Users of the Yahoo Mail app will have access to a new service that uses smartphones to verify identities instead of traditional passwords. Fred Katayama reports.
A small step toward making passwords passé. Yahoo is beefing up cyber security - by eliminating passwords. The company announced 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 email or a text message sent to alternative email accounts and phone numbers. But Symantec security manager Satnam Narang doesn't 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 email to shopping, you name it." The mail app also connects with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and pulls photos and social media information for contacts.