An article I wrote for Electronic Products.
The world’s largest search engine plans to create a data-encrypted ring that authenticates the user’s identity
When most people decide to be risky and change their passwords to something new and different, they usually wind up outsmarting themselves and forget what it is. Eventually, they go back to using the same three closely related passwords, but that’s not so secure. Google wants to change that, and will attempt to do so with its magic ring.
How this bright idea will work
This time Google’s big idea to change the world as we know it is to replace our passwords with data-encrypted rings. The web giant is toying with the idea of having a USB drive mounted on a ring or another form of small jewelry that uses a cryptographic key, a tiny bit of software meant to encode a message that’s unreadable to all but the intended recipient. The device works by sending a cryptographic message to prove the ring’s validity when connected to a computer. Inside the key is a contactless chip so it can also log in via smartphone or tablet. The ring itself doesn’t contain any kind of password, and proves itself by answering a mathematical equation from the online service it wants to access.
Taking a familiar route
Though the ring may seem impractical to some people, Google points out that many are more familiar with this idea than they’re aware of. A similar experience most are comfortable with is using an ATM. Google wants to replace passwords by using a similar approach. You’d use your data-encrypted ring to log into your e-mail just as your bank card grants you access to withdraw money from your checking account. The company is planning on using this idea to access different services and websites, and quite possibly, having this technology built into its web browser to avoid installing middleware or anything else.
Having personal hardware to log into your accounts would certainly remove the dangers of reusing passwords or jotting them down, but it wouldn’t be so safe if you misplaced your ring full of information, or if it got into the wrong hands. For now, as Google is still experimenting with its sparkling new idea, it’s best to keep your log-in information as secure as possible.
Story via mashable.