Yahoo aims to kill passwords with on-demand codes

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Yahoo is stepping up its security game. Photo: Yahoo
Yahoo is stepping up its security game. Photo: Yahoo

Passwords are easy to forget. They’re even easier to steal. Now Yahoo has unveiled a new scheme to make permanent passwords as outdated as Morse code.

Yahoo is rolling out its “on-demand” email passwords that utilize phone notifications so you’ll never have to memorize a password again. It works kind of like two-factor authentication, except you don’t ever have to type in your primary password.

The new on-demand password sign-in method is available starting today. When users try to sign in, they’ll see a “send my password” button rather than a normal text-entry box.

“This is the first step to eliminating passwords,” said Yahoo VP Dylan Casey during the service’s unveiling today at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. “I don’t think we as an industry has done a good enough job of putting ourselves in the shoes of the people using our products.”

While competitors like Google, Facebook and Apple have offered two-factor authentication for a while now, Yahoo is trying to step up its game with more user-friendly security options, even though on-demand passwords technically are less secure than two-factor authentication.

To sign up, follow these steps:

1) Sign in to your Yahoo.com account.
2) Click on your name at the top right corner to go to your account information page.
3) Select “Security” in the left bar.
4) Click on the slider for “On-demand passwords” to opt in.
5) Enter your phone number and Yahoo will send you a verification code.
6) Enter the code and voila!

Source: Yahoo

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  • Skywaytraffic

    Nope. I’m literally already annoyed. 2 factor authentication is terrible. These companies should be focusing on increasing the “speed” of inputting passwords as well as increasing the security.

    • D R

      This is like google. a way for Yahoo to get your phone number attached to your email, so they link their on-line profile of you with your off-line profile. so they can make more money selling your information.

  • xared

    Fingerprint scanning is one of the best and easiest ways. It is literally at your fingertips. And no need to remember anything. Easy. Fast.
    When Apple puts those touch ID scanners in Macs, its gonna be really exciting.

    • KP

      I’d rather them just put TouchID in the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad! That way we can add TouchID to older Mac’s!!

  • markstickley

    It’s a very silly idea, it means that anyone with access to your phone has access to your account. And how many people have turned off SMS notifications on their lock screens? Virtually no one so you don’t even need to know the phone’s PIN to do it.

  • KP

    This is cumbersome, and not the correct solution. Yahoo’s 2-factor authentication is the weakest link out of all the accounts i use online that provide it, as everyone else allows me to use the Google Authenticator app to generate the codes. Yahoo forces me to use SMS, which is usually slow and I have to ensure i have cell phone coverage in order to sign in.