Google and Facebook to Use Physical Tokens as Passwords Soon

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Google and Facebook are reportedly developing password systems for their sites that involve inserting a physical device into a computer.

Users can only access their accounts by plugging in a special ?token,? no larger than a memory stick, and then typing in their password. This token is said to feature a cryptographic card which holds security information. The websites will only be accessible to the users if they give the correct combination of this physical token and the typed password.

Facebook and Google have already started making their employees and workers use this system. Another technology giant, Microsoft, is supposedly looking into this kind of technology.

This new system is the best way to provide extra security for the users, computer experts say. “We’re keeping an eye on emerging authentication technology. Hardware authentication is one of those,? John Flynn, Facebook security engineer, said. He assures that it will be the smoothest and best logon experience for the users.


The mooted password system was innovated after a series of hacking incidents globally have happened. Last December, hackers stole the usernames and passwords for almost two million Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other website accounts.

According to a research regarding the stolen information, the most common password was ‘123456’. Other popular terms that were found in the study were ‘password’, ‘123’ and ‘1’.


In November, it was also reported that the most popular password for 1.9 million Adobe users who had their details stolen was ‘123456’.

?People are using very dumb passwords. They are totally useless,? independent security expert Graham Cluley said. With the use of a system involving a physical token and a typed password, security online will surely be increased and most likely prevent cyber crimes such as identity theft and fraud.


Passwords are essential to every account we manage on the internet. Without them, access to our favorite websites is impossible. But they may also be the very reason to endanger our own identities and properties on the web. Creating complicated and unpredictable passwords and not sharing them with other people are one of the first few steps to online security. The two technology giants may be currently developing a system that will further enhance safety on the web but in the meantime, let us all practice smart usage of passwords.


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