Yahoo has introduced a new “on demand” password system that allows you to log into your account anytime using an individually generated unique code that the company will text to your phone.
It’s essentially two factor authentication without the first step.
Alex Stamos, Yahoo’s chief information security officer, introduced the product at the South by Southwest Interactive festival Sunday and says that the feature will roll out publically by the end of the year.
“This is the first step to eliminating passwords,” Dylan Casey, Yahoo’s vice president of product management for consumer platforms, said at the event according to Richard Nieva at CNET. “I don’t think we as an industry have done a good enough job of putting ourselves in the shoes of the people using our products.”
In order to activate the feature once it’s integrated, you’ll first need to log into your Yahoo account using your original password. You’ll then be given an option via “settings” to activate on-demand passwords and register your phone.
“Next time you try to login, the password field will be replaced by a button that says ‘send my password,’ and the company texts a four-character password to your phone,” Nieva writes.
The feature is an inevitable move towards making user accounts more secure. Google and Apple have both dealt with high-profile security flaws and consumers are notoriously bad at practicing good password hygiene. Despite warnings, many still rely on easy to remember personal information or family names rather than unique codes generated by a password manager.
Other startups, such as Oakland-based Clef, have sought to solve this problem with scannable images instead of numerical codes.