Remembering passwords has been an age-old frustration for PC users, and it’s a problem that has only intensified as users have so many more kinds of passwords to memorize. Perhaps the one that people use the least is actually the most important – the sign in password for their PC. Without it, you’re stuck either resetting it or not having access to the computer. Microsoft has announced that a new phone sign-in service will allow you to log in to your PC using the Microsoft Authenticator app and then enter your username as you usually would. Now, instead of entering the password, you’ll just go to the app, tap “Approve” and be logged in.
If you already have your account set up with Microsoft Authenticator, all you need to do is enable phone sign-in on the account’s dropdown menu. If you don’t have the program, you can set it up and phone sign-in will automatically show up as an option. This is an easier, and safer overall approach to people picking obvious passwords – like QWERTY or “123456” that can be figured out by anyone.
The worst thing you can do is make a password like that because you’re opening up not only your own accounts to being compromised, but possibly your entire family if you encourage that kind of password for everything.
While this password-free solution is quite convenient on the surface, security is of the utmost security. Beyond wanting to make sure that you will want to use some kind of unlocking mechanism in case your phone is stolen, and if your house is robbed, you could be in real danger. Even without your PC’s password, someone could just use the app to unlock your PC and possibly gain access to your banking information if you keep that either in a file on the PC or worse – just keep your login information stored within the browser itself.
Like many things when it comes to your computer and privacy, using a bit of common sense will go a long way. As long as you put some security measures in place, you should be just fine for quite some time.