Will Face ID kill the password?


Will FaceID kill the password?
Biometric authentification like FaceID may not spell the end of passwords anytime soon.
Photo: Public domain

This iPhone security post is presented by Dashlane.

Will Apple’s Face ID kill the password? One might assume that if the biometric advance of Touch ID didn’t do it via fingerprint, the more-advanced facial recognition of Face ID incorporated in recent iPhones just might. However, experts tend to agree passwords aren’t going away anytime soon. We’ll get into the reasons why below, which will help explain why password-management security apps like Dashlane remain crucial to your online security.

Will Face ID kill the password? Nope — at least not yet

Numerous factors stand between the current state of identity authentication and a password-free world of the future. One is inertia. We are accustomed to using passwords. And many people hate change and adopt new things with glacial slowness.

Another major reason biometrics like fingerprints and facial recognition haven’t already killed off the password: security experts strongly prefer multifactor authentication to any one factor. So digital thieves will always need at least one other bit of information besides biometric information for a digital break-in, and that thing usually involves a password.

Perhaps even more to the point, biometrics can’t encrypt data. They are also vulnerable to theft. Stolen digital images of fingerprints have been used in crimes, for example. But biometrics can’t be reset or changed after the fact if that happens. What’s more, research finds that facial-recognition systems demonstrate bias toward the faces of white men, working far better for them than they do for people of color and women.

That said, forms of security that put the burden on the device rather than the person may move the needle on password eradication before biometrics do. Security schemes where your identity is registered in a given system, and the system sends a unique code to your smartphone rather than asking for a password, are becoming more common.

Dashlane: An easy way to up your password game

So it seems your digital existence will remain password-protected well into the future. So it’s past time to stop using super-easy-to-remember passwords (which are also easy to guess). And please, stop entering the same password in a dozen different places. A password manager like Dashlane can generate a unique, complex and encrypted password everywhere you need one online. Every time you sign up for something on the web, and every time you want to change an older password, Dashlane generates a new one that no one will ever guess.

Best of all, you need not remember the unwieldy string of letters, digits and symbols in any of your new passwords. Along with 13 million other users, for this we trust Dashlane, the official password manager of Cult of Mac. You just use one complex password for Dashlane — and the app does the rest.

Digital wallet protects your data

Dashlane’s patented security architecture does more than manage passwords. Using multifactor authentication, its easy-to-use features help safeguard your sensitive information and cover your tracks online.

Dashlane features a digital wallet to store sensitive data that you commonly enter on websites. Better yet, it autofills it so you don’t need to type it. That way, no one can track your typing and steal your keystrokes. This is crucial because various pieces of your data, such as street address, email address, birthday, phone number, credit card info and Social Security number, add up to your identity. You don’t want that pilfered.

Dashlane's Dark Web Monitoring alerts warn of data breaches.
Find out if your online data is compromised with Dashlane’s Dark Web Monitoring alerts.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Virtual private network (VPN), security alerts

With the premium version of Dashlane ($60 a year), you can switch on a virtual private network to make your online travels anonymous. The built-in VPN also protects you when you join public Wi-Fi networks and helps you avoid malware and trackers altogether. What’s more, it gets you around location restrictions on streaming content. Let’s say you leave the country briefly but you remain addicted to your streaming movies on demand. You can still get your fix by signing in from a U.S.-based server via VPN.

Dashlane also can send you security alerts. In the free version, Dashlane will notify you about potential problems so you avoid leaving a trail of digital clues about yourself for thieves to find. Dashlane Premium users add Dark Web Monitoring, which tells you if your information shows up where it shouldn’t. That way, at least you know and can do something about it.

Price: Free, with premium subscription options

Download from Dashlane: Get a free 30-day trial of Dashlane Premium


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