Users have been promised a password-free yet secure online world for a long time. Now it is within reach: The three leading technology giants, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, are joining the industry initiative FIDO and the World Wide Web Consortium and want to replace passwords with smartphone identification by the end of 2022.
Despair over forgotten passwords is legendary. Sometimes digital forgetfulness only forces you to take an annoying detour to create a new password. For other applications such as Austria’s smartphone signature, the motto is: Back to the start – a new password is only available through renewed personal registration at a registration office. Password managers built into operating systems like Apple’s are helpful but rarely work seamlessly. It remains to write down the password in a notebook or the famous piece of paper in the top drawer of the desk – not a suitable measure to protect against misuse.
A permanent way out is in sight: The digital giants Apple, Google, and Microsoft have joined the industry initiative FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium. They promise the end of passwords through identification via the user’s smartphone. By the end of 2022, providers of websites and apps should be able to enable secure and easy login without a password. Appropriately, Apple, Google, and Microsoft declared their joint commitment on World Password Day, May 5th.
Passwords are one of the biggest security problems for online services: they are either easily guessed, stolen when password servers are breached or can be cracked with appropriate tools. They are tedious for the users of online services: Anyone who follows the rule of creating a separate password as complex as possible for each service will quickly have problems remembering it. One solution to this is using a password manager that uses a “central key” to release all individual passwords when requested by a website.
The future solution is already familiar to many smartphone users using e-banking and credit card payments. When logging in to a protected website or app, you will be asked to confirm the login on your smartphone through fingerprint, face recognition, or your phone pin.
The mobile phone thus has another indispensable role in everyday digital life. Of course, problems are still conceivable, above all a stolen, misplaced, or forgotten smartphone. However, daily experience shows that people rarely go out without their magical wand. Despair over a forgotten password could soon be a distant memory.