Experts warn that plans to phase out passwords in favor of authentication apps to access digital accounts could set aside older people who are less accustomed to practices.
Microsoft announced earlier this week what CEO Satya Nadella called the “future of passwordless security.” Users can remove their password from their account to verify their identity with the verification app or SMS / email code. ..
Security experts regularly cite weak passwords as the root cause of most hacks and cyberattacks, especially if people use the same password for multiple accounts.
However, Dr. Blanc Knowles, senior lecturer in data science at Lancaster University, said new technologies are rarely designed with older users in mind, so they may feel incompetent or incompetent. Stated.
“Remembering passwords is one of the key problems faced by older people, whether or not they are experiencing age-related cognitive decline,” she said.
“Microsoft’s solution may solve that problem for them, but there are many reasons why older people resist smartphones, so everything you need to have a smartphone is problematic.”
By relying on SMS notifications, Dr. Knowles “warns” because text messages are an important way for seniors to be scammed.
“Anything that normalizes the expectation of text messages asking you to sign in to something, exploiting new users of these technologies who are already struggling to anticipate ways to recognize scams and phishing attacks. I’m worried that opportunities will open up, “she says. Added.
Nicky Danino, an academic leader in computer science at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), believes there will be no passwords in the future, but businesses need to start designing authentication with the elderly in mind.
“There are a wide variety of solutions that developers can take, they don’t have to be apps, they can even call landlines,” she says.
“Accessible authentication is very important. Authentication is not necessarily a bad thing, but it probably needs to be designed to be accessible to everyone.”
AgeUK’s charity director Caroline Abrahams said that not all older people are online, but developers who make technology and Internet navigation easier and more secure should be “welcome”.
“Many older people don’t always have the skills, confidence, or equipment to use new ways to identify who they are,” she said.
“It’s important to include technology changes, rather than eliminate them online and increased digital activity.
“When you’re online, you need to keep in mind that one size doesn’t fit all. Everyone needs to have secure access to their account in a way that suits them.”