Will Passwords Be A Thing Of The Past? (And the Pros and Cons Of Facial Recognition)

Ever since the introduction of fingerprint and facial recognition on earlier versions of iOS, there has been a lingering question when it comes to security. Do we need traditional passwords? And are they on their way out? Of course, this is never going to happen overnight, but is the process of moving away from passwords that can be a way into personal information for sophisticated hackers already underway? Even banking has been making similar moves, with contactless payment now commonplace. With Safari 14 allowing users to log in to certain websites using facial recognition, there is certainly a case for passwords being derelict.

So, What Does Safari 14 Have To Do With It?

In the latest development in the movement towards Fast Identity Online, anyone using Safari 14 will have the chance to set up facial recognition and fingerprint security should their laptop enable it. In an online conference, Jiewen Tan, Apple Safari programmer announced that the move would make authentication faster and more secure. This is something we can all get on board with, but the transition won’t be for everyone.

The technology relies upon the user having access to iOS 14, so not all laptop owners and tablet users will be able to take advantage.

Advantages of Using Facial Recognition and Fingerprint Security

No Forgetting Passwords

One of the main issues with modern passwords that websites have different standards as to what they will accept. This means that you will have to come up with a combination of different ones and remembering them all can be difficult. Still, it is better to not use on for every website, but when some need two caps, at least one number, and a special key compared to other websites that only need a capital to start then whatever, it can get pretty confusing.

They Are Quick

As Jiewen Tan mentioned, these modern forms of security are faster, with access almost instant typing a password will often be followed by having to confirm you are not a robot and click all the random pictures of traffic lights before you can go any further. This is all assuming you haven’t typed anything incorrectly at the initial stage.

More Secure

This is what we are all after at the end of the day, as much security as possible. Facial recognition and fingerprint security if unique to the user to there is no way of anyone else gaining access to your information or logging in without permission. Since airports are starting to use it as part of their security, and expect it to be commonly used within a few years, it is obvious that there are advantages.

Because it is considered almost impossible to deceive, the fraud is less likely and personal data will be safer.

Blocking Phishing

Laptops and websites store a lot of our data, including passwords, and this means they are at the mercy of hackers should they suffer a security breach. A huge benefit of facial and fingerprint recognition is that it means there is no password to steal. Without one, a hacker cannot get into your data.

Hygienic

Transactions such as contactless payments have been popular during the Coronavirus pandemic since it means the user does not have to input their pin number by pressing keys that have been touched by various others throughout the day. The same benefit can be experienced via facial recognition. There is talk that the technology could be used in department stores, which would mean that diseases are less likely to be transferred.

Issues Holding It Back

Generational

One of the issues holding back a full-on move away from passwords is generational. Although you don’t want to be too critical and tarnish  everyone a certain age under the same brush, some age demographics are less likely to accept change than others. This being said, some people’s grandparents are full of surprises, but this is less common.

Losing A Phone

If you have facial recognition on your phone, but not your laptop, this can make it difficult to access information when you need it without a password. This is why it is always good to have a password as a backup until the technology is commonplace and available on all devices. This, of course, takes some of the advantages away as it means with a password, there is still a possibility that a hacker can get to your information.

Fingerprints Can Still Be Stolen

We’re not saying that anyone is going to steal your actual finger, but there are ways that people have been able to replicate a fingerprint. As long as they have a clean, clear copy it is possible. Although this is unlikely, a film or even glass could leave your access lying around.

As the technology gets smarter, so do hackers which is something to be mindful of in the future. An optical scanner will not be able to tell the difference between an actual fingerprint and that of a print.

Injury

After injuring your finger, whilst it has, it can impact the rate to which it will work for security purposes. Again, this is a rare occurrence but this is the sort of issue that doesn’t arise with password protection.

So, Will Passwords Go Away?

The legacy of a lot of software will take a long time to bring up to speed, even if there was a push to get rid of passwords altogether as soon as possible. They may be being phased out, but the process is slow and tricky. Some experts say the focus should be on improving password security and since password managers do make life easier, there is certainly a case for this. Because having a master password is simpler, we can see why.

Still, technology moves fast and old methods don’t always cling on for long so when it comes to online security, expect facial recognition and fingerprint protection to overtake passwords as the common method. However, this is assuming that something else doesn’t come along to make life even easier and more secure. With the way technological advances are moving, who knows.