Silver Chips Online

TechnoLogical: Your body is the password

By Martha Morganstein, Online News Editor
November 19, 2013
Do you find yourself frustrated with the hassle of remembering the countless number of passwords you have? Whether, it is the password to log into social media sites, an email account or a phone lock screen, it seems like everything these days requires a password. Not to mention that accounts with passwords and pin numbers are fairly easy to hack into. The good news: corporations are attempting to find ways to move away from unsecure usernames and passwords and towards new alternative methods to log into accounts.

Picture password

Some Microsoft devices and Android phones , allow you to place a picture of your choosing in the lock screen which would act as a password.

The screen unlocks only when a predetermined a line, dot, circle or doodle is drawn on a specific spot of the picture. According to the app's description, "It frees users from the traditional and less secure unlock methods because there are close to an infinite number of combination of gestures." Meaning that even if someone happened to guess the spot on the picture that you decided on, it would be difficult for them to figure out the exact drawing as well.

Fingerprint identification

Using your fingerprint to unlock your phone is more secure and less of a hassle than old-fashioned username and password. Courtesy of Digital Trends
Using your fingerprint to unlock your phone is more secure and less of a hassle than old-fashioned username and password.
A new feature on the iPhone 5 allows you to unlock the phone by simply placing your finger on the home button.

During the initial setup, the finger is placed on the button at several different angles and from then on, the phone recognizes the fingerprint and therefore no other person can access the phone.

Although supposedly more secure, the program seems unsettling for some. "The whole thing is pretty convenient, but it's kind of creepy that Apple would have my fingerprint," sophomore, Madeline Burke, said. Apple, however, insists that customers have nothing to worry about. On their website , they promise that the fingerprint images are kept in the phone and not shared with any other IOS program.

Your voice is the password

One of the leading companies behind Apple's Siri, Nuance Communications , is in the process of perfecting a program which where your voice itself would be the password.

It would be used by banks and similar institutions to allow customers to access their accounts. Some Blazers are still skeptical about the voice password. "It's a good idea in theory, but there are bound to be problems with the technology like what if the account doesn't recognize your voice? Sophomore Amanda Feinberg said. Despite the criticism, supporters explain that this is most secure option because similar to fingerprints, the voice is unique for everyone and very hard to impersonate.

Simply looking at the screen

A Finnish company, Uniqul, , introduced a payment device which allows customers to make a payment by simply looking at the screen. When a customer goes up to pay, the system recognizes their face and then deducts the money from the bank account with only one touch of the screen.

If this method becomes widespread, there would no longer be a need for credit cards, written passwords, pins or security questions. Some feel that it is a pretty futuristic concept. "It's super cool! When we were younger, unlocking something with your face would sound unbelievable and now it's happening. The future is now!" Junior Cherie Carter said.

Password pills

One of Google's research divisions, Motorola, announced a method which is still in its early phase but ultimately turns your body into a log-in device. You take the pill in the morning and it will react with the acids in your stomach to release an 18-bit signal that will be recognized by devices like your phone or computer. A single pill would last up to 24 hours.

These new ideas will make usernames and written passwords a thing of the past. There will no longer be a need to memorize that little combination of letters or sentences you created when you were young, but still use today. But some Blazers are still unconvinced that the new means of passwords is the necessary path to take. "It seems silly that we would go to the extent of incorporating our bodies into passwords for security reasons," junior Esther Herbers explained.

Regardless of the skeptics, if these methods are successful, they will be the start of a new age in technology.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/12258