SMS authentication a “strong” way of keeping passwords safe

Text messages are just one of the many ways in which passwords could be made more secure and less prone to resets.

The issue of password security is back in the news once more, after MasterCard announced that it would soon have the technology for account holders to replace traditional passwords with a simple selfie. Now, companies have been clawing at ways of making passwords easier to remember (or, better still, impossible to forget), more secure and quicker to input. has broached the issue of two-factor authentication, with tokens, smart cards and smart USB keys sitting alongside text messages as potential alternatives.

Two-factor authentication makes password hacks more difficult, as thieves require something you know, alongside something you have, in order to reset accounts.

The issue of improving passwords isn’t just concerned with security, though. More than half of Brits forget crucial passwords more than once a week, whilst a third abandon online shopping baskets mid-purchase. Whilst not all cases are linked, it’s thought that password resets account for a sizeable number of cart abandonments. Furthermore, 60 per cent of Brits are thought to have missed out on time-sensitive purchases – such as event tickets – because of password issues.

Commenting, Peter Wood told “Unfortunately, most users do not know how to construct a secure password, nor do they understand the risk involved.

“Implement strong authentication for all remote users and for all privileged users and accounts.There are many two-factor alternatives to the traditional password… even mobile phone SMS texts.”