Yahoo Aims To Make Passwords Extinct

If you own a Yahoo e-mail account, you can forget your password. Literally. The search engine announced Sunday that it has started letting e-mail users in the U.S. change the security settings on their accounts so they can opt in to a new verification procedure.

Instead of having one password with which to access their accounts, users can elect to provide Yahoo with mobile phone numbers instead. When they wish to access their accounts, Yahoo will send a text to their phones with a one-time password.

Eliminating Passwords Altogether

The new password-on-demand option is one of two security upgrades to its e-mail system that Yahoo announced on Sunday. The company said that it was providing the option in response to worries among users about losing or forgetting their e-mail passwords.

EUToday, weEUre hoping to make that process less anxiety-inducing by introducing on-demand passwords, which are texted to your mobile phone when you need them,EU Chris Stoner, Director of Product Management at Yahoo, wrote on the companyEUs Tumblr feed. EUYou no longer have to memorize a difficult password to sign in to your account -- what a relief.EU

But the move could have far broader implications than just easing the minds of some of YahooEUs more forgetful e-mail users. The development represents the first step in eliminating passwords altogether, Yahoo vice president of product management for consumer platforms Dylan Casey said at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, according to CNET.

The new security process could make going online safer for YahooEUs users, since temporary passwords are more secure than static ones, which hackers can steal from corporate databases.

However, while the new option may offer better protection than the standard username and password combo, it remains a much less secure option than two-factor identification, which requires users to enter both static...

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