Yahoo wants to kill the password one text message at a time

Forget biometrics, Yahoo wants to kill the password with text messages.

With the backing of Google and Microsoft, the FIDO Alliance wants to kill passwords through biometrics like fingerprints and eye scans. Yahoo, however, is trying a different approach--one that looks a lot like the two-factor authentication we have now.

During SXSW on Sunday, the company announced a new feature for U.S. users called on-demand passwords. Instead of keeping a single password in your memory or a password manager like LastPass, Yahoo will send a one-time login code to your mobile phone every time you want to sign-in to your Yahoo account.

To get set-up, log in in to Yahoo.com and from the account management page select Account security. Then in the main part of the page, select On-demand password. Next, Yahoo will ask you to enter your phone number to send you a verification code. Once you verify that you are receiving codes, each time you attempt to sign in to your Yahoo account you'll now see a send my password button.

The impact on you at home: If you don't use a password manager and use the same password for multiple accounts, on-demand passwords could be a blessing. The new feature removes the burden of creating and remembering a password. All you have to do is make sure your phone is charged and has a signal when you need to sign into a Yahoo site. Yahoo didn't address how you might get online if you're somewhere that has Internet access, but no cell signal--such as in-flight--but it's an interesting approach to killing passwords that is fairly simple to use once you've signed up.

More security

Yahoo also provided an update on its end-to-end GPG email encryption plugin that the company first announced in August. In a video posted to YouTube, Yahoo shows its new plugin in action with a side-by-side comparison of getting up and running with GPGTools, an encryption suite for Mac OS X desktops.

In the video, Yahoo Mail's encryption plugin looks relatively simple to use and should make encryption easier for anyone that wants the functionality. Yahoo says the plugin should be available to all users by the end of 2015.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftGoogleemailYahoopgpLastPassSXSWFIDO Alliance

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?