Passwords are easily hacked, especially when passwords are created too simple, generic, or familiar. Yet complicated passwords are difficult to remember, especially when you give a different password to every site you have a login for. Google is thinking of a new alternative to the password that will better secure logins without having to remember complex digit-letter-symbol combinations.
Project Abacus to Replace the Password
The password replacement project, labeled Project Abacus, is Google’s attempt to move forward in secure logins for smart devices in particular. Project Abacus replaces a traditional password with a comprehensive analysis of the way you use your phone. Project Abacus analyzes how you type, how you speak, and other signals from your phones’ senses to calculate the probability that you are who you say you are. That probability calculation is called a “Trust Score.” The Trust Score would replace traditional passwords, PINs, and fingerprint log-ins.
Google announced the project last year at the Google I/O developer conference. But next month, the company will start trial runs of the project with several large financial institutions. Google hopes the trail runs will go successfully so they can have the Trust Score available to every Android developer by the end of the year. Once available to developers, they can decide if the project’s Trust Score provides a secure method to replace the traditionally used password logins.
Password Alternatives Have Been Long Awaited
Passwords have been around for a long while. They, along with PINs and number-letter-symbol combinations, have long been used to allow people secure logins. And security is needed, especially when a large majority of our secure transactions are handled online. But remembering passwords is not an easy task. In fact, according to Google, Project Abacus comes from the woes of being human—simply put, we are not very good at remembering passwords. But humans are good at being themselves, so the Trust Score tracks people’s ways of doing things, so the security setup with the Trust Score would be able to detect if someone else is using the device. It is a clever way for Google to provide security while requiring very little work for the user.
If the Project Abacus trials go well in the next few months, secure protection will be revolutionized with user simplicity and guaranteed security.
Google is not the only company who is working to revolutionize. Earlier this year, Amazon announced their selfie password idea. Simply put, Amazon is working to create a secure login that would require someone to take a video of themselves doing something specific like wink, which would be practically impossible for someone to fake. Amazon would not just be requiring a photo of the user, but a specific command to be fulfilled. The hope is that anyone but the user will be denied login access.
Smart Password Use is Still Encouraged
While Google, Amazon, and other tech companies are working on better and more secure ways to protect their users, we still will be using traditional passwords. So in the meantime, remember to be smart by choosing unique passwords that would be hard to guess or generate.