You can now eliminate the password for your Microsoft account

By using an alternative means of authentication, you can now pass without a password in your Microsoft account.

Image: Daniel Chetroni / Shutterstock

Those of you who use a Microsoft account to log into Windows, Office, Outlook, or other Microsoft applications and services can now completely get rid of your password as another step towards a password-free future. in a blog post published on WednesdayMicrosoft announced that the passwordless sign-in option that was rolled out for business users in March is now available to individual users with Microsoft accounts.

SEE: Protect Your Data With Two-Factor Authentication (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Passwords have long been a necessary evil in the security world. Use a weak or familiar password for each account and you expose yourself to hacking and data theft. Try to create strong and unique passwords and it will be difficult to remember them without the help of a password manager or other tool.

Relying on passwords for security comes with a number of problems.

Nearly a third of the people investigated by Microsoft revealed that they stopped using an account or service instead of dealing with a lost or forgotten password, according to Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of security, compliance and identity and author of the blog post. .

As a result, too many people use common words or phrases for their passwords, such as pet names, last names, and important dates like birthdays. About 1 in 10 people said they reuse passwords across multiple sites, while 40% admitted to using a formula like Fall2021, which then becomes Winter2021 and Spring2022 every time they need to change their password.

“Weak passwords are the entry point for most attacks on consumer and business accounts,” said Jakkal. “There are a whopping 579 password attacks per second, that’s 18 billion every year.”

The tech industry has been trying to find more secure and convenient options for authenticating your account logins. But the path to a password-free future has been slow and inconsistent. Microsoft’s latest move is a step in the right direction. The company has long offered two-factor authentication as a way to log into your account. But until now, you still needed a password associated with your account.

To take advantage of the new passwordless option for your Microsoft account, you must first set up an alternate form of authentication if you haven’t already done so. You can choose between an authentication app like Microsoft Authenticator, a Windows Hello option like fingerprint or facial recognition, a security key, or a verification code sent to your phone. Your best bet is to use an authentication app, as it provides security and convenience whenever your phone or other compatible device, such as an Apple Watch, is nearby.

Then log in to web page for your Microsoft account. On your account page, click the heading at the top of Security and select Advanced Security Options. In the Additional security section, activate the Account without password option. Click Next. You will receive a notification through the Microsoft Authentication app asking you to approve the password removal. Touch Approve.

If you ever need or want your password to be active again, simply return to the same page and disable the Account without password option.

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