The Mouse Trap
–by Janis Weber
Check out all of my archived articles from the Sylvania AdVantage HERE.
Microsoft and Passwords
Though a completely password-less future is still a ways off, you’ll soon be able to take a big step in that direction by nuking the password on your Microsoft account. The company announced that the password-free features it already offers to corporate customers will now be available to everyone. Over the next few weeks, Microsoft will roll out support for a password-less life in the Microsoft Authenticator app and the biometric-based Hello login service for Windows.
Users will be able to set things up to use a biometric like a fingerprint or face scan, a hardware authentication token, or a verification code sent to your phone or email as an alternative to a password. Like the old login, the new system will let you access services like Office 365 and others. This conceptual shift makes password-less systems more secure in many ways, but people are so accustomed to passwords, after using them for decades, that it’s sometimes difficult to convince them to try something else. If you’ve invested time setting up a password manager, you may feel like a lot of the aggravation is gone from the whole situation anyway.
I remember it was 2017 and we started talking about what if instead of improving multifactor authentication we changed course to just eliminate passwords? Microsoft says it has more than 200 million password-less users from its enterprise rollout.
The company isn’t the only tech giant offering alternatives to logging in with a password. It has particular influence, though, given Windows and Office 365’s ubiquity among both corporate customers and individuals. To kill your Microsoft password forever, download the Microsoft Authenticator app and link it to your Microsoft account. Then go to account.microsoft.com, choose Sign In, and then Advanced Security Options. Under Additional Security look for Password-less Account and tap Turn on. Follow the prompts and then approve the change from the Authenticator app. That’s it. If you want to reverse the process, there’s an option to add your password back. But who would miss it? You’d think that everybody hates passwords, but there is one faction of people who love passwords; they’re called criminals.
Get a Password Manager
Aside from the new Microsoft password described above, you may be interested in a Password Master Manager. All the passwords you use for your online accounts should be strong and unique. What this really means is they should be long, include a mixture of different character types, and not be used across multiple websites. Your Twitter password shouldn’t be the same as your online banking one; your home Wi-Fi network shouldn’t use the same credentials as your Amazon account.
The best way to do this is by using a password manager. Password managers create strong passwords for you and store them securely. If the fact that they can stop you getting hacked isn’t enough to make you consider using one, a password manager also means you never have to struggle to remember a forgotten password again. From our testing of the best password managers out there, I recommend trying out RoboForm, NordPass, DashLane LastPass, Keeper or KeePass. They will create awesome passwords for you, and you never have to remember a single one. Most of these options are under $2 a month, billed annually.
RoboForm is my favorite. RoboForm takes the hassles and issues out of creating new passwords and staying safe on the web. You can use one-click authentication to automatically use your password on a site and create and save new passwords on other sites. RoboForm also gives you the chance to securely share files or folders with others. You also get premium support that is available 24/7.
Sylvania Senior Center Classes
Many classes are open by reservation only. Computer classes are not scheduled yet, but you are welcome to use the computer lab Mondays and Wednesdays 1-4. Check the SSC newsletter and website for the current information or call Susan Jennelle, 419-885-3913. I hope to hold classes this year. Check the Sylvania Center Newsletter to see what is happing.
I Make House Calls (I am vaccinated and wear a mask)
I will come to your home or office and help with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades including software, tutoring or printer issues. I can be your resident “geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Text or call 419-290-3570.
BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER’S DATA TODAY – Critical action!
Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to JwPCtutor@Gmail.com or contact her for assistance at 419-290-3570. Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text, or email away. Check out my archived articles at SylvaniaAdvantage.com, titled COMPUTER 101.