Yahoo's New Email Option: No Password, No Problem
There are so many passwords to remember -- email, bank accounts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, news subscriptions, just to name a few. Trying to keep in mind which combination of letters and numbers and symbols goes to what site can be frustrating and time-consuming, which is probably why people routinely use obvious ones that are easy to remember -- and easy to hack.
Knowing this, Yahoo has created a way to permit access to their email without entering passwords, which it introduced at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, on Sunday.
Yahoo’s new system allows for a one-time use password to be sent to users’ phones on-demand whenever they want to log into their accounts. The company’s director of product management, Chris Stoner, explained the steps to using this method in a blog post. Yahoo users can opt in through the security tab on their account information page. While it’s only available to users in the United States, there is no word yet on if or when the service will be available internationally.
This is helpful because it prevents hackers who have guessed one password from having access to various portions of someone’s Internet presence, but this one-step process has drawbacks, too. The login key is sent to a user’s phone, which means that any lost phone can lead to a hacked email account.
Typically, a two-step process is used. A user will enter a password to access his email, and then a verification code is sent to that user’s phone. Once the user enters the code -- usually a short set of random numbers -- their inbox appears.
This new method is “the first step to eliminating passwords,” said Dylan Casey, Yahoo's vice president of product management for consumer platforms.