Africa: What Does the Future Hold for Passwords

With recent technological advancements, the considerable strides computer interfaces and network systems are taking are not unprecedented, especially in terms of security. It is often an understood notion, that for one to access information, they must know a special key, or rather secret key that nobody else is supposed to know. With the pace in which the world is developing, this secret key can no longer be as simple as it previously was. And, it must be even more secure than it ever has before.

Password security is not a new conversation. In this digital world, protecting yourself has progressed from being a responsibility for everyone, into being a necessity for everyone. In this tech revolution, information security is king.

The burning question, why aren't passwords secure enough anymore? Maybe through over use, lack of updating, ease of guessing, simplicity. The list can go on, passwords often have an element that contains something familiar about yourself. Such as a child's name, a pets name, a favorite football team. Avoiding the most common and easy to understand details about yourself is the first place to start when setting up a password.

Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, no matter how strong your password may be, even if it is as strong as the computer generated ones, you can be hacked. So, how do you go about this, apart from regularly updating your passwords, and doing away with universal passwords for every login, we begin by redefining what a password is. As the world shifts under the digital era, the very idea of passwords is being redefined. Updated password technology is stepping up security, and perhaps "password" is the wrong term to use when thinking about privacy and authentication in the future. Biometrics are beginning to create ripples in the digital security field, with fingerprints, facial recognition, retina scanning, voice recognition, and the most interesting, palm vein recognition- Which works using the patters of veins in the fingers or palms.

Additionally, two factor authentication is here to stay. What it does is, it adds an extra layer of security to passwords. As suggested by the name, these passwords require two different pieces of information. The way in which the digital era progressed, before our eyes, without even knowing the degree to which it has developed, it fascinating. Along with biometrics and two factor authentication, there are other possibilities as well. Such as heartbeat signal authentication. It has been perceived as less intrusive than biometrics, retina's and fingerprints. The electrocardiographic signals produced by every individual's heart are indeed unique, and their use as passcodes or as a means for authentication could be as simple as tracking these rhythms on a smartwatch or other wearable device. Intriguing, right?

Next is brainwave password technology. It's about coming up with a passcode that is personalised and unique to an individual's brain structure as well as to that person's memories and experiences, and what's significant here is that these authentication measures are both hard to duplicate yet actually updatable if needed. Simply put, brainwave passwords record your reactions to a stimulus, such as a picture. Last, but not least, especially in the relentless way the digital era is progressing, is zero login. It uses behavioural characteristics, including location, typing patterns, pressure of finger taps on a phone screen, proximity of other devices such as a smartwatch, ear buds, or even a car, and other unique identifiers.

With all these, and more security features being added to technological interfaces, it shows the way in which digitization has progressed, to not only link the world up through connectivity, but also to be secure enough to know your online persona is not under any harm.

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