Internet service provider
is now offering customers a new log-on security feature
that goes beyond password identification. A technology that
is common in Brazil and Scandinavia, this authentication system will
be released on Tuesday for an additional cost to the monthly AOL
Originally directed at small businesses, this offering is
available to consumers as scammers are finding new and improved ways
of hacking their way into personal information that is passed via
Two-factor authentication solutions authenticate users based on
two-factors: knowledge and possession. Both a device and a PIN are
required to unlock a device, such as a smart card or token.
Interested subscribers will receive such a similar device, courtesy
of RSA Security, Inc., which
will show a six digit code that changes every minute, acting as a
second password. This password is essential for logging on so that
scammers are unable to access an account unless they have the device
According to Scott Schnell, senior vice president of RSA
Security, "you don't have to remember complicated passwords to still
have good security."
The added security will not offer protection once a user is
outside AOL, utilizing third-party services, unless sensitive
information is being sent directly to an AOL account.
Perhaps such a technology will serve as a wake-up call for other
ISP's in an effort to protect their consumer's personal information
and to thwart scammers from identity theft. The only reservation,
according to Gartner analyst Avivah Litan,
is that customers may find these devices and technologies too
difficult to use.
The service is available for $1.95 per month, in addition to a
one-time $9.95 activation