Password breach renews focus on authentication

A Facebook login page. Terms of Services agreements for such services have received renewed recent attention.

In one of the largest cyber thefts in history, a Russian crime ring has stolen more than a billion internet usernames and passwords. While it’s still not clear which businesses and individuals are affected, it is clear that many businesses are threatened.

 We spoke to Cyrus Farivar, Senior Business Editor at Ars Technica, to talk keeping passwords secure. Here were his insights:

One potential solution to the problem of easy to remember/hard to hack passwords is a password manager, but even this requires remembering a master password to the manager.

Non-password based solutions such as eye scanners and fingerprint scanners are not yet in the consumer space (save the current iPhone), but they are in high security areas like banks and military installations.

Even so, the best advice going forward for consumers, according to Farivar, is the same it has always been: don’t use the same password for too many accounts, especially if one is substantially more important than others. 

About the author

Noel King is a reporter for Marketplace's Wealth and Poverty desk.

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