Now everyone can make their Microsoft account passwordless
Having already given commercial users the option of adopting passwordless sign-in, Microsoft is doing the same for consumers. Starting today, users have the option of removing the password from their Microsoft account and choosing different methods of authentication.
The move means that is now possible to access the likes of OneDrive, Outlook and other Microsoft services without the need to remember or enter a password. But this does not mean having to compromise on security.
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Microsoft's decision was prompted by the fact passwords are inconvenient and represent a security risk. There are many problems with the system of passwords we have all come to rely on. Long, complex passwords are difficult to remember. Passwords that are easy to remember are easy to guess or easy to crack.
Too many people use the same password for multiple accounts and services, meaning that as soon as once password is compromised, there is a great deal at stake. Passwords are frequently targeted in attacks, and yet are still the most common way of securing accounts and data. And this is precisely why Microsoft came up with an alternative.
Corporate Vice President of Security, Compliance, Identity and Management, Vasu Jakkal, explains:
For the past couple of years we've been saying that the future is passwordless, and today I am excited to announce the next step in that vision. In March we announced that passwordless sign in was generally available for commercial users, bringing the feature to enterprise organizations around the world.
Beginning today, you can now completely remove the password from your Microsoft account. Use the Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, a security key, or a verification code sent to your phone or email to sign in to your favorite apps and services, such as Outlook, OneDrive, Microsoft Family Safety, and more. This feature will be rolled out over the coming weeks.
So, if you like the sound of this, what is the next step?
Jakkal says to grab a copy of the Microsoft Authenticator app and link it to your Microsoft account. He goes on to explain:
Visit account.microsoft.com, sign in, and choose Advanced Security Options. Under Additional Security, you'll see Passwordless Account. Select Turn on.
Follow the on-screen prompts, and then approve the notification from your Authenticator app. Once you've approved, you're free from your password!
If you decide you prefer using a password, you can always add it back to your account.
More information about going passwordless is available here.