hy is it so difficult to remember all of our passwords and so simple for a hacker to break in? Take, for example, the more than 1 billion user names and passwords that were stolen from some 420,000 websites recently by the Russian gang called CyberVor. One billion. These Internet credentials weren’t stolen from individuals’ personal computers, but from online vendors that store user names and passwords to give members access.
Here’s the deal: If you didn’t have to use and store your password in the first place, it wouldn’t get stolen.
Researchers are one step ahead of you. Myriad labs are working on a variety of methods to secure online information or give users access to personal data without having to type in passwords. Many of them tap into biological characteristics unique to each person. You’ve probably heard of some of the more common methods, such as fingerprint scanning — the iPhone 5 has that option — and iris identification. But there are a host of others you may not know exist. Your heartbeat, for example. What about brainwaves? Body odor? How about your butt?
Here we look at 12 unusual ways to access secure information by means other than typing in letters, numbers and/or special characters. Some of these methods are available now and others are still in the lab. But the good news about all of them is that you never have to memorize a thing.