Why Apple should follow Microsoft's move to get rid of passwords

Apple is testing biometric authentication as a new way of signing in to iCloud.com.

Why passwords are a terrible method of authentication BioCatch's VP Frances Zelazny explains how biometric security could soon replace passwords.

Apple is testing an updated sign-in process for iCloud on the web, 9to5Mac recently reported. Rather than the typical manually-entered password, iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS Catalina beta testers are trying out Face ID or Touch ID as options for authentication. 

Passwords are a major pain point for many users, according to a recent Kaspersky report. With users having difficulty remembering passwords—especially when they are forced to change them often—they either use the same password for most accounts, or use easy-to-guess passwords. 

SEE: How to reduce user account lockouts and password resets (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

These poor password habits leave users vulnerable to cyberattackers looking to hack accounts and steal personal information. Initially, organizations forced users to change their passwords regularly, after a fixed amount of days, in an effort to thwart hackers. 

However, these frequent changes ended up doing more harm than good, with users ultimately forgetting and resetting passwords. Microsoft instead recently opted to remove password expiration on Windows 10, a move intended to keep accounts safer. 

More companies are considering eliminating passwords altogether, with biometric security surfacing as the new way of authentication. 

Leading the pack is Apple, one of the first tech conglomerates to integrate biometric security into its mobile devices. Now, Apple is testing the use of biometric technology as a way to log-in to iCloud in Safari. 

In beta of iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS, users will see a pop-up asking if they'd like to sign in using Apple ID via biometrics. The biometrics will be asked for in the form of Face ID, for Face ID-equipped Apple devices, as well as Touch ID, for other Touch ID-enabled devices. 

If a user is already running their device on beta, they will be automatically redirected to beta.icloud.com when attempting to visit iCloud.com. If a user isn't running beta, they can try the feature by manually entering the beta URL into their address bar, but the user must be running iOS 13, iPadOS 13, or MacOS Cataline to do so, reported 9to5Mac. 

For more, check out Are passwords becoming obsolete? 5 things that could replace them, on TechRepublic. 

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