Why We Might Be Stuck With Passwords for a While

TIME

Why do we still have passwords? Everyone hates them. They’re hard to keep track of and hard to type in, especially on your mobile device. And they just don’t work, judging by the all-too-frequent news of bad guys busting into this site or that app.

Two reasons they haven’t gone away: First, it’s easy for programmers to deploy a standard username/password setup. They more or less just push a button in their app-building toolkit. Second, the alternatives…well, they’re not quite ready for prime time. Let’s look at a few.

Biometric sign-in This is the term for signing in with your fingerprints or iris scan or another piece of yourself. For example, the iPhone 5s puts it to good use with a fingerprint reader. But there’s a big problem: If your password or your credit card is compromised by the bad guys, you can revoke it and get a new…

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