Windows 10 to ditch passwords for PINs.

What happened? 

Can’t remember all your passwords and worried about getting locked out of accounts? The good news is that they may soon be a thing of the past in Windows 10 and other Microsoft products – though you’ll still have security for your laptop or PC. 

Microsoft is planning to ditch passwords for Windows 10 in the next major update to the operating system, which is due to arrive in 2020. Instead, you’ll log in with your PIN code, or use facial recognition or your fingerprint.

How will it affect you? 

The shift away from passwords on the PC is likely to come into force next year, but you can already switch to a PIN for logging in now. Though you will still have a password associated with the account, you won’t need to type it in every time you start your PC. 

To set up a PIN, or an alternative login system such as facial recognition, open the Start menu and search for “sign-in options”. There, you can set a PIN, picture password or enable fingerprint or facial recognition, if your device supports either. A four-digit PIN may seem less secure than a password, but the real risk is passwords being reused across different sites and services, so always use a variety of logins.

What do we think? 

This is a practical answer to an irritating problem. Passwords are a pain, and not as secure as many of us think.

Microsoft and other companies have long been pushing two-factor authentication, which is when you use a second, independent method to sign in, such as a security token, your phone or your fingerprint, alongside your password. Here, physical access to the device is acting, in a way, as that second factor – if most attacks come from online, the fact that you’re sitting in front of your PC counts for something. 

Keeping security solutions simple genuinely helps people and we applaud any move that gives us less to memorize.

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