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Forgot your password? Tech companies hope to offer new security alternatives

One option is to use “Windows Hello,” which scans your face, iris, or fingerprint.

PHOENIX — Think about how many passwords and usernames you have? Microsoft said it has come up with a way to log on without passwords.  

The company just announced users can, instead, download the Microsoft authenticator app to their smartphone and use a security key or verification code.

Another option is to use “Windows Hello,” which scans your face, iris, or fingerprint.   

“We protect internet users,” said Dr. Fish Wang, who teaches computer science security courses at ASU.  

“I lead a team of students to find vulnerabilities in software and report them to companies so that they get fixed,” he said.  

He said passwords are supposed to protect your privacy, but there’s one problem.  

“Your passwords are very likely to be weak,” he said.  

Dr. Wang said through his analysis, no matter how much he tells people to create a more secure password, many still resort to those easy to simple passwords, like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or their birthday. 

About 81% of the cybercrimes Microsoft has documented are related to vulnerable usernames and passwords.  

“Microsoft is trying to do their best, to find the right balance between being easy to use and being secure enough,” Dr. Wang said.  

This is as Apple urges all users to update the software on their devices as soon as possible after a cybersecurity lab found a new security threat.   

“That vulnerability is pretty powerful,” he said.    

As soon as you receive a message from the attacker, whether you read it or not, your phone or app can get hacked immediately. 

If you don’t take the right precautions, he said sooner or later, something bad could happen to your devices or systems.  

So, keeping our software up to date is something he said we should all be vigilant about.  

Regardless of what devices you use, Dr. Wang said these companies are going to continue to try to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals, to keep users as safe as possible.  

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