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Don’t Remember Your Password? No Problem!
By: Jennifer Graber
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Raise your hand if you have ever locked yourself out of an account in an attempt to log on. All hands should be raised at this point. With the myriad of online accounts, sites, and emails, it is a wonder any of us remember a single password. The complexity of the situation is only compounded by the fact that each account requires different security measures, letters, symbols—you name it. All of it equates to the potential for frustration, angry typing, and deep sighs. And this is precisely the sort of situation Yahoo is looking to improve.
 
At the SXSW Festival Yahoo announced the release of an update to its email log on process. Yahoo will soon allow users to log on each time with a single use password sent via text message (called on-demand passwords). The company hopes this is a move towards the elimination of the need for passwords altogether. Additionally, Yahoo is aiming to increase security for its users.
 
To “activate” Yahoo’s latest update, you first must log in to your email using your original password. You will then need to access your security settings for your Yahoo email. In the settings section you will have the option to activate the on-demand password feature, as well as “register your phone.”
 
Once the activation is complete your log-on screen will change starting the next time you access your email. The password field will be replaced with a special button to click. This button will say “send my password.” Users will receive a “four-character password” on their cell phones that can then be used to access their Yahoo email. Users can choose to log on with the on-demand password feature each and every time.
 
The great thing about Yahoo’s latest update is that it has the potential to limit hacker access to not only your personal email but other accounts as well. If your Yahoo email gets hacked there is less risk for the vulnerability of your accounts because of the unique password each time. So at least one of your accounts will have a different password than the rest, because we all have a tendency to be somewhat lax in our security efforts.
 
The new login system is also great because you never have to worry about remembering one more password amongst the million others.
 
The drawback is that while it adds a new sense of security, it also adds another layer of challenges. What if your phone gets lost? What if your phone gets stolen or hacked? What if your phone is on the other side of the room?
 
This also removes a step in a typically two-step authentication process. As far as security goes, how simplistic do we want to get versus how complex do we want to get? Where is that balance?
 
If you have Yahoo email, will you be utilizing its new feature at any point?


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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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