Access is Everything

How to Celebrate World Password Day

Deb Miller Landau iQ Managing Editor

Instead of changing their secret log-ins on May 7, people can turn to a new technology called True Key and unlock the need for remembering passwords.

There are few things in the world everyone agrees on. Certainly not politics or fashion or who’s going to win the next Super Bowl. Maybe there’d be general consensus on things like kittens are cute or sunny days are good, but there’d still be the odd cat hater and lover of rainy days.

One thing everyone can agree on: password management is a giant hassle.

“It’s a universal pain point,” said Mark Hocking, Vice President and General Manager of Safe Identity at Intel Security. His team is on mission to create a new model of authentication, one where online security doesn’t depend on some arbitrary method of password management.

May 7th marks the third annual Password Day, a global celebration to remind people that password security is serious business. Passwords are critical gatekeepers to our digital identities, allowing us to access online shopping, dating, banking, social media, private work and life communications.

Maintaining “good password hygiene,” where passwords are long, complicated and change often, leaves the average person at a loss for how to deal with them all.

“People simply can’t remember 50 different passwords,” said Hocking. “Everyone is forced to come up with some sort of coping mechanism.”

Cyber criminals steal and sell swaths of user data from hacked web services, including passwords, emails and usernames. Even if you change your password, sophisticated hacking methods can use your password data to access other accounts because, let’s face it, many of us use the same password on multiple sites.

“Passwords are stored in your head, but they are also on sites everywhere,” said Hocking.

He pointed out that recent online security breaches at retailers including Target, Neiman Marcus, UPS, Goodwill, Sony and Home Depot, demonstrate that password-hacking runs deep. As hacking of Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook accounts seem commonplace today, Hocking warns that people should become more vigilant about protecting their online identity and personal data.

Deloitte reported that of six million actual user-generated passwords, the 10,000 most common passwords would have accessed 98.1 percent of all accounts.

As evidenced by the recent #PasswordConfession conversations online, where people share via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Vine their often ridiculous or quirky password methodology, most people lack strong password management skills.

Even Star Trek superstar and social media darling George Takei got into it, with a Facebook post and Twitter roundup of his favorite confessions.

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While it’s unlikely we’ll live in a world without passwords any time soon, Hocking said there are new methods that make dealing with it all a whole lot easier.

HowToCreateStrongPasswords

True Key from Intel Security is an application that remembers all of your passwords for you, helps you make them stronger, and then instantly logs you in to online sites and applications from your smartphones, tablets or computers. It works on Windows PC, Mac, Android, iOS devices and across Chrome and Internet Explorer.

Hocking said that True Key starts with asking the question, ‘How do I help people solve poor password hygiene?’ “It will manage all of your passwords for you in a secure way. It provides relief for the hassle of passwords, but it also introduces new ways to authenticate you.”

WhatisMulti-FactorAuthentication

True Key removes the need for remembering passwords, because “You are your password,” said Hocking. The app recognizes you when you log in with your face or a fingerprint or other factors that are unique to you. Once you are logged into the app, you can just go where you want to go online and True Key will log you in instantly. You no longer have to remember your passwords.

Over time, Hocking believes that passwords will be replaced these more convenient and secure means of authenticating users, but for now the universal problem to solve is managing all our passwords, and making them as secure as we can.

“Adopting a password management system requires a real change in behavior, but it’s really liberating when you realize you can let go of that burden,” said Hocking.

Password Day will encourage many to change and even strengthen their passwords, but this year Hocking hopes people will unlock the burden by turning to True Key.

 

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