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article imageYahoo begins process of eradicating passwords

By James Walker     Mar 16, 2015 in Technology
Yahoo has released a new system of logging in to Yahoo Mail that eliminates the need for remembering long, secure passwords. Instead, passwords are generated "on demand" when required at the time of login.
Yahoo Director of Product Management Chris Stoner explained the details in a blog post. The company aims to make the process of logging into websites and trying to remember a forgotten password "less anxiety-reducing" by completely removing the password element.
Instead, a password is texted to your mobile phone when you need it, at the point of login. Currently available only to U.S. users, the company encourages people to try out the new option as an alternative to memorizing long, hard to remember passwords — or using a terrible one such as the typical "password" or "abc123."
On-demand passwords can be enabled by logging into your Yahoo account and going to your account information page. Click "Security" in the navigation bar and toggle the "On-demand passwords" slider to on. Yahoo will text a verification code to your phone number. Once confirmed, the option will be enabled.
Now, next time you try to login to Yahoo, your phone will be texted a single-use password. Enter this into the login form and you will be granted access.
The method represents growing efforts by technology companies to find more secure methods of authenticating users. In an age where the password is increasingly viewed as an annoying hindrance, new ways of maintaining security must be found that are not only better protected than passwords but also easier to use.
Increasingly, two-factor authentication is used where two devices are required to gain access to a service when logging in from a new location or device, typically requesting a code texted to a phone to be entered as well as your password. It is safer than just a password and still very easy to use.
Both two-factor authentication and on-demand passwords and more secure than just a password although issues remain. What happens for instance if your phone is lost or stolen? With either method, you could be locked out of your account and with on-demand passwords your account could even be compromised if the thief knows your email address or username.
Although not necessarily suitable for every usage, the new methods of authentication are increasingly being deployed by companies anxious to protect their customers and their data from the myriad of threats present on the Internet. If you live in the U.S., use Yahoo and are looking for a better way to login to your account, consider enabling on-demand passwords to see if they could work for you.
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