In a small step towards making passwords passé, Yahoo is beefing up cyber security - by eliminating passwords.
The company announced that users of its Yahoo mail app will have access to a new service called Yahoo Account Key.
Here's how that works. The service uses smartphones to verify identity instead of a password. When the user tries to log on, the service sends a message to the smartphone connected to the account. With a tap on yes or no, users can indicate if it is a legitimate attempt to get into the account or deny access. And if their smartphone is lost or stolen, users can verify their identities through an e-mail or a text message sent to alternative e-mail accounts and phone numbers.
But Symantec security manager Satnam Narang does not think most users will let go of their passwords soon, saying: "I think passwords are going to be around for a little while... they're so ingrained in everything we do, from banking to e-mail to shopping, you name it."
The mail app also connects with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and pulls photos and social media information for contacts.