TECHNOLOGY AND YOU – GARY M. KAYE – The huge data breach at eBay may bring the world one step closer to eliminating the ever more vulnerable password system that has been in place since the advent of the Internet. The breach itself is horrendous. It affects 145 million eBay users. The fact that eBay took the better part of a week before posting a notice on its homepage that users should change their passwords is simply shameful.
The hackers have made passwords obsolete. And many of the conventional responses for password protection are equally obsolete. Shortly after the eBay breach occurred, the McAfee division of Intel Security put out an advisory that included the following:
- Change your password often (at least once every 3 months)
- Do not use the same password for multiple sites
Many of us are developing short term memory problems as it is. Is it really practical to remember all of our passwords for all of our sites (sometimes dozens of them)? If you put it on a piece of paper, will you misplace it, or will that become another vulnerability? Worse, if you’ve been smart enough to put together an ICE Pack (In Case of Emergency) so your family can take care of your affairs if you can’t, are you really going to remember to update your ICE pack every three months? Let’s get real. We need a better solution.
There are a number of password protection systems on the market. Unfortunately none is perfect. Here are some of the most widely used:
- Password vaults
- Fingerprint scanners
- Facial and voice recognition
- Hardware keys
- Two factor authentication
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