords

Passwords: they're easy to forget, they guard some of our most personal information, and if someone with ill intent figures one out, it can ruin your life. And passwords getting even more annoying to use as it becomes increasingly important to change them up regularly.

Yes, passwords are a frustrating necessity in the digital age. But some of today's top tech companies are working together to make passwords a thing of the past.

Passwords have gotten kind of ridiculous.

'Password' graphic
Wikimedia Commons | Santeri Viinamäki

Twenty years ago, a password like 'hello123' was probably sufficient. But with cyberattacks growing ever more sophisticated, modern passwords often require both upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. Oh, and you can't reuse any password you've used before.

The FIDO Alliance is looking to shake things up.

Graphic showing shortcomings of passwords
FIDO Alliance | FIDO Alliance

The Alliance is a password-free method of signing on to web accounts. It's backed by the biggest players in web browsing: Microsoft, Google, and Apple. If all goes well, it'll be rolled out later this year.

We're already there, kind of.

Phone showing push notification
Unsplash | Jamie Street

You may have noticed that in the past few years, smartphones have introduced features that allow you to sign in to certain portals without a password. Generally this works by sending a push notification to your phone that you can approve or deny.

The system will utilize your existing devices.

Hand holding a tablet
Unsplash | Roberto Nickson

Unlock requests will be sent to your preferred device, be it a smartphone or tablet, via Bluetooth. From there, you just need to unlock your device and decide whether to approve or deny the request.

Biometric options are on the table.

Fingerprint scanner on a phone
Unsplash | Lukenn Sabellano

This means that you can use the biometrics on your phone — either a fingerprint scanner or face unlock feature — to log on to certain web portals. If it's executed well, the concept should be a game-changer.

Two-factor authentication is still on the table.

Two-factor authentication request on phone
Unsplash | Ed Hardie

Two-factor authentication, which is a more secure way to sign onto your accounts than passwords alone, won't be replaced by the FIDO Alliance proposal. But FIDO's system will replace the password when going through a two-factor authentication flow.

The project has been in the works for awhile.

Google sign
Unsplash | Pawel Czerwinski

It's pretty much ready to be rolled out, but the recent news that Google, Microsoft, and Apple are on-board with the system is massive. It means that the system will have the backing of the world's most-used browsers when it launches.

Will it kill passwords entirely?

Sherlock Holmes thinking hard
Giphy |

While we'd all love to live in a utopian post-password world where we don't need to remember these codes anymore, passwords will still exist. Some people won't want to adopt the new standard, while passwords will act as a failsafe should FIDO's system experience glitches.

Will you be switching to this new method?

Phone showing 'Protected' graphic
Unsplash | Privecstasy

Many of us already rely on apps to save our passwords, or enjoy the convenience of push notification logins. But others might enjoy the old ways.

Which method do you prefer? Will you switch to the FIDO Alliance's password-free protocol? Let us know in the comments!

h/t: FIDO Alliance