Microsoft is Going Passwordless?

I think we may all agree that we have way too many passwords. We are authenticating using our username and unique passwords across several sites every day. If you are like me, you may be using a tool to help manage your passwords. In addition, I have looked to use password best practices to help prevent access to my information. Here are a few tips that I often share with others.

  • Never reusing passwords across sites and services
  • Using password management tools
  • Focusing on password length over password complexity
  • Multifactor authentication

These are great tips for protecting your information and preventing access to your online accounts.

Microsoft is good at identifying the challenges that users face and offering a solution that can address the needs of users. Microsoft is now focusing on enabling users to access their Microsoft account without having to type in a password. You will still have to authenticate, but you will be able to use an app or a two-factor authenticator method using SMS or e-mail. You will also be able to use Windows Hello to log in without a password, an option that Microsoft introduced several years ago.

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I still like using a password manager across my devices, but it most password managers are provided by a third-party service, and the experience doesn’t feel as seamless. Don’t get me wrong, these tools are still much better than having to recall my username and punching away on the keys in hopes that I can recall my password.

I am a Yahoo! user and they have ditched passwords in favor of multi-factor authentication. I authenticate from my mobile device when I login to Yahoo! on my laptop. Microsoft sees the password-less experience as a better experience for users, however, if you prefer logging on using a traditional username and password, Microsoft will allow you to continue to use that method.

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If you so choose, you can remove the password for logging into your Microsoft account now. First, you’ll need to download the Microsoft Authenticator app on iOS or Android and configure your account in the app. Then, head to the Microsoft account dashboard in a browser and try logging in. You’ll be prompted to check your mobile device to approve authentication. In my case, it asked me to scan my fingerprint before allowing me to log in.

How to set up passwordless authentication

To set up passwordless authentication, simply go to main page of your Microsoft account and find the security tab. Scroll down and select Advanced Security, and proceed to the Additional security section and choose the option for a passwordless account. Once enabled, you will need the Authenticator app on your phone to make the move to a password-less experience. From here on out, you only need your smartphone to approve the login. If at any time you want to turn this option off, simply turn the passwordless option off.

This feature is rolling out now and it may not be available to all users upon the release of this article.

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