If it isn’t for security purposes, we wouldn’t use passwords. Not only are they insecure, they are also inconvenient to use. And now that we are slowly realizing the cons of using them, we are now creating a world without them.
According to reports, Windows 10 is going “passwordless.” Microsoft thinks that this step will help solve “insecurity” problems. The company’s first move is to ensure that Windows 10 passwords for 800 million users will be replaced. But why risk going passwordless in the first place?
Microsoft on Going Passwordless
To fulfill Microsoft’s dream of creating a passwordless world, they aim to deliver two promises. These are:
- User Promise – Microsoft wants to ensure that end-users will not have to deal with passwords every day.
- Security Promise – Microsoft wants to ensure that user credentials can’t be breached, phished, or cracked.
Simply said, Microsoft wants to devalue passwords and replace them with other ways that will eradicate the need to use them.
By the looks of it, Microsoft will have to work on a lot of aspects as passwords have become an integral part of our digital lives. In order to completely get rid of them, they don’t just need to focus on all their cons. They also need to acknowledge the fact that they can be helpful at times, considering how portable and familiar they can be.
What Will Happen to Windows 10 Passwords?
So, how will Microsoft get rid of passwords? What will happen to Windows 10 passwords? Here are some important points included in their passwordless strategy:
1. Create Password-Replacement Alternatives
Microsoft wants to replace passwords with alternatives that aim to address the shortcomings and cons of passwords. At the same time, they want to embrace their positive attributes.
2. Reduce Password-Surface Areas That Are Visible to Users
They aim to upgrade all experiences that are related to a user’s identity, such as setting up a device, password recovery, and the use of accounts or devices to access websites and apps.
3. Simulate a Passwordless Realm
Once they have thought of new password-replacement alternatives and reduced those password-surface areas that are visible to users, Microsoft wants to allow IT administrators and end-users to transition into a passwordless realm with confidence.
4. Get Rid of Passwords from Identity Directories
This is the last strategy. Microsoft wants to delete all passwords from identity directories.
Some Passwordless Alternatives
Above, we mentioned that Microsoft will create new password-replacement alternatives. We’ve listed three of them below:
1. Windows Hello
Unlike passwords, Windows Hello is much more secure. It is no surprise why more than 47 million users are choosing this alternative over traditional passwords.
Windows Hello is a great alternative to passwords on personal computers. It is a biometrics-based technology that allows Windows 10 users to authenticate and verify secure access to apps, devices, networks, and online services with just facial recognition, iris scan, or fingerprint.
This sign-in option is widely accepted because it is more user-friendly, reliable and secure.
2. Microsoft Authenticator App
This Microsoft Authenticator app allows users to authenticate or verify their Microsoft accounts using their mobile devices. It is designed using the same technology that Windows Hello uses. And the good thing about it is that it is already packaged into a simple app for mobile devices.
To use the technology, you simply have to download the Microsoft Authenticator app from Google Play Store.
3. FIDO 2 Security Keys and Windows Hello
Microsoft has worked with the renowned Fast Identity Online (FIDO) working group, which is represented by about 250 organizations from different industries. All of them work hand-in-hand to fulfill their dreams of replacing passwords with a more convenient yet stronger credential.
With the ratification of the use of FIDO2 security keys, Microsoft aims to update Windows Hello to make it more secure.
The Passwordless Windows 10 S Mode
With the release of the Windows 10 April 2019 Update, Microsoft aims to deliver a passwordless-ready experience for end users. By introducing S Mode on Windows 10, we can use our devices without having to provide our passwords.
To enable S mode, here are some aspects you need to set up:
1. The Microsoft Authenticator App
The first thing you should do is to set up the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device. Download it from the Play Store and install it on your device. After that, log in with your Microsoft account.
The next time you are required to log in to a page or an app, simply click the Use the Microsoft Authenticator app instead option. This way, you will no longer have to enter your passwords, but rather log in with the app.
2. Your Windows 10 Computer
After setting up the Microsoft Authenticator app, set up your Windows 10 computer. To do that, follow these steps:
- Install the latest Windows 10 update with the S-mode feature.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to ensure you set up your account correctly.
- Use the Microsoft Authenticator app to log into your account.
- If asked for a password, choose the Use the Microsoft Authenticator app instead option.
3. Windows Hello
Now, you need to set up Windows Hello. Here’s how:
- Go to Settings and select Accounts.
- Click Sign-in Options and choose Set Up.
- Hit Get Started.
- Enter your PIN when prompted. You can also create one if you don’t have a PIN yet.
- Next, set up face recognition. Simply look at the screen and wait for further instructions.
- You have the option to set up fingerprint recognition as well.
That’s it! You have successfully set up Windows 10 in S mode and you can go password-less.
It seems that Microsoft has made great preparations in order to fulfill their dream of having a passwordless world. But no matter how exciting the future will be, we still suggest that you take caution. After all, you can never tell when security attacks may occur.
To further protect your privacy against hackers or fraudsters, we recommend that you install a reliable PC repair tool. You can use it to eliminate any traces of your activity and also safeguard sensitive information.
What aspects of Microsoft’s “passwordless world” vision are you most excited about? Let us know below!