The way we think about our relationship to online security is unclear at best. Computers and cell phones are amazing devices that integrate into our world in new and surprising ways every day. More than 4 billion users are online daily, constantly logging in and out of websites. Our new digital life is requiring people with limited knowledge about computer science or networks to interact with all sorts of security risks. With only the vague assurance that “your data is being protected” – but what does that really mean?
Online security means different things at different times. Sometimes companies will have their employees use only company-issued devices and networks, or change their passwords with increasingly complicated requirements every few months. At home, many of the same practices are selectively ignored, although the number of logins in use continues to rise. However, for all environments, it’s still good advice – avoid clicking on suspicious emails, don’t give out unnecessary information to strangers, stay away from visiting certain websites, and never tell anyone your password.
It’s frustrating to go to your favorite websites and be locked out because you don’t remember whether it was the asterisk or the dollar sign you used at the end of the account password they made you create. Losing your login means losing control of your identity, as social media and sensitive accounts are now out of your immediate reach. Companies hate this, too; figuring out how to allow users to safely access their own information is an enormous headache. If you need a laugh, check out the twitter feed @PWTooStrong
The worst part is that we make it exceptionally easy for our accounts to be compromised. Writing passwords down because they’re hard to remember is a major security risk. Whether someone clicks on huge, flashing web banners that say something like “Click here for a prize!” or having a default password you like to use on everything from your favorite video watching services to your insurance company logins, you are making your information vulnerable to attacks. It’s hard to keep the door locked when you give strangers the keys and/or use the same key for all the doors.
The important thing to remember is that a username and password is only ever as secure as the person using them. But if you could get rid of the need for passwords and take that out of your regular security concerns, imagine how much easier and safer it would be to work and play on the internet!
TraitWare® is working to remove the hassle of managing passwords by replacing your login credentials with a patented technology that leverages your mobile device as a secure token, along with something you are and know. This creates an app based login that has multi-factor authentication inherent in the process. We’re moving the control of your password security away from remembering a 10-15 complex character password with an identity verification on your phone, and a scan of a QR code on your screen. You can seamlessly, securely log in without having to remember multiple pieces of information.