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Say goodbye to your password – biometrics in 2016

Clayton Howes | July 7, 2016
The biometrics revolution is beginning, and it’s only going to get more exciting from he

You already use your finger to unlock your phone. Now, imagine doing the same thing with your eyes.

Sounds crazy, right? Maybe something Tom Cruise would do in a Mission Impossible movie.

Wrong.

The biometrics revolution is beginning, and it's only going to get more exciting from here. In fact, by 2020 research group IDC expects 50% of all mobile devices to have biometric security.

We have a security problem. Society has been using the same type of security measures for decades, and they're not working. How many times have you received a message from a retailer or other business asking you to change your username or password due to a breach? (Ashley Madison customers know this pain all too well.)

It's easy to crack this stuff. Even when your password is long, random and complicated. An investigation by Wired in 2013 found security experts were able to hack into a list of about 16,000 passwords.

Now, when you consider that most people just use random words for passwords, including easily-guessable content like "password" or "1234", password security looks a lot less secure.

And it's only going to become more crucial to protect this content. We're giving away more of our data every day - to apps, to websites, to digital services. Our credit card numbers and passwords are held by dozens, even hundreds, of different services.

We're using ancient technology to protect modern data. This is 2016. It's a little sad our usernames and passwords are being leaked on a regular basis.

Enter biometrics.

This isn't science-fiction. People use their thumbs to unlock their smartphones every day. Using retina scanning and facial recognition technology used to be in the realm of top-secret government departments. Now, Facebook can scan photographs automatically to recognise you and your friends.

As consumers, we should all be hoping for the day that advanced biometrics comes as standard in our devices. Think about the conveniences. You'll never have to remember a password again, or for that matter, spend time thinking up a complex string of words that you're never going to remember anyway. (And remember - they're still easy to crack).

With biometrics, there's relatively zero chance someone can steal your identity. Hackers don't stand a chance if they need to literally use your eyes to get some money and using these methods means less admin and less paperwork for everyone.

For start-ups, access to biometric security methods is also a huge win. Trusting a business with data is one of the hurdles new customers face when signing up for a product. Ensuring biometric security is baked in from the start means businesses will be able to find new customers a lot sooner.

 

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