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

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

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Apple is testing an updated login process for iCloud on the web, 9to5Mac recently reported. Instead of the typical password entered manually, iOS 13, iPadOS 13 and macOS Catalina beta testers are testing Face ID or Touch ID as options for authentication.

Passwords are an important point for many users, according to a recent Kaspersky report. Because users have difficulty remembering passwords, especially when they are forced to change them frequently, they use the same password for most accounts or use easy-to-guess passwords.

WATCH: How to reduce user account locks and password resets (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

These bad password habits leave users vulnerable to cyber attacks that seek to hack accounts and steal personal information. Initially, organizations forced users to change their passwords regularly, after a fixed number of days, in an effort to thwart hackers.

However, these frequent changes ended up doing more harm than good, and users finally forgot and reset passwords. Instead, Microsoft recently opted to eliminate password expiration in Windows 10, a move meant to keep accounts safer.

More companies are considering deleting passwords altogether, with biometric security as the new form of authentication.

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Leading the pack is Apple, one of the first technology 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 the beta version of iOS 13, iPadOS 13 and macOS, users will see a pop-up window asking if they would like to log in using Apple ID through biometric data. The biometric data will be requested in the form of Face ID, for Apple devices equipped with Face ID, as well as Touch ID, for other devices enabled with Touch ID.

If a user is already running their device in beta, they will automatically be redirected to beta.icloud.com when they try to visit iCloud.com. If a user is not running a beta version, you can try the function by manually entering the beta URL in your address bar, but the user must be running iOS 13, iPadOS 13 or MacOS Cataline to do so, 9to5Mac reported.

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

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Source: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/why-apple-should-follow-microsofts-move-to-get-rid-of-passwords/

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