a pain in the…internet. But, are they about to become a thing of the past?

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Passwords can be a pain… in the internet. If you forget them, or they get stolen, they can be used by hackers.

Now, an effort is underway to move people all away from passwords to a cloud-based security system. 

These days, some of us go to great lengths to ensure we have secure passwords, utilizing all kinds of ways to come up with random characters.   

Those passwords may be secure, but they can be tough to remember. 

Other people go for low-hanging fruit, that are easy passwords to remember but not safe. 

“They’re a pretty big pain,” Raleigh resident Barbara Rich said. “I try and keep them all relatively the same so I can remember them.” 

Security experts said the top ten most common passwords are things like sequential numbers 1 though 6, or QUERTY which is the first row of letters on your laptop. Also on that top ten list, the word “password,” or variations on those themes. 

Research shows these are some of the most common passwords.

When it comes to passwords, big tech said they are really outdated. 

“Passwords are not sufficiently convenient or secure enough for today’s world,” Megan Shamus of the FIDO Alliance said.

The alliance is an industry association whose goal is to reduce the world’s over-reliance on passwords. 

Back when the internet was invented, no one envisioned the average person would have upwards of 80 accounts all requiring passwords. 

“What could be better than passwords?” asked Raleigh resident Saul Castillo. 

Google, Apple and Microsoft said they do have something better in mind and are jointly collaborating with FIDO to kill the password.  

“What they are embracing is a new way to login,” Shamus said. 

The changes surround our everyday devices, like phones or PC’s. The login would be in conjunction with biometrics to access our accounts.  

“Whatever you use to unlock your device — whether it’s your face, fingerprint pattern or PIN, it can be used to log in across all of your platforms,” Shamus said. 

Castillo said he has no concerns about a cloud-based system like that. “I think it’s secure.” 

However, Barbara Rich isn’t so sure.

“I’d have to really look at and find out more about it before I’d go with something like that.” 

It’s estimated we’ll start seeing the move away from passwords by the end of the year — or maybe sooner in some cases.

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