Microsoft Now Allows Alternative Login Methods
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Microsoft announced that its users can now forgo passwords and use other login methods to access their accounts. The change applies to Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Family Safety, and more of the company’s products.
Microsoft users can either download will an authenticator app or use two-factor authentication (2FA) to log in or try another method. You’ll also need to make settings change in your online accounts.
The accepted new login methods include:
- Microsoft Authenticator app
- Security key
- Two-facror authentication (2FA) via a phone number or secondary email address
Windows Hello is a biometric authentication app that verifies your login credentials using facial recognition, iris scans, or fingerprints.
“Nobody likes passwords. They’re inconvenient. They’re a prime target for attacks. Yet for years they’ve been the most important layer of security for everything in our digital lives—from email to bank accounts, shopping carts to video games,’ said Vasu Jakkal Corporate Vice President, Security, Compliance, and Identity at Microsoft in a blog post.
The estimated that the average Internet user has over 200 sets of login credentials – including bank accounts, credit cards store loyalty programs, and shopping apps – to keep track of. this results in people using the same login credentials repeatedly. This makes it easy for hackers to hack into more valuable accounts after they steal a password during a data breach.
Of people who reuse passwords:
- 15% says they use a pets’ name
- 10% says they reuse passwords
- 40% say they use a pattern to generate a new idea
To keep all their online account secure you need to create and remember tens if not hundreds of unique passwords. On top of that, you must change them on a regular basis to keep your accounts secure.
But that’s not reality. Secure automatically generated passwords – like those your browser creates for you – are impossible to remember.
When you reuse the same email and password for your Facebook as you do for your bank account, you put your money at the risk of being stolen by hackers.
“Weak passwords are the entry point for the majority of attacks across enterprise and consumer accounts. There are a whopping 579 password attacks every second—that’s 18 billion every year.” says Microsoft.
Cybercriminals also buy thousands of sets of usernames and passwords from other hackers who stole them in data breaches.
What is an Authenticator App?
An authenticator app is an application installed on a mobile device. When someone attempts to log in to an online account using a password, they must also retrieve a code from the authenticator app to complete the login process. Google Authenticator is a popular authenticator app that works across many accounts – not just Google products.
Microsoft says that the passwordless login is available for most commercial users as of today.