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January 21, 2013

New Universal Log-In Method Being Trialed by Google- What it Could Mean for Users

By Allison Boccamazzo, TMCnet Web Editor

It should come as no surprise that the standard password and username is far from secure. For many who are technologically unaware, this could be a bit confusing. There are so many factors that play into the password security equation that help weaken its defense against hackers and other Internet crooks that it can be hard to keep up. For example, some sites don’t push users to create unique combinations of capitalized and lowercased letters with numbers (the standard combo used to create a strong defense against hacking). There are even password generators and checkers on the Web to help you do so, which should be telling enough of how its current security is faring.

In fact, this questionable aspect of the Web is becoming so heavy that some of the world’s largest and most influential Internet moguls are considering implementing new and more secure methods of user log-ins. One such company is good ol’ Google (News - Alert), which upon recently expressing its concern over traditional password based-security, hinted that it would be trying something new.

Now, we know what that new method is – a USB key. Mobile Magazine reported today that upon concluding that “passwords and simple bearer tokens such as cookies are no longer sufficient to keep users safe,” the company is now in a trial phase of a new authentication method, its new USB key, which it is finding to be quite successful so far.

Image via Shutterstock

Right now, Google is “experimenting” with YubiKey’s cryptographic cards to make this possible, the report continued. YubiKey is self-described as offering solutions that provide “strong, two-factor authentication with one time passwords” that are “easy and affordable.” 

So far, this USB method is actually fairly compatible with Google Chrome, allowing users to quickly log in to websites without needing significant modifications, which will hopefully serve as an indication of its bright future.

“Although we recognize that our initiative will likewise remain speculative until we’ve proven large scale acceptance, we’re eager to test it with other websites,” Google’s security experts divulged. In other words, they will need the help of many, many Web developers to come together to give this solution the full effect it needs to truly take off.

I’m sure many would agree with Mobile Magazine’s Brett Widmer when saying that “the fact they are working toward the goal of beefing up security is refreshing.” If this goes full speed ahead, users will no longer have to have several different passwords for several different log-in accounts, but rather, one universal, physical key to log-in success.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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