Yahoo has introduced quite an ingenious way to help all those who are constantly forgetting their passwords. The company has just announced a new 'on-demand' phone-incorporated password service at the SXSW festival that, almost entirely, eliminates the need to remember passwords.
The new Yahoo announcement comes in the wake of several online hacking stories that we come across every day. Online security is something still of an uncharted territory for most of us, even if we are all over the web for one reason or the other. While uploading stuff on the web seems fun, there's lot more than meets the eye.
Breach of online property is quite the grave thing to happen in this age. We are more prone to all things "social" (mostly online) these days with Facebook and Twitter helping us share stuff faster than you can blink. However, problems occur when stuff like the iCloud hack happens and gives rise to the massively downloaded personal explicit content like the 'Fappening.'
Companies such as Yahoo are aware of all these online threats looming so ominously. But unlike others, Yahoo is taking, it's safe to say, a kind of unorthodox approach to the entire safety thing. The idea here is to move away from the traditional approach where you use one password for everything.
From a general level, the newest system from Yahoo will be greeted with a lot of enthusiasm, mostly because something like this has not been done before. And indeed, when was the last time you came across a highly secured, random and unique password generating service, made specifically for Yahoo services and accounts?
All this may sound colourful and innovative, but there will be problems if you somehow manage to misplace your handset. Taking into account the fact that a regular hacker won't really bother breaking into your phone (past those security settings), things could turn messy with the hacker getting full access to your emails.
That your phone runs the mail service in the background with the password generator also generating new password each time means there's absolutely nothing that can stop an unauthorized person to hack into your personal stuff anytime from anywhere. And the first baby steps will be via your phone's lockscreen notification feature.
What could have made this new password generating service healthier is a sort of two-step mechanism where to get a newly generated password, users would have to first enter the previously generated password for better security. We know that this is trudging again into the "remember thy password" territory, but this is the least you could do as a user if you consider your online material important.
"What Yahoo is doing is moving to a model where any phone company can easily gain access to an account through porting. In my opinion that's not progress," Joe Siegrist, CEO and co-founder of renowned password management solution LastPass told Forbes.
"This is not a viable replacement for passwords and is an insecure approach. For all their faults, passwords are in place to increase security, while this is removing a factor from the equation. If you lose control of your phone, you could lose control of your email account. More companies are moving toward two-factor authentication, precisely because it's safer," he added.
However, as far as the entire "security" thing is concerned, we hope things work out better for Yahoo and its CEO Marrisa Mayer, and that this password generated system bears fruits. We have our fingers crossed, but not before expecting even bigger online threats looming in the horizon.