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February 12, 2018

Microsoft Windows 10 S replaces passwords with biometrics security

Microsoft plans to improve user security in its latest Windows update, vowing to remove passwords completely.

By April Slattery

Microsoft is the latest to join the trend and vow that passwords will be put to an end, replacing them with the use of biometrics such as fingerprints and facial recognition.

The plans will come into force in Microsoft’s latest version of Windows, Windows 10 S, with no default setting for password requirement when it goes live. Instead, it will offer alternative methods of security including biometric-based authentication.

If biometrics is not the first choice for the Redmond Company, other options include mobile authentication using an app to generate a one-use code and FIDO keys that enable USB devices to act as authenticators. The latest version, Windows 10 S allows users to download the Authenticator App to access all apps and services without entering a password.

Microsoft has labelled passwords as ‘inconvenient and insecure’, which has encouraged the use of alternative security methods. The newest update has removed all passwords, including for sign-on and unlocking the screen.

Microsoft Windows 10 S replaces passwords with biometrics security

Passwords are ‘insecure’ says the tech giant.

The tech giant has also included more basic privacy measures, which include the ability for users to delete data gathered by the Diagnostic Data Viewer. This coincides with regulations ahead of GDPR, which allows individuals ‘the right to be forgotten’ and have their data removed.

Security measures have also been increased with the new ‘Account Protection’ ability in the Defender Security Centre. This element helps encourage users to take on the alternative security methods and notify them of abnormal activity.

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The uses of biometrics have become popular across many technology companies as well as various other industries, such as government organisations like Government Digital Service (GDS). Local councils such as West Yorkshire Police as also using the technology, aiming to improve efficiency within the force and safety in the local area.

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Many consumers across the UK have also favoured the option of biometrics as better security than passwords, which is encouraging for Microsoft and other companies pushing the technology forward.

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