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Fingerprint scanning will replace passwords for online security

05 October 2016 - 12:08 by Simon Crisp

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People who want to carry out safe shopping online today need to create and remember passwords for all of the accounts and sites that they use to make purchases, which can be problematic for a number of reasons.

Forgetting complex passwords or relying on passwords which are too weak and easy to crack puts personal information at risk. But a new report from Deloitte suggests that fingerprint scanning will eventually eliminate the need for this outdated approach to online security, according to the Financial Times.

A growing number of smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone range, already come with fingerprint scanners built into their bodies. So extrapolating this functionality and applying it to shopping online is a logical step.

Report spokesperson, Paul Lee, said that consumers can be over encumbered with passwords for all sorts of sites and services, pointing out that analysts predict the average number of accounts a person will have by 2020 will hit 200. So ditching passwords and replacing them with fingerprint recognition tech is clearly a more convenient and potentially more secure idea.

Lee also argued that fingerprints were harder to copy and share, unlike simple passwords, which can easily be cracked and sold to the highest bidder.

Four thousand people were questioned in the study, with a third of those under the age of 24 stating that they already take advantage of a smartphone with a built-in fingerprint scanner. And by 2018 more than a billion devices with this tech onboard will be operating internationally.

For fingerprint scanning to overtake password protection, it is necessary for the adoption of compatible devices to reach a critical mass. But in the long run, this is good news for consumers who are sick of having to remember login details for all of their online accounts.