The way people use passwords online hasn’t changed that much in the last 15 to 20 years. While encryption may have changed, and capture codes and security measures have been introduced, there is still high vulnerability that passwords can be hacked. If data is held in a database, there’s always a chance that a hacker can get into a server and steal a person’s password, or at least get the encrypted version of the password.
Yahoo recently introduced a new app that effectively kills passwords on Yahoo mail.
On the service’s 18th birthday, Yahoo decided to announce an app that offers a password-free option to log into your Yahoo account.
Yahoo Account Key
Called “Account Key,” this service works with three essential parts:
- Your smart phone
- Your mail app
- Your email address
And, users of Yahoo mail can enjoy this secure way of logging into their email by going to their settings and enabling the service.
What happens is that you’ll sign into your account, you’ll enter an email address and click next. Yahoo will then send a notification to your phone that will ask you to accept or deny the login request.
If you accept, you’ll be logged directly into your email.
This is, essentially, a way for you to verify your identity at all times. And, the company states that the authentication method can be extended to include facial recognition or even fingerprints. Under the current app, you still have a major vulnerability: anyone who has access to your phone can get into your email address.
What happens if you lose your smartphone?
If you lose your phone you will have to authenticate your login through a secondary email address. This isn’t ideal either because it opens up a security hole that would allow anybody that has access to your secondary account to gain access to your Yahoo Mail account.
It’s definitely more secure than the normal password you use, but it does have its caveats.
The current standard in password security is the two-factor authentication, but Yahoo states that less than 10% of its users actually have this feature enabled.
How many users would use the new Yahoo password app?
No one knows for sure, but the company has announced that Yahoo Mail has expanded beyond the normal mail capability that you’re used to. This is done by allowing you to connect to Outlook, Hotmail and AOL all through your Yahoo Mail account. And, you won’t be restricted in the amount of messages that are displayed – your entire mailbox will be available to you. You’ll also be able to send and receive messages directly in the app using any of the email services listed.
Shiv Shankar, the company’s senior product manager, was asked a very important question: “will Gmail be available through the app?” The response was that the team is currently working on a solution for both Gmail and Microsoft exchange accounts. This should be a game changer for email all over the world as you’ll be able to use one app to securely log into all of your email accounts without ever needing a password.
Yahoo Mail also enhanced their app to have a more intuitive and powerful interface for users. Even the search feature is highly accurate and only needs the first few letters of a person’s name to display relevant results.
The company is still attempting to compete with Gmail, but now, they may have found the perfect solution: a more secure way to login to your email.
It will be interesting to see how other tech companies work with Yahoo to use this revolutionary way to login to not only email but several other services in the future.
*Featured Image – Credit Robert Lucian Crusitu